The Every Lawyer

Mental Health in the Legal Profession - Justice George R. Strathy

Episode Summary

Justice George R. Strathy speaks candidly about mental health in the legal profession.

Episode Notes

Julia welcomes recently retired Chief Justice of Ontario, George R. Strathy to discuss his motivation in publishing these two articles on mental health in the legal profession:

The Litigator and Mental Health - Court of Appeal for Ontario (

Reflections on Mental Health - Court of Appeal for Ontario ( 

and get his first impressions of the recently published groundbreaking nationwide study by the University of Sherbrooke on the psychological health determinants of legal professionals in Canada:

EN_Preliminary report_Cadieux et al_Université de Sherbrooke_221024.pdf (

They also discuss the impacts of working from home and the billable hour system on maintaining good mental health, as well as the importance of mentorship:

Canadian Bar Association - Mentorship Programs (


Episode Transcription

Mental Health in the Legal Profession - Justice George R. Strathy

[Start of recorded material 00:00:00]

Julia:                 Welcome to another episode of The Every Lawyer on Mental Health in the Legal Profession. I’m Julia Tetrault-Provencher.

Male:                This is The Every Lawyer, presented by the Canadian Bar Association. 

Julia:                 Our guest today is Justice George R. Strathy, recently retired Chief Justice of Ontario. October 2022 saw the release of the first ever comprehensive national study on the psychological health determinants of legal professionals – it’s such a long title – sponsored by the Canadian Bar Association and the Federation of Law Societies. 

                          Baroness Hail talks about imposter syndrome in her memoir. Justice Strathy, you published an article, it’s called, “The Litigator and Mental Health”, earlier this year. The pandemic is clearly a major factor, and mental health is one of the key issues of our time and our profession. 

                          I had the pleasure to read your article, and I must say, and you saw when I sent you my first email, I was very amazed, because I really liked what you were saying in that article. And I very much invite, also, our listeners to read it. So, Justice Strathy, welcome. Welcome to our podcast. It’s an honour to have you here with us today. We’re very glad. So, how are you?

George:             I’m well, Julia. Thank you so much for inviting me to join you today. I really appreciate the opportunity to speak with you. 

Julia:                 So let’s jump in right away. Has the discussion on mental health in the legal profession been overdue for a long time? Do you think it’s something that should have happened before?

George:             The short answer to your question is yes, it is overdue. And yes, it should have happened a long time ago. I think the reason why it hasn’t happened is due to the stigma that is attached to mental health or mental illness in our society and in the legal profession. 

And I think the effect of stigma is that people are, quite frankly, afraid to talk about the subject, afraid to bring their own experiences to the front. And afraid because they fear that if they disclose their mental health challenges that they will be seen to be unable to do the job of a lawyer, seen to, unable to withstand the stress of lawyering. Will not get good work in their law firm, will not get promoted, will be regarded as unreliable and won’t advance in the profession. And I think the key thing, or one of the key things, I think, that is happening now, is that people are starting to talk about mental health in the profession.

                          And by doing so – and by some leaders of the profession coming forward and talking about the subject, we are destigmatizing mental illness and, I hope, encouraging an open dialogue so that people can get help. 

Julia:                 Yeah, definitely. And I kind of feel like you’re one of the first, I mean as a leader, you know, in the profession, to really open up and talk about it. I mean, there has been other people. We have interviewed Justice Holland as well. But it’s so great to see, also, that you opened up. And also, what actually moved you to publish your article and to speak to us today? What was the key factor?

George:             Well, there are a couple of things. One is, as you’ve said, some leaders of the profession have come forward to share their own experiences. So, for example, former Supreme Court of Canada Judge, Clément Gascon, has spoken of his own experiences with mental illness. 

                          I was inspired by Orlando DaSilva, a former president of the Ontario Bar Association, speaking about his challenges. And a very senior lawyer at the Ministry of Attorney General, Beth Beattie, has spoken about her challenges. What got me speaking about it initially was back in 19 – or 2021, when Beth Beattie and the Treasurer of the Law Society of Ontario, Theresa Donnelly, sponsored a mental health summit in Ontario for the Law Society, by the Law Society, and I was asked whether I would speak at the summit and do, kind of, introductory remarks to welcome everyone. 

                          And what I said when I was asked to do that was, I wanted to think about it for a while. Because I knew that if I was going to speak at an event like that, I needed to speak about my mother’s own challenges with bipolar illness. And I did speak that year at the summit in 2021 about my mother’s experiences and our family’s experiences with our mother’s mental health. A mental illness that was with her essentially all her life from the time I was a young child until she died many, many years later. 

