In this episode, I am excited to have David Shircliff on to talk about maintaining well-being as a lawyer.
David Shircliff is the Chief Public Defender of the Lawrence County Public Defender Agency in Indiana. He has a passion for helping trial lawyers break through barriers that inhibit performance and fulfillment, including enhancing trial skills, rejuvenating passion after burnout, overcoming secondary trauma, and other non-discussable issues in the practice of law. He is an engaging presenter and facilitator who utilizes innovative experiential learning techniques. He has been a trial lawyer for 25 years and has tried a wide variety of criminal cases from sex offenses to homicides. David has worked on Death Penalty cases, both in trial and on the post-conviction relief level. He is a faculty member of the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia, the Trial Practice Institute in Indiana, and he is a graduate of the Trial Lawyers College in Wyoming. His goal is to help lawyers love what they do and find fulfillment in all areas of their life.
- David delves into his education in social work and skills that have crossed over into his practice of law, as well as the distinction between primary and secondary trauma.
- He discusses what makes him feel anxious, ashamed, and inadequate as a lawyer and what tools he has used or seen used to fight these feelings, as well as what to do in those circumstances when you give everything you have and you feel you have failed.
- Maintaining our own well-being and who David discuss’ his fears and worries with when it comes to law.
- Being an officer of the court, there’s pressure to continuously demonstrate your value (worth) based on standards you did not set or agree to. How do you disengage from the external yardstick of measuring your worth and the emotional impact that feeling no emotions can have on a lawyer when they shut down their emotional receptivity in the courtroom.
If you are interested in contacting David, you can reach him via email at [email protected].
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David Shircliff: [00:00:07] I mean lawyers don’t ever talk about the fact that we do have secondary trauma, that we are subject to harm, and that we need to deal with it. I think lawyers think they don’t need that.
Intro: [00:00:18] Welcome to The Resilient Lawyer podcast. In this podcast, we have meaningful, in-depth conversations with lawyers, entrepreneurs, and change agents. We offer tools and strategies for creating a more joyful and satisfying life. And now your host, Jeena Cho.
Jeena Cho: [00:00:42] My friends, welcome back to The Resilient Lawyer podcast. In this episode, we have David Shircliff. He is the chief public defender of the Lawrence County public defender agency in Indiana. He has a passion for helping trial lawyers break through barriers that inhibit performance, including enhancing child skills, rejuvenating passion, overcoming secondary trauma, and all the other issues out there we don’t talk about it in the practice of law. His goal is to help lawyers love what they do and find fulfillment in all areas of their lives. I’m really excited about talking with David.
[00:01:19] Before we get into the interview, I wanted to mention that the Mindful Pause program has been much it’s up and running. I’m really excited because I have couple more firms that also signed up so I have hundreds of lawyers going through this 31 day mindfulness program and each module is just six minutes a day and I often hear from lawyers you they should meditate and be a good practice. But it’s really hard to find the time. So I wanted to create a program that would make my accessible and also easy to fit into the busy Boyer’s schedule so you can head on over to JeenaCho.com to learn more. Check it out and the show notes and look at his day. David, welcome to The Resilient Lawyer.
David Shircliff: [00:02:05] Thank you so much for having me Jeena.
Jeena Cho: [00:02:07] So let’s just start by having you give us a 30 second overview of who you are and what you do.
David Shircliff: [00:02:15] Well I I’m committed to helping lawyers identify and remove barriers. I think you may have already said some of that but I have been a public defender for about 25 years and worked in state court and although working with a myriad of clients I also have a master’s in social work and did some counseling right after I graduated from law school. And so not only do I take on the role of the chief public defender so I get to mentor and work with attorneys on trial skills in managing their cases but also I work with a lot of clients on a one on one basis obviously and I think that’s the most fulfilling part. Hmm interesting when your therapist before you went to law school did you go back to get a master’s after Rossignol interesting story. I wanted I fought to get a combination of law and theology.
[00:03:12] But there was a program in Indianapolis where you can get your law degree and then get a master’s and face work. So I actually got a law degree. And then I went back and got my massive invasion were allowed.
Jeena Cho: [00:03:24] And I would imagine that the skills that you learned as a social worker and it’s very helpful to us to you as a lawyer moire
David Shircliff: [00:03:34] Absolutely anything. Get away with things that I think it brings especially to public defense is that 75 percent of our clients are dealing with some sort of mental illness addiction. Definitely wrestling with poverty in other all other kinds of trauma that you could imagine people who are arrested for poverty and mental illness have to deal with.
