Judges and court staff face unique pressures as legal professionals. Judges and their staffs regularly confront contention and the personal trauma of others, whether through family law cases, horrific personal injury cases, or the gruesome facts of criminal cases. Docket pressure and caseloads seem never ending. Certain decisions are of such gravity they occupy unusual mental bandwidth and time. And judges in a rural state like Wyoming may experience social isolation, experiencing less of their community than when they were practicing attorneys. These factors are not unique to Wyoming judges and fortunately, there are ample resources available to support judges and their staffs.
- In July 2022, the National Center for State Courts developed a compendium of well-being strategies for judges and court staff, to better individual resilience in the face of ongoing and unique pressures of court systems. NCSC compendium of strategies
- A report issued in 2020 identifying the unique sources of stress for the judiciary. It also provides recommendations for the judiciary and related stakeholders. Stress & Resiliency in the US Judiciary
- Wellness and the Gavel: Wellness in the Judiciary and the Judiciary’s Impact on Wellness, Wyoming Lawyer, Feb. 2021. Read Article
- The Journal of the American Judges Association produced five articles in a 2018 issue of Court Review devoted to judicial well-being—topics range from the importance of finding meaning in your work, compassion, and mindfulness. American Judges Well-Being Articles
- Vicarious trauma, also called secondary trauma, impacts judges and court personnel thanks to a combination of busy dockets, exposure to traumatic events through court proceedings, and involvement with emotionally-charged cases. Read more here. Then check out this free self-test for compassion fatigue and access more resources. Self Test
- Judges Helping Judges is a confidential peer-to-peer helpline for judges who need assistance because of alcoholism, substance use disorders, addiction or mental health issues. This helpline is sponsored by the American Bar Association and is staffed by volunteer judges who are in recovery or going through treatment. Judges in need of help and those interested in serving as a peer-to-peer volunteer should call 800-219-6474 during business hours Central time. All information is confidential and protected by statute. National Helpline for Judges Helping Judges: 1-800-219-6474.
- Judges and their staffs have access to the Wyoming Lawyer’s Assistance Program—a free and confidential resource for Wyoming’s lawyers, judges, and law students for support in unmanaged stress, depression, impairment, substance abuse, and more. WYLAP