                          So that prompted me to start speaking about mental illness. And my paper in 2022 entitled, "The Litigator in Mental Health" was kind of a second step in the same direction, all with a view to getting the discussion going and out in the open. 

Julia:                 And I feel like what you say in your article kind of also links to the findings in the report. Because when we were talking with Dr. Galdy last week, she said one of the findings is that the culture in the legal profession is a lot about being a gladiator, as you say in the article. And you don’t want to show the people, you know, this idea that you will be – people will judge you and that they will not trust you.

                          And you say – so, in your article, you mention gladiator and lawyer, and then, you know, you should Google that, it’s not something you usually hear. But then, I kind of feel like it goes together. I felt like I had already heard that, but probably not. It’s just the feeling that we might have sometimes that it’s really how we feel, like gladiators. 

                          And could you tell us a bit more about the myth of the gladiator litigator’s, how you call it, where it comes from and why it’s so important that we finally let go of it? 

George:             Thanks very much. I might just add a commercial message of my own.

Julia:                 Yeah, please do. 

George:             That paper is available, along with the paper I wrote about my mother’s mental health challenges – that’s available on the website of the Court of Appeal for Ontario under the section, “About the Court”. And then there’s a section on publication. So that’s where your listeners can find it if they need to find it. 

                          But let me say, that in the paper, I mention that the myth of the gladiator litigator is not unique to litigation, it’s embedded in the legal profession itself and it affects all lawyers, whether they’re litigators, commercial lawyers, estates and family lawyers, real estate lawyers. Everyone is affected by what I see as a destructive and harmful myth, that we are invincible, that we can suck it up, that we can power through working long days and nights, and we never talk about it. We just keep it to ourselves, and heal our own wounds and rely on ourselves. 

And I think it’s harmful because it creates a model that some lawyers, particularly younger lawyers, feel they have to aspire to. And they somehow also feel that if they don’t meet this model, they’re less than a good lawyer. 

                          And the truth is, and what I try to say in the paper, all of us, even experienced litigators – and I did litigation all my career, of 30 years of practice, all of us feel nervous and apprehensive about going to court. All of us perspire. Our hands shake. Our stomachs grumble. It’s a natural feeling. And also, it’s not healthy to keep it bottled up inside. It’s healthy to talk about it and realize that other people are affected by it. 

                          I think the other thing that’s terribly destructive about the myth is that it leads people to think that they have to work ridiculous hours. They have to, you know, ignore the other important things in their lives, like family and rest and recreation. And it encourages a culture that makes us disposed to become workaholics, whether, as I say, whether we’re litigators or others.

                          And, you know, [workaholism] goes along with other isms and other unhealthy habits. For example, obviously, too much alcohol, which is a significant problem in our profession, as the University of Sherbrook’s study indicates. So, as I say in my paper, I think we have to recognize that, in a sense, that mental health is something we all have. It’s something we all have to look after, our own mental health. And getting rid of the stigma, talking about it, putting it out in the open is a big step towards that. 

Julia:                 But also, because I was hearing – I mean, I totally agree with what you say. But I also think that – and I’d like to have your views on that, and when we talk about stigma, I feel, also, it’s because we have this idea that we need to keep like our private life. And when, you know, the fight that you’ve been so open about, your mother’s illness, and I feel like this is something that we should all be comfortable if we are to talk about it. And it’d be like, “Oh, I’m talking about my private life”. It’s just, “No, it’s not your private, it’s part of who you are and it’s part of what you’re living”. 

So, I think it’s really great that you took a step and you talked about it. Because, sometimes, you just keep everything like as if it was like perfect silos between private life and work life and everything. But I don’t think it is. I think humans are very complex. So, thank you for sharing, also, that as well. I wanted really to highlight that. 

George:             Well, I was just going to say, I’m not suggesting that it’s an easy thing to do, particularly for people affected by mental illness; it is not easy. And that’s where I think law firms and others have a responsibility to create an environment in which people are comfortable. Studies have indicated that of individuals affected by mental illness, including the legal profession, at least half of those affected by mental illness do not disclose it out of concerns about their advancement in their careers. 

                          And I think ways have to be found in law firms to enable people to disclose their health issues and to have accommodations where necessary. And I’m not proposing a specific form of making that possible, but I think that law firms do have to create a culture in which people talk and they’re encouraged to talk. And they’re assured that talking is a good thing that will ultimately improve not only their health but the health of the firm as a whole. 

Julia:                 Yeah. And there’s no – as you say, there’s no like solutions for it, I think. All the employees and all firms, it’s different, so they all need to maybe get along, talk about it and say what’s the issues and try to find some solution. But to destigmatize mental health and make it easier to reach out, do you think that, for instance, regular mandatory mental health checks could help? Or regular mandatory – I don’t know, something that will be regular, or at least that would be mentioned. I don’t know if you have any like – not like a solution, but do you see some solutions that could maybe be a first step?