Jeena Cho: [00:03:58] Yeah I was I started my career as an assistant state attorney and I often felt leg y the tools that we have that are available to us are just too limited in terms of you know people obviously and them getting caught in the criminal justice system for various reasons but really like the one sort of mechanism that we have is putting people in jail and often just like us not terribly great solution because these people just need a whole host of support and services that our criminal justice system is just not designed to provide all
David Shircliff: [00:04:35] Right. I mean in the quote you you gave in your article from Brown he was just Mirski. Why do we want to kill the broken people. And that seems to be what happens on a regular basis. That is that those are the broken people are the ones that tend to get involved in a criminal.
Jeena Cho: [00:04:53] Yeah. And I think Brian Simonson also goes on to say that you know we’re all broken and are very unique and special ways. And I think that’s absolutely part of what makes us human. And the next thing we see is that brokenness and that is when empathy and kindness and not CNN A saying that we have to sort of surgically removed are natural even effects that are now. And this is something that I’ve been. Oh yeah yeah.
David Shircliff: [00:05:26] I mean I think that’s it. That’s a great segue because we’re all fellow travelers and we all see a world in the way we see the world. And it’s it’s one of the things that I found to be so powerful in this idea of meeting barriers. About 15 years ago I lost my parents my parents died about a year after each other. 2003 and 2004 and in 2006 my marriage broke up and my kids although I would visit them every now and then we weren’t together all the time. Me and I experienced a great deal of trouble. The thing I didn’t realize until I had gone through another marriage and another marriage was that there were these barriers that I had never resolved.
[00:06:16] There were these things in my life that I had never addressed about the grief of losing my parents and my family. And they became barriers that affected my work. I ended up getting the motions. And I struggled to actually represent my clients as a human being and not of what set me on this journey to discover how it is we can identify what barriers are between us and how to remove them.
Jeena Cho: [00:06:45] How when you mean when you say very are
David Shircliff: [00:06:49] Primarily what I’m talking about is the idea of trauma and secondary trauma. And I guess I would say that’s more akin to the way I think about it is let’s say I’m in a situation well I mean just from your story let’s say from your story you talk about this time when you stayed in front of these people who were all brought in on a cattle call because they were driving while suspended.
[00:07:16] Man you talk about how how they were the ones who pled guilty they didn’t quite understand what were going on to begin wailing as they were taken to jail. And when I hear that story it impacts me it touches me it brings about sadness from helplessness. Well that is secondary trauma but it’s what it’s like. It can make it it can I guess the simplest term I like to use is like a tit or leech something that is so small in ways you can see it. But it begins to have an impact on your system in such a way that once we get it I think.
[00:07:58] Dr. Van once we get jobs in our system and our system starts to fight them then our whole biology changes and our body becomes in fight or flight mode and we’re not even aware of those germs in our system. But one of the things that we know is that when we’re in fight or flight mode we can’t listen we can’t be empathic we can’t be compassionate we can’t even be present because we’re occupied in other way and that creates a barrier that for the most part invisible
Jeena Cho: [00:08:39] Barriers and things that grabs a hold you back or kind of kicks stuck can stop you from sort of showing up in your best self.
David Shircliff: [00:08:50] Absolutely.
Jeena Cho: [00:08:50] And there are just so many of these sort of traps that are almost impossible to see when we practice law and we get triggered in all kinds of ways that we don’t even realize and we kind of. And that really reacting. Yes. And you know I think one of the things we often deal with as lawyers are sort of and they need it. Perhaps our primary mission are just things like you know anxiety or even just feeling ashamed or helpless or even adequate. So can you talk a little bit about and perhaps from your own life like what are those things I kind of get you into that state of fight or flight or at those feelings inside me or shame or whatever those things might be and how are you sort of learn to work with that and kind of overcome those barriers. Right.
David Shircliff: [00:09:47] Well so about two and a half years ago a colleague of mine Dan Murphy and I began working on an experimental workshop called removing barriers. And I think this’ll answer your question I can give you a good example so this removing barrier workshop is a small group Workshop where literally we use some techniques like psychodrama although I’m not a psycho dramatist but I psychodrama and group work and role reversals. So we had a woman had been practicing the public defender or a few years. And little did we know when she came into this workshop. She had already been looking to other places she’d looking to retail you know looking at other kinds of jobs car sales because she was done being public propellor and.
