Practical and Ethical Considerations for Avoiding Burnout and Maintaining a Healthy Work-Life Balance (Online Seminar)

MCLE Credits: 2.0
Ethics Credits Included: 2.0

MCLE Credit: 2.0 (Ethics: 2.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 0.0
Designation Credit: 2.0 Ethics (Designations Information)
Price: $149 (Includes a downloadable audio version.)
Viewable Through: 02/28/2022


A pre-recorded streaming video replay of the February 2019 webcast, Lawyer Well-Being: Practical and Ethical Considerations for Avoiding Burnout and Maintaining a Healthy Work-Life Balance.

Course Benefits

Topics to be covered include:

  • The effects and signs of burnout, depression, and stress on lawyers, and corresponding recommendations for relief
  • How one can navigate the practice of law in a healthy manner
  • Lawyer assistance programs that are available
  • Ways lawyers can reconnect with, strengthen, and apply their values, strengths of character, and sense of purpose toward achieving outstanding professionalism
  • How issues underlying lawyer well-being can implicate ethical considerations addressed in the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPCs) and Legal Ethics Opinions (LEOs), including:
    • Proposed Comment [7] to RPC 1.1:  Maintaining the mental, emotional and physical ability necessary for the representation of a client is an important aspect of maintaining competence to practice law
    • RPC 1.3:  Duty to diligently represent the client
    • RPC 1.16 (a) (2):  Duty to withdraw when impairment affects the lawyer's ability to represent the client
    • RPC 8.3 (a):  Attorney’s duty to report misconduct of another attorney
    • RPC 5.1:  Responsibilities of partners and supervisory attorneys
    • LEO 1886: Duty of partners and supervisory lawyers in a law firm when another lawyer in the firm suffers from a significant impairment
    • LEO 1887:  Duties when a lawyer over whom no one has supervisory authority is impaired

In August 2017, the ABA National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, which included Supreme Court of Virginia Chief Justice Donald W. Lemons, issued a report entitled “The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change.” In the report, the Task Force noted:

To be a good lawyer, one has to be a healthy lawyer. Sadly, our profession is falling short when it comes to well-being. … [T]he current state of lawyers’ health cannot support a profession dedicated to client service and dependent on the public trust.

Burnout occurs when you become cynical about the value of your occupation and doubtful of your capability to perform. Lawyers suffer from burnout at a greater rate than any other profession, and the statistics regarding lawyers and depression and stress are alarming. This can have a negative effect not only on the lawyer, but also family members, clients, and firms.

This program will address the problems, as well as offer some suggestions for relief. The presentation will include a discussion of the specific Rules of Professional Conduct (RPCs) and Legal Ethics Opinions (LEOs) that address an attorney’s ethical responsibilities as they relate to attorney well-being.

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Oliver L. Norrell III, JD, Ph.D. / Richmond

Oliver L. Norrell, III is a 1974 graduate of the University of Virginia (BA), a 1976 graduate of the T.C. Williams School of Law, University of Richmond (JD), and a 2016 graduate of Capella University (PhD). The topic of his dissertation was on burnout. He has served as an Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney in Richmond and Henrico County, an Assistant Attorney General (Virginia), an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, an Assistant Richmond Public Defender, a corporate attorney for a Fortune 500 company, and has been in private practice. Having served 30 years in the Army National Guard, he is currently employed as the Director of Army Instruction for the Richmond Public Schools system.

Prescott L. Prince, Virginia State Bar / Richmond

Prescott L. Prince currently serves as an Assistant Bar Counsel with the Virginia State Bar.  In that capacity, which he has held since May of 2012, he prosecutes attorney ethical misconduct.

Prior to his current position, Prescott Prince served on active duty with the United States Navy JAG Corps, holding the rank of Captain, having been recalled from reserve status in June of 2007.  Prior to his recall to active duty, Mr. Prince was engaged in the general practice of law in the Richmond, Virginia, area.  As a defense attorney he frequently represented individuals charged with the most serious of crimes, including murder, and was lead counsel in the defense of a number of high-profile cases in the Richmond area.  His family law practice included representation of clients involved in complex divorce and equitable distribution matters as well as custody and support issues.  At the time of his recall, he was the managing partner of the Associated Law Firm of Clarke and Prince. 

During his period of recall to active duty, Captain Prince served as Deputy Chief Defense Counsel-Navy with the Office of Military Commissions-Defense where he was engaged in the direct representation and supervision of attorneys representing individuals accused of war crimes against the United States of America and who were detained at the U.S. Detention Center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  Prior to that assignment, Captain Prince served as a Rule of Law Officer attached to Task Force 134 (Detainee Operations) in Iraq.  His responsibilities also included the supervision of all naval personnel assigned to the Office of Chief Defense Counsel.  

Mr. Prince commenced his initial service as an active duty Navy Judge Advocate immediately upon graduation from law school and admission to the Virginia State Bar.  While on active duty, his assignments included serving as a military defense counsel and as Discipline Officer on board USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV-67).  Reserve assignments included Commanding Officer of the reserve unit that provided prosecution and other legal support for the Naval District of Washington and Commanding Officer of the reserve unit that provided legal support to the Commander, U.S. Navy Atlantic Fleet. 

Mr. Prince was graduated from Washington and Lee Law School in 1983 and was admitted to the Virginia State Bar the same year.  He was awarded his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Davidson College in 1976 and he earned a Master of Arts Degree in Psychology (emphasis in clinical) from Radford University in 1980. 

Mr. Prince is a past Chair of the Virginia General Practice Section, and is currently the Vice-chair of the Virginia Military Law Section.

He has frequently presented programs on a variety of topics to professional groups.  Notably, he appeared at Davidson College, to serve as guest speaker on “Leadership Through Ethics” at Chidsey Center for Leadership Development and was a Panel Member on “The Torture Debate” presented by Vann Center for Ethics.

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