George:             You know, I’m not sure anything mandatory is the way to approach it. I worry that that – something that’s mandatory will frighten people rather than help them. But I think there are ways in which law firms could develop practices that address one of the number one concerns. And this was a concern identified in the University of Sherbrook study. And that is, people need to find a way to disconnect. 

And the study indicated that one of the best methods of improving mental health in law firms was to give people the ability to disconnect and the ability to take personal ownership of their time. And if firms were to do that, and create a system that ensures that people have a proper opportunity to refresh themselves, to revive themselves, to get away from the turmoil of work, that, more than anything else, would improve mental health. 

                          And I mean, just take one example, everybody recognizes in the law that there are times when you have to work full out. If you’re in the middle of a trial, you have to work full out. If you’re doing a commercial closing, you have to work full out. If you’re in a family law litigation, you’re working full out. But that’s not all the time. 

It’s not a life that is endless emergencies, so why not have a rule that unless it’s an emergency you don’t make phone calls to people in the firm after 6:00 in the evening? You don’t send emails after 6:00 until the next morning. And why not have the same rule on weekends? You know, you don’t call your associates on the weekend. You don’t send emails to your associates, or partners for that matter, on the weekend, unless it’s an emergency. And so people can know that they can go home at 6:00 at night, spend time with their family, you know. Maybe they’ll work some of that time, but they don’t feel that they have to. And the same with weekends.

                          And the other thing, and I noticed that [Dr. Kaducit] said this as well in your interview, I think, that, “Let people take holidays”. 

Julia:                 Yeah.

George:             In fact, demand that they take holidays. When I started in the practice of law, which is longer ago than I want to admit, but when I started in practice, the first thing my boss told me was, “George, plan your holidays now, because we all take several weeks of holidays in the summertime”. And in those days, you know, you could go to a cottage and nobody could reach you, because there was no phone at the cottage or cell phones.

Julia:                 Yeah.

George:             And people need holidays. They need meaningful holidays. They need a chance to refresh, relax, enjoy the people they care about and not have to worry about work. And it should not be that hard. Instead, we have young lawyers boasting that they haven’t taken a holiday in two years. 

Julia:                 Yeah. It’s kind of pride. Yeah.

George:             Yeah. Or they boast they don’t have a life. Well, what kind of life is not having a life? 

Julia:                 It’s true. It’s so true. Yeah. 

George:             So, I really feel strongly that if firms are not – it has its repercussions forcing people to work, or requiring people to work such crazy hours and without breaks. It leads to burnout. It leads to people leaving the profession, as we’ve seen time and time again. So, I’m sorry. I’ve gone on too long, Julia, on that. But I feel so strongly that this is counterproductive. People are being expected to achieve the unachievable, and the results, not surprising, is their mental health is paying the price.

Julia:                 Not at all. You haven’t been too long at all. And I think it’s – I feel very strong about it too. So it’s very interesting that you really put some emphasis on that. And do you think that because – you know, you said at the cottage, at the time, you could disconnect. And do you feel that with the COVID, and I think – I’m a big fan of remote working, but then, I also realized the tricky part of this, it’s like, “Oh, I feel like I don’t work because I’m at home”. Or “I can just open my computer at 7:00 p.m.” So, do you think that it’s also something we need to be careful of? 

I mean, yes, it’s good, because it’s easier to kind of – to have this balance between family life and work, but at the same time, your work is at your house. So do you think – like, how do you see that in the future for young lawyers, maybe, juggling with that?

George:             It’s a very, very interesting question. And it’s one I’ve been thinking about a lot. You know, we’ve obviously been through a dreadful two and a half years with COVID. What’s happened is unimaginable. But one of the things that has come out of it, and this is important, I think that COVID has taken away the stigma of working at home. You know, before COVID, it used to be thought that working at home was kind of second-class work, nobody – people weren’t really working. They were putting up their feet and watching television. We know that’s not true. We know that people work really hard at home. 

                          And I, personally, think that we will never go back to where we were before COVID when it comes to working at home. Obviously, we’re going through a period now that businesses and employees are adjusting. But my guess is that we will always continue to have some work in the office for lawyers and some work at home and it will be a matter of negotiation and discussion about what works. 

But you’re absolutely right; the other side effect of this is that the boundaries between work and home have ceased to exist. You know, work’s home and home’s work. And it’s absolutely true that people are – you know, who used to maybe be able to leave the office and leave the work behind, now it’s always there; but for about me too. 