[00:10:42] And as we went through this three hour workshop she had some revelation about the stuff she was carrying. So for instance she had an issue with a client that had happened about six months to eight months prior to her coming in and it was one where she was in a situation where the judge treated the client a certain way where the point ended up going to jail. She wasn’t able to fulfill her promises. And once we put this in the middle of the room and through this supportive group where she was able to come to terms with what you were just talking about her own feelings of inadequacy or feelings of powerlessness the feelings that she let her client down and what she didn’t realize was there was the grief her client felt the way her work her client felt powerless the way her mind felt like she was unable to follow through. And so yes and layered is just what you were saying. It gets layered from what happened to the poignance we want to protect you then what do we say to ourselves about how we failed those clients. And that’s our build up and create a barrier that starts to make us fight or flight mode minimalism compassion empathy the things that we so need as lawyers.
Jeena Cho: [00:12:07] Get and they often why not lawyers are just incredibly hard on themselves and I’m certainly high exception reminds me I was just talking to a friend of mine and she is also a lawyer and she said you know like what and what do you do when you feel like your boss you know like you or all of what you have into a case and it still doesn’t go you like what you do when you’re fast enough. And she was like a very very difficult and challenging case. And you know there is just not much that can be done and there’s just so much about the practice of law that we have no control over like we obviously don’t have control up as that’s how much own guys are what the judge is going to do at the opposing side as 90 witnesses and that’s why I think the only thing you can do at that point is to accept what is happening in the moment and to forgive yourself. And I don’t think she might answer that. But she knew right now you know when you do industry consensus where you just you know you give anything that you have and you still fail. And I’m using my air condition where I can’t when I say to which face off.
Jeena Cho: [00:13:19] Right. Right. And I think you talk about the very issue of what is failure because I think you’re exactly right. What we what we think is thickset and this is this has become this is one of the big pieces that I took away that I work with a client who had been on death row for 26 years and then was released. And I would and I didn’t work for him so I don’t mean that. What I mean is he was at a trial workshop that I was at. And he agreed to be my client to act as my client. And one of the things he said to me afterwards because his lawyer met with him 60 minutes before he went into a death penalty trial. And that was the only contact he had with a lawyer.
[00:14:06] And the comment that he made to me because we had done a whole day working on dear on my case and he had been my client the whole time. And the one comment he made to me afterwards has always stuck with me which is you know what I wouldn’t care if I if I had lost if I would have known that the person cared about me like you care about your client. Now I’m not saying that could be about me but basically I think what our clients really want is to feel cared for and feel heard to feel like they’re human be they’re not just another target in the wheel and that in and of itself is success. And since that I have had jury trials that I have lost where my friends have said thank you so much. I know you care you fought hard the system screwed us or whatever they say to the point where I went home and couldn’t leave because I was trying to figure out what else I should have done. And they went home believing that someone actually cared for them and fought for them and saw them as the fellow traveler.
Jeena Cho: [00:15:10] Hmm yeah. So powerful images being witness and feeling like someone sees you and has you know such a how falling strands. I mean I think it’s so hard. Especially as you know and a public defender or as a prosecutor you have so many cases in your show her work so you know how do you bring that sense of caring and that level of compassion when you’re managing you know how many cases you know hundred kids are even you know 80 case or just went over that number as I right.
David Shircliff: [00:15:48] And and you know there are very many different ways that people deal with. Yoga I think is great. I mean there’s this whole discussion about how you can relieve trauma through just bodywork and meditation. And honestly what does this program when we started removing barriers a small group workshop and a way for people to get a handle on what is up that they’re not seeing so they can discard and they can actually see it forgive themselves understand and grieve. But they can leave it at the door when they leave. And I mean that happened over a three hour period. Like I said I’m not heinously it’s the only way but but my passion has become really the transformation of lawyers because I’ve worked with personal injury lawyers who have the same kind of built up trauma right I mean if you are representing somebody who’s had their leg crushed in a forklift accident can they now can’t work. They feel totally inadequate especially if it’s if it’s a male they feel totally emasculated.
