Managing expectations

Mental Health Brief #13

Managing expectations

By: Dr. Arthur Leonoff, PH.D., C. Psych, FIPA Psychologist/Psychoanalyst

In respect to clients, it is essential that lawyers learn how to control expectations and establish a suitable frame in which they can properly do their work on behalf of the client. A frame refers to separating the basic setup, rules, conditions or contract with the client from the legal work itself. This might sound obvious but in practice it can be difficult to establish and maintain.

Availability and a "can do" attitude can become twisted into a form of submission that eliminates personal time and fails to maintain absolutely essential boundaries and limits.

Managing time, relationships, demands, expectations and one's own emotional needs is key to a healthy and productive career. Lawyers are advised to be proactive in this regard and to recognize when personality and emotional factors are interfering with their capacity to work.

The Opening Remarks mental health briefs provide Ontario lawyers with wellness tips and resources from a variety of individuals speaking in their own capacity. The briefs are not a substitute for professional care. If you are in crisis, we encourage you to urgently contact a mental health service provider.