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The Good and the Ugly in the Practice of Law: Lessons from the 2017 North Carolina Lawyer Well-Being Survey

11:55      Welcome and Introductions

12:00      The Good and the Ugly in the Practice of Law: Lessons from the 2017 North Carolina Lawyer Well-Being Survey†

Jeffrey D. "Jeff" Bradford, BarCARES of North Carolina Inc., Cary
John A. "Sean" Doyle Jr., MCNC, Research Triangle Park

The psychological health and well-being of lawyers is an important topic. It affects our ability to perform our jobs and the credibility and reputation of the profession. It is about resilience and professional longevity. Ultimately, it is a matter of happiness and satisfaction with our lives. However, as a profession, lawyers have traditionally had the highest levels of job dissatisfaction, depression and other maladies.

For decades, North Carolina has been a national leader in assessing and attending to the psychological health of lawyers. The state conducted extensive surveys of attorney well-being in 1991, 2002 and again in 2017. In this program, John "Sean" Doyle, the lawyer and psychologist who lead the 2017 survey, reviews some of its findings, compares them to earlier results, and talks about what it means for our lives and our careers as lawyers.

1:00        Adjourn

† Indicates portion providing Substance Abuse/Mental Health credit

Thank you

Thank you for joining us for The Good and the Ugly in the Practice of Law: Lessons from the 2017 North Carolina Lawyer Well-Being Survey!


  • Jeffrey D. "Jeff" Bradford

    Jeffrey D. Bradford was born and reared in Jacksonville, Florida, and is a proud graduate of the Bolles School. He received a B.A. from Dartmouth College in 1999, with a major in English and a minor in classics. He received his J.D. from Duke University in 2002 and clerked for The Honorable Steven D. Merryday of the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, Tampa.

    Jeffrey practiced complex litigation and trial law with Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, D.C., Ellis & Winters in Cary and Brown Law in Raleigh, and dutifully served as assistant city attorney for the City of Fayetteville.

    He is a member of all state and federal bars within North Carolina and is also active in his community, participating in the Preston R. Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke, Dorcas Ministries in Career (volunteer career counselor), and BarCARES of North Carolina, Inc. (Board of Directors).

    His special joys include wife, Andrea; three beautiful daughters, Zoe, Riley and Ellie; ACC and SEC sports; guitar; and songwriting.

    Click here for more information about Jeffrey.

  • John A. "Sean" Doyle Jr.

    John A. "Sean" Doyle has served numerous roles in his 25+ year legal career and is currently the general counsel at MCNC. In addition to law, Sean taught psychology at North Carolina State University for close to a decade, writes for Psychology Today and has worked on matters of mindfulness, meaning and resilience with a wide range of individuals and groups, including army drill sergeants, federal appellate judges, Buddhist monks, recovering addicts and foreign governments.

    Sean is on the Board of BarCARES, is past chair of the NCBA’s Lawyers Effectiveness and Quality of Life Committee and has served on many other committees committed to attorney wellness and effectiveness. While in graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, Sean's specific research was on lawyers, depression and thriving in the practice of law. In February 2020, the NCBA published the preliminary findings from Sean's groundbreaking study of the quality of life of over 2500 North Carolina attorneys. In addition, Sean is also the author of, Mud and Dreams, a book of essays on overcoming hardships and making the research in positive psychology personal.

    Sean studied philosophy at Rutgers, received his Juris Doctorate from Loyola University-New Orleans, and his Masters of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. A husband and father of three, Sean lives and writes in North Carolina.

    For more, please visit, or contact Sean directly at

November 12, 2020
Thu 11:55 AM EST

Duration 1H 5M

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