[00:16:54] They feel like and they’re not bringing in income and there’s a whole ripple of trauma that comes about that we wear as their lawyers and a lot of times we think but because we’re fighting the fight and we’re out there running the roads and make them stop. We’re not affected by that. We’re the drip adrenaline junkies. And the reality is it’s sticks to. And that’s what that’s what I think happens when we talk about burnout. We do find many different ways. But I think it has to do with the build up of all this drama the secondary that feeds and prevents us and makes us feel so tired that we just don’t think we could see another planet it’s time to go. I can’t do this anymore.
Jeena Cho: [00:17:38] And I think intuitively we all know getting enough sleep eating a good diet getting enough exercise yoga meditation like all those things are necessary for maintaining our own well-being. But when you’re sort of in a needy or neck deep. And it just takes slow. And that’s like the last thing you feel like you have time to do anything it get right down and I said something like You know you should meditate for 20 minutes and if you feel like it don’t have time to meditate for 20 minutes and you should meditate for an hour. Yes that’s true. But you know when you’re in the midst of it it’s so hard to think similarly when it out. When you’re in the middle of a burnout. It’s really hard to even recognize that you’re going through a burnout.
David Shircliff: [00:18:22] Yep yep. Yeah I mean I was getting so so my mother trial I was sitting second chair and before the trial even happened we were in the jail walking to our client. This is probably three or four weeks before the trial happened. And my first chair attorney who I’d always looked up to was talking about the fact we need to do a competency evaluation on the client and I’m thinking I don’t see any continuity problem. And what I found out was he was so beyond try anything he did not want to try this case and was trying to figure out any way to get out of it because he just didn’t have it left anymore. And that’s what happened. And I think and I think the fundamental thing for lawyers that work in any kind of practice that deals with clients who have experienced trauma or experience injury or depravity of liberty or whatever it is I think a lot of times we want to isolate ourselves.
[00:19:23] We think it’s only. No one else experiences this and we all of those things we say to ourselves and what we found so powerful about is removing barriers workshop is that we do an exercise the beginning that the connecting exercise. And we talk about things that everyone has experienced. Have you experienced this if you have raise your hand or step in. And then we and then we even process that. And by the time we’re done with a kind of group building exercise everyone is realizing that we’re all experiencing the same thing. Creates an incredible amount of power and support and safety once we start dealing with what it is that’s between us the attorney and our ability to effectively represent our client. And even does represent our client. But as you know and as you talk about all the time Dina the ability to be present with our families to be able to enjoy life beyond working. I mean just the ability to be present in our lives. It has a great impact.
Jeena Cho: [00:20:30] Yeah. Now you are talking and getting a group of lawyers together in a room and being vulnerable around each other. I’m a huge fan of Renee Landshark. I am a firm believer that our ability is like a pool that binds us together and you know isolating or is like a dirty word. And I kind of like it. And you know what are the things that you cheated yourself that you don’t share with others. And to the extent that you do share some of these vulnerabilities when other areas like hoodie that you know we go to to talk about your fears and your worries and say oh my gosh I think I screwed this and what you might do. Right.
David Shircliff: [00:21:15] Well and you know Dina that in some ways is just a redefinition of what strength it is in. What I what I try to focus on is your strongest when you have someone you trust that you can be vulnerable with because if you’re not motorable and you’re not dealing with those barriers then they’re just building up and keeping you from your life. And so when you’re asking me of course my colleague Dan Murphy I hear all kinds of things about him because he is someone who I totally trust and is loyal. And I think there are other people in my life who I my girlfriend and my kids. But as far as lawyers go to there are a group of lawyers that I work with in my office that we have a removing barriers. We try to have one at least once a year where we all get involved talking about the things that keep us from being present in our work and with our families. I think it’s vital. I don’t think you can practice law effectively for a long period of time without having some honest discussion about the toll it has on you. And I think fortunately I know in Indiana we’ve become in a lot more vocal about talking about this. I mean lawyers don’t ever talk about the fact that we need to have. We need that we do have secondary trauma that we are experiencing all the time and that we need to deal with it and I think lawyers tend to say I don’t need that
Jeena Cho: [00:22:52] Thoughts as much as they might even talking about it go out you know maybe she can be hacked and then you need to leave the profession you know go be. Right.
David Shircliff: [00:23:03] For me the note what you’re saying look I’m guessing there are listeners that are going to listen to your podcast that are going to be feel experience relief for the first time. Oh my gosh you mean other people experiences too. And in some ways that sounds like wow. But but that’s the reality is that there is not enough discussion about it in the legal community that hey this has serious repercussions. It takes a toll. And if we heal if we can leave these barriers if we can support each other then what we’ll find is our lives will be so much better and more hopeful.
