Wellness 2020

BASF's 2020 Presidential Initiative, in collaboration with the Barristers Club

Wellness Wherever You Are

With the closure of health clubs across the Bay Area, BASF's Weekly Wellness Walks have transitioned from downtown Financial District walks to walks through our individual neighborhoods and local parks.

Share Your Wellness Routine
Post a picture of yourself to Instagram and tag @sfbarassn, or email your picture to editor@sfbar.org. We'll be highlighting BASF members and their wellness routines along with ideas for practicing wellness wherever you are!


For me, a vital part of my wellness routine has been spending time outside enjoying nature, including trail rides and a little horsing around!



Our Wellness 2020 initiative has taken unexpected turns. At the start of the year, we gathered for weekly wellness walks and the first of four planned symposia, where wellness experts taught us about mindfulness and mental health.

COVID-19 soon disrupted our plans for weekend wellness outing, lunchtime wellness classes, and physical wellness activities. The pandemic is forcing us to examine how we live, work, and connect with each other. As a community, we are learning to be nimble and develop new responses to issues of health, community, and social gathering. Until we can gather again, we will share our most popular wellness articles and resources below. If you have feedback, ideas or resources to share, please email editor@sfbar.org.


Self Care: Learning to Read Your Bodily Navigation Stars

by Michael Susi

There is an analogy that has been passed down through the years involving a woodcutter going about the task of cutting wood. In the story, the woodcutter is asked by an observer why they don’t stop to sharpen their saw. It is obvious to the observer that the woodcutter is certainly working hard but is also showing all the signs of exhaustion and fatigue, and not making much progress despite diligent work.

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Develop Your Work Mindset

by Drew Amoroso

Take a moment to think about your typical workday. If you look closely, every workday is simply a series of hundreds of mini-situations you must think through in order to make it through the day:

How do I deal with a challenging client? How do I address my lack of motivation around this particular task I have to complete? How do I build a schedule today that will help me eliminate distractions and complete my most important projects?

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Tools for Lawyer Resilience

by Krista Larson

The shadow of stress inevitably hovers over work in any profession. That is especially true in the practice of law, an endeavor in which lawyers must solve challenging and high-stakes problems, often within extremely tight deadlines. So, what does it mean to be resilient in a profession like ours?

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Stuart Plunkett

Stress in our profession is uniquely prevalent and corrosive.  Our jobs are difficult and time-consuming; the stakes can be high; the issues can be intense, even heart-breaking. Stress in our profession leads to alarming rates of depression, anxiety, alcohol and substance abuse, and suicide.  There is no secret about this anymore.  The drivers of these statistics are complex, but stress is at the core. This a problem we can solve."

—Stuart Plunkett, 2020 President, Bar Association of San Francisco

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How Mindfulness Practices Can Benefit Lawyers

by Jerry Givens

Burnout is a phenomenon that many lawyers are all too familiar with. You’re working long hours, sleep has become elusive, you’re chronically exhausted, overly cynical, and you may feel ineffective in your career. Even your subconscious thoughts are constantly ruminating on your clients and cases, creating debilitating anxiety and feelings of isolation. Burnout, in this case, is burning the candle at both ends and, eventually, running out of wick.

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Cut Back on Desk Aches and Pains

by Caroline Jordan

Spending too much time sitting in your office chair is dangerous, yet so many of us are pulling crazy hours at work, and our health is paying for it. Too much sitting has been linked to a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, metabolic syndrome and premature death. Unfortunately, even the most dedicated exercise regimens won’t undo all of the damage. At the same time, desk job related injuries are on the rise, including carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, frozen shoulders, wrist strain, neck and shoulder pain, sciatica, hip and lower back pain.

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John Worden, Trial Lawyer and Vegan Athlete, Shares Tips on How to Stay Fit During COVID-19

BASF Arbitration Section Chair John Worden, Schiff Hardin, is a trial lawyer, a black belt kung fu instructor, and an all-around fitness enthusiast.

John knows first-hand how physical wellness supports mental fitness, and shares workout and nutrition tips in the video below on how to stay fit while sheltered-in-place.

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Get Involved

Create more than a professional network. Join us to build lifelong wellness routines that enhance your body and mind. And get t-shirts and other wellness gear throughout the year.

Please note that due to COVID-19, the events below as well as related wellness updates are currently on hold.

Wellness Walks

Connect with legal professionals at one of our Weekly Wellness Walks. Walks take place each Friday beginning at 12 p.m. and end no later than 1p.m.  Walk leaders will explore the Financial District and surrounding neighborhoods. The walks are casual, and you are free to participate for all or only a portion of a walk.

Add to your calendar

Quarterly Wellness Summit

Quarterly summits focus on the fundamentals of wellness in the legal profession. Over the course of three one-hour sessions, experts in the field address topics including stress management, fitness, nutrition, sleep, and time management. The programs are interactive and provide practical knowledge that can be implemented in your daily routines.

Wellness Summit #1 - February 12, 2020

Wellness Summit #2 - TBD

Wellness Summit #3 - TBD

Wellness Summit #4 - TBD

Additional Planned Activities

We have even more planned for you! The following events are in the works, with dates to be announced. Stay tuned for updates.

  • Weekend Wellness Outings: Family-friendly outings in San Francisco 
  • Lunchtime Wellness CLEs
  • Body & Mind Events: Activities including mindfulness, yoga, and physical activity

Join the steering committee

Interested in becoming part of the Wellness 2020 steering committee?  Contact events@sfbar.org to learn more.

Thank you to our generous sponsors