Krista Larson Authors Article on Balancing Pessimism and Optimism for Attorney Well-Being in Law360

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Stinson LLP Director of Well-Being Krista Larson authored an article for Law360, "For Lawyers, Pessimism Should Be A Job Skill, Not A Life Skill," exploring the connection between the legal profession's emphasis on pessimism and the high rates of mental health challenges among attorneys.

Larson examines the value of both optimism and pessimism in the legal context. She says a pessimistic mindset can be crucial for anticipating risks and advocating effectively for clients, but a constant pessimistic mindset can lead to negative mental health outcomes. Larson provides insight into a more nuanced approach, encouraging attorneys to adopt "flexible optimism" and to strengthen their inclination toward the positive for enhanced well-being.

"Optimism is important for mental health, but pessimism is often necessary to do the work of a legal professional," Larson says. "Instead of saying we should all be optimists all of the time, we can value pessimism when it helps us, but doing so while building our mindset muscles for more optimism and the ability to live out our values."

Larson offers practical strategies for attorneys to transform their work experience to better suit their own needs and goals. She also highlights the importance of work-life integration, including connecting work to personal values and a technique called "job crafting" to reshape attorneys' perceptions for a more fulfilling and balanced professional experience that contributes to their overall well-being.

Larson leads the implementation of Stinson's vision, strategy and programming to support the health and well-being of all constituents of the firm in alignment with the firm's values and its American Bar Association Well-Being Pledge. She also partners with firm and executive leadership on well-being strategies and initiatives.

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