Jeena Cho: [00:23:38] Yeah yeah. You know altında say and that is where you know we’re still as humans. Yes very. Lawyers for various humans and as humans were subject to the human condition which means experiencing emotions sometimes unpleasant ones. And yeah you know that the work that we do has and we were not robots trained like you know if it’s Sunday night just one of them. I know like striking illustration and going back to Feinstein’s book is when he’s on the phone with someone that is going to be executed in the next hour. And to say that he shouldn’t have an emotional reaction to that in that. No. I mean there is.
[00:24:24] I don’t know. To me there is something just kind of psychotic about even suggesting that I should be the normal response like of course you’re going to have you know whatever the emotional reaction has a question going to have a reaction you know and as lawyers it’s also really hard because we tend to really fear our emotions like we don’t want guns we just don’t want to have emotions. And I remember having a mentor right after law school and he would tell me things like you know there’s no there’s no room for emotions in the courtroom and you need to check your emotions douar and I know I just kind of make sense but later on I know I see some high.
David Shircliff: [00:25:03] Right. Right. And in fact I went to the trial lawyers college which is the Gerry Spence travelers College in Wyoming. Several years ago with you know he does personal injury lawyers any lawyers who are doing Trower that are that are not either government employees or that are not with big corporations but trial lawyers and the whole experience was all about how do we find the central emotion. What is the essential emotion. And it was the first free moment I think I’ve had as a trial lawyer to realize hey we can actually use the emotions we feel to help us understand the story of the case. And you know that’s freeing right.
Jeena Cho: [00:25:48] Yeah it is. There’s a huge difference between feeling your emotions and allowing it to be there and reacting from that place of your emotions. It’s fine to feel anger. And obviously that’s your emotion there’s no I can’t not feel it by just saying I’m not going to feel it. But it’s another thing to sort of lash out in anger and yes or no like whatever that natural reaction might be. I think when lawyers say like there’s no room for your emotions that they you know they think that’s maybe the part that they’re part of is how you should react. You know Khazali Sido had to make the best decisions when you’re highly emotionally charged. I think that’s an important distinction to make.
David Shircliff: [00:26:33] Yeah. Well and you know I mean I teach I teach law students trial skills and what I find is that law school basically in some ways sucks your humanity out of you and when you’re doing when you get to the point where you’re doing Trower which by nature has to be I connect with another human being I have to connect with this jury for instance.
[00:27:02] It’s it’s start to see how they want to just talk about the law with no human emotion at all. They’ll talk about like we do a murder case in our in our class and they’ll be OK. Now why you are standing there and say you got shot. Where did her blood go as far as their blood went all over the board. What did you do next. You know and when you think about that. I mean my gosh there’s a jury that’s going to be listening to this going. There is no emotion there. Oh you’re just asking these questions like you’re not even present or you don’t even realize that the like you were talking about a minute ago with the death row person. You’re not even realizing that the moment that you’ve just created in front of the jury and there’s so much you just triggered with them and yet you’re discrediting the question you’re not even present in the room.
Jeena Cho: [00:27:51] But that’s also how we try to analyze in Moscow to say hey I am taking turits and you there would be these horrific injuries. You know when my mom died in a car driving in a pat down with the little kids in the back of a car blows up and everyone dies except for the dad and it’s just like you can’t get at. Like we say the that’s right why allies allies or law disaster long and come to a conclusion come to damages. There’s no such thing happened and we’re not even talking about the fact that it’s this awful thing. And it’s like gets thrown out of clinical and are now sort of sterile and. Yet injurious. Can can’t get my right.
David Shircliff: [00:28:37] But but you’ve hit upon a great point. The fact that we are taught to be fair about it doesn’t mean we’re not covered with the blood if you will after it’s all over it’s just we refuse to recognize it or even understand it. And that’s why when we talk about barriers that are invisible yes we can do a cold analysis. But as you say we’re not robots. And so even though we want to kid ourselves to believe we can coldly analyze this we are just not even aware of the fact that the story itself infects the triggers stuff enough just to feel certain things that we suppress. And they come out another way.
