IWIL Alert – June 2023

  • Mindfulness for Lawyers Cannot Begin Too Early
    By Heather J. E. Simmons



Think back to law school, and the day you personally experienced Socratic method for the first time. That moment of total panic when you hear the professor call your name,  and realize that the moment you have been dreading has arrived.

Heather J. E. Simmons is the Associate Director for Instruction and Access Services at the University of Georgia School of Law Library. She earned her J.D. from Wayne State University and her Master of Library Science from the University of Michigan. An emeritus member of the Michigan Bar, she has previously held positions at the University of Illinois College of Law, Wayne State University Law School, and General Motors. She became a certified Koru Mindfulness teacher in 2021 and is working to form a Georgia Chapter of the Mindfulness in Law Society.

“In my ABA Student Lawyer article, Mindfulness for Cold Calling: Rite of Passage or a Form of Torture?, I describe the following alternative: Step 1. Plant your feet firmly on the floor; Step 2. Sit up straight; Step 3. Take one deep breath; Step 4. Now restate the question. These steps could easily be modified to work in court when the judge asks a challenging question.”

To find out more about how mindfulness can help you, and meet other attorneys who have incorporated contemplative practices into their work, visit the Mindfulness in Law Society website.

  • The Catalyst of Well-being and Workplace Efficiency: The Power of Exercise
    By Matthew S. Thiese, PhD, MSPH


Physical activity, often relegated to the domain of physical health alone, actually possesses potent implications for mental wellness and workplace outcomes. This article explores the multifaceted benefits of exercise, providing insight into its role in reducing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and burnout; its positive impact on workplace performance and satisfaction; and, in this printable handout, 10 tips for practical, evidence-based methods for promoting physical activity in the workplace.



Matthew S. Thiese, PhD, MSPH has extensive experience in designing and conducting epidemiologic and interventional research. His research focuses on the overlap between a person’s job and their health, including everything from musculoskeletal disorders like Low Back Pain or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, to motor vehicle crashes, to COVID-19, to mental well-being. His research seeks to identify potential risk factors, interventions to prevent injury or illness, evidence-based practice for both treatment and prevention, and assessments of worker health and safety fitness-for-duty. Dr. Thiese currently is conducting research in several different areas of mental health and mental fitness in the law profession.

Dr. Thiese’s graduate degrees are in Public Health, specifically Occupational Epidemiology and Injury Prevention. He is a tenured Associate Professor at the University of Utah School of Medicine and has co-authored numerous articles. He also serves on the board for the Institute for Well-Being in Law as the Vice-President for Research and Scholarship.