Jeena Cho: [00:29:17] Shifting gears just a little bit. You know I think part of being a not just a public defender but probably in every legal profession out there and there’s this constant sense of measuring your yourself worth some external Jar Jar stack crying whether it be your paycheck or your bonus check you know how many I’m guilty or not guilty verdict you can’t. Which side. And you say you’re sitting on. How do you think about it. Understanding your self-worth and how to use your hands and disengage from that you know extra in all your stack.
David Shircliff: [00:29:56] And that’s so pervasive you know I’m a big fan of all lying. I don’t know if you’ve ever read an AM she’s a puzzle psychologist and Harwood and and basically what she says is when you show up in the world you believe that everything that come that’s new is how the world is. In other words in other words you understand the world to be that period. And that’s part of the world. If for example if you if you are born in a culture that speaks Spanish then you believe as you start to grow that the world is Spanish right. And if you were up in the world speak English or whatever. And and as a result when you think that that’s the way the world is then you judge yourself based on that. So when you walk into a courtroom if the world is you get a guilty verdict you’re bad then that’s how you start to judge yourself.
[00:30:59] No one of the things we do in removing barriers workshopping is critical for I think all of us as we think about it is we try to contextualize what it is to win and you and I talked about this earlier. What it means to fail quote unquote fail. And and so one of the ways I think we struggle with that when we really do a cycle dramatic reinterpretation of the events and what I mean by that. But you remember several years ago when the when the Sugar Land stage went down in Indiana I don’t know if you do or not but it was a pretty big deal. Sugar lands abandoned and there was a huge win. One night at the Indiana State Fair and the stage literally blew off into the into the fan. And there were some people killed and very badly harmed now.
[00:31:55] And the reason I bring that up is because and you know we I was actually part of a reenactment of that some believers to understand exactly what had happened and that was pretty traumatic. I can still remember now hearing the person next to me screaming and their leg and being crushed and they didn’t. And even now that touches me because that’s still with me. I say what we do in the barriers. The reason I’m telling you that is because what we do and the barriers workshop is we go into reenact some of the things that may have happened. And in the instance I told you a minute ago where the attorney had believed she let her client down and her client was curated by the judge. The instance I was talking about earlier what we did was we had people who were part of that group behind her and try to help her understand a different context. We had her become the judge. If you follow me and then people said people will go behind her and say I’ve got to get this case resolved. This guy’s had too many problems. I’ve got to keep the community safe. And as she started to get the context of the judge’s feeling and the judge’s thoughts he started to realize hey maybe this didn’t have anything to do with me.
Jeena Cho: [00:33:27] Yeah that’s so easy to do where we like deeply take everything personally because it feels very personal.
David Shircliff: [00:33:34] Yes. What your question is what your question was. Is that how do we how do we deal with our thoughts of inadequacy. How do we deal with a courtroom that is created in a way that doesn’t necessarily is not necessarily good for who we are or what we are. And I think the way one way to deal with that is to read through textual you understand it’s part of empathy that you understand how what the other players think is the goal.
[00:34:02] And once you realize that their goal is if the system is probably slanted against your child’s client then you can have a real perspective of well hey I did not prepare enough like I should have. And I know the three things I did not do at the same time. The fact that this happened is not just because of that I need to be responsible what I did but I can’t take it all on as if that thing is the reason that all this horrible stuff happened in my forum and.
Jeena Cho: [00:34:34] So hard to tell you. Next time is more comforting because say well you know I was completely in control. And you know there’s something else I could have done it’s so kind of practice see line I’m sure all of us have had the experience of setting a three for arguing something going to be like I should have done more. NASA’s also not an exact science scene out there. Right. And it’s and it’s so easy to now criticize ourselves for that 20 20 hindsight where that decision has been made and you go on and a nation of included that affidavit from that witness who I thought was completely irrelevant. Turns out was kind of relevant.
David Shircliff: [00:35:21] Right. Right. Right. It’s not an exact science. And the other part of it is there are so many other factors that are playing in. Right. I mean in some ways that’s about context too. We think the law that we hope the law is a pure pure like a form of justice but we know that judges have political persuasions of things that they want to do. You know prosecutors have reasons they do what they do that are beyond what justice is and there are other players who have a role that you know. And so as a result there are so many different factors coming into play and I say that especially on and so that also if we internalize it and I’m telling you that that is the key. And you said that a minute ago if we as the lawyers internalize these things as on us even where if you could say objectively they’re not on us. That is a barrier that you’re wearing without even realizing your only thing that you don’t need to own and you don’t even know it.
Jeena Cho: [00:36:32] It has a negative impact on us sort of feeling like we’re somehow responsible for our heart. And that’s a lot older than.
David Shircliff: [00:36:46] Very heavy. You know what I’ve found is that there is this you know Carl Rogers talks about to really be listened to and understood is one of the most sacred things that can happen to you in life. And I think we don’t do enough of that as lawyers with each other really listening and attempting to understand not the fact. Right. I mean that’s what we’re taught. What are the facts. But listening in a way that we hear not just the fact that we hear the emotion we hear the pain we hear the grief we hear the judgment we hear all those things that you’re saying to yourself Yeah yeah.
Jeena Cho: [00:37:35] Yeah and I think it should be part of that is we’re so trained to listen so we can respond and have some sort of you know articulate response give an ice or whatever and we’re not having that great at listening to like really understand the other person’s perspective of you know like we’re like really hard wired to sort of argue for our position or bad you know an and that when the other person feels deeply hurt regardless of whether I agree with him or not that then it kind of opens up the possibility for us to have a mutual understanding again. We don’t we don’t necessarily have to grieve but it kind of you know creates environment where we have more civility.
David Shircliff: [00:38:26] Yes yes when we can be with another and be authentic with them and they can be authentic with us and we can hear them and they can hear us. Only then can we even understand each other.
Jeena Cho: [00:38:37] David analysts have said that they are interested in attending one of the workshops and a place for them to do that.
David Shircliff: [00:38:46] Probably the best thing to do is to send me an email when I will give you a short clip Warner at me dot com so that sh I are the fly at the number Waurn at any time and he is on the old Apple Mac thing.
[00:39:05] So it’s not like I’m not about all about me. You know any.
[00:39:11] One of the things that we’re going to ingest is I would I would talk to my colleague about this and you would love to come out and ask you to maybe put some of your listeners together and do a workshop. We think it would be so experience so it’s hard to talk about in a podcast. I mean we didn’t get into much of what it actually happened because it’s kind of one of those thing you have to be present for to really kind of get the the effects and the impact. But I would be really very interested in doing that and after reading your your ABH article I thought Wow. You’ve definitely been through some really traumatic events obviously and you when you’ve weathered them quite well. I mean it’s really amazing and you’re very articulate.
Jeena Cho: [00:39:57] So thank you. And I think that’s a fantastic idea for adolescents out there.
[00:40:06] Who are interested in mentoring a workshop passion workshop with David and myself and perhaps others just you can drop me an email or drop didn’t. Now let’s see what happens. And I love doing that. I’m putting out ideas into the world and seeing a scene that resonates to you.
David Shircliff: [00:40:30] I had really enjoyed listening to your podcast and I found them to be a really great voice. That’s not easy to find out there that really does share what lawyers go through and how we can impact each other by the medication through yoga through a different way on the police.
[00:40:53] And so I just want to say that I really appreciated the we’re.
Jeena Cho: [00:40:58] Thank you. Thank you. I love that framing. Coming up more complete human being. And now they’re there at the retail flea where walking and consistently in that direction of the more whole and art and really enjoy ourselves. Now David what does it mean to be a resilient lawyer to you.
David Shircliff: [00:41:24] It means to be a lawyer and that is fully present and fully authentic and genuine.
[00:41:35] To be a lawyer he can read who can be joyful who can see their fellow travelers as fellow travelers in a way that regardless of what pain you may feel regardless of the emotions that you go through. That’s part of being human and to be embraced and and looked at as a gift.
[00:42:00] I would say and only in that way I think can we as lawyers continue to see our fellow travelers our clients and working with them in a very authentic genuine and caring way.
Jeena Cho: [00:42:14] David thank you so much for joining me today. We really appreciate you being with me and your sharing your time.
David Shircliff: [00:42:21] I really enjoyed it, thank you.
Closing: [00:42:26] Thanks for joining us on The Resilient Lawyer podcast. If you’ve enjoyed the show, please tell a friend. It’s really the best way to grow the show. To leave us a review on iTunes, search for The Resilient Lawyer and give us your honest feedback. It goes a long way to help with our visibility when you do that, so we really appreciate it. As always, we’d love to hear from you. E-mail us at [email protected] Thanks and look forward to seeing you next week.