But now, what I think we’re – part of the reason I suggest we need to start setting some boundaries, we need to have some timeout periods where we say, “OK, you know, after 6:00” or pick a time, after that time, you don’t get disturbed unless it’s an emergency. And when I mean emergency, I don’t mean, you know, something that can – I mean something that cannot possibly wait until the next day. 

Julia:                 Yeah.

George:             I mean, what a culture change that would be. Just to go back to when I started out practicing, it was considered rude to phone somebody – to phone somebody in the evening. 

Julia:                 Yeah.

George:             Unless it was your parent, your mother or your father. But for an employer to phone an employee was considered rude, same with the weekends. Suppose we went back to that, you know, say, don’t phone. It’s their time. It’s private time. I think that kind of culture change is feasible and possible. And it would be a huge step in the right direction. 

Julia:                 And what would you say to the senior ones who might say, “Well, you know, when I was…” – like compared to you, you will say, "When I was younger, I had to do that, you know. I had to work my ass off”. Sorry for that. “I had to work very hard”. So, you know, it’s normal that a younger needs to do it as well. Because that’s what you have to do. It’s [French 00:22:12], we say in French. So what do you answer to that?

George:             Well, I’d say, you know, a couple of things. People don’t go into law if they’re afraid of work, you know. It’s a profession in which you have to work. And as I said earlier, you are expected to work in emergencies. And I would include a trial in that. 

You know, in a trial you’re often in court all day, you spend the time before court and after court getting ready for the next day. So that – sure, that’s part of what it is to be a lawyer. But I don’t think it’s part of – I wouldn’t want to belong to a profession that said, “Well, you have to keep working even outside of emergencies because I did it”. Maybe you did it because that was the culture at the time, but let’s talk about changing the culture.

And, you know, I think – you haven’t asked me this, but I think the model of law firms, based on billable hours, is a model that encourages [workaholicism] or [workaholism]. It’s like – and you know, it’s like, think of the mouse on the wheel, if you give the mouse a piece of cheese every 15 minutes, the mouse keeps on running until it’s exhausted. And the billable hour system that rewards hours, no matter how productive or unproductive they are, I think, is ultimately a flawed model and it gives no consideration to the quality of those hours. 

And speaking as if I were a client, I wouldn’t want to be billed whatever it is per hour for somebody working at 2:00 in the morning who is exhausted, isn’t exercising very good judgement and is just thinking about when they can finally get to bed. 

Julia:                 Yeah. That’s a good point. That’s a very good point. Like quantity over quality a bit. Yeah. I’ve never thought about that. But, you know, definitely. 

And so you kind of touched a little bit on some recommendations, not recommendations, but kind of that you make also in your article, but one that I really liked, and as a young lawyer myself, as a woman, this gets serious about mentoring. I really liked it. Because I think – with me, I know that for me, it’s very important to have like a good mentor. And I know to a lot of my friends also, it’s very important. 

But I just like to hear you a little bit more about this because I feel it’s very fresh and it’s very – I like it. I find it very important for us and for our younger lawyers as well, and for the senior one also. Because I think, like for everybody, it’s very interesting. So, if you’d like to talk a bit about this, I’d like that. 

George:             It is a very important subject. I can tell you that as a judge – when I was sitting as a judge, it was often a subject of discussion amongst the judges. And I think the predominant feeling was that somehow we’re losing our tradition of mentoring in the profession. I think there’s a number of reasons for that. 

One is, you know, mentoring takes time. It takes time – often time just getting to know someone. Sitting around over a cup of coffee or a meal and talking, or doing things. Going for a walk together with another lawyer and just chatting, chatting. And time, in this regime, that says the billable hour is rewarded, there’s a tendency to say, "Well, because I can’t charge for this work, I’m not going to do it”. 

I know that that – you know, no lawyer would say that openly, or think that that’s a good idea, but the reality is – again, I hate to talk about when I was a young lawyer, but you know, people took juniors to court just because it was the thing you did. It was a thing that more senior lawyers did. They took them along just to watch. They might be given a small job like taking notes, but they’re put somewhere where they wouldn’t do any harm but at least had a chance to watch how lawyers behaved, how judges behaved, and so they could learn, you know what lawyers do. 

The other – you know, it’s a conundrum. I’m not sure how we solve it. But the tendency to remote operation also impacts mentoring, you know. We tend to do remote things and say it starts at 10:00; it finishes at 11:00, everybody hangs up and that’s the end of the discussion. And some of the best mentoring that I ever received was just sitting in another lawyer’s office talking to them, or watching how they dealt with clients or witnesses. And those things are hard to do on Zoom or over the phone.

I have one last thought about mentoring. I have lots of thoughts about mentoring, but let me just share one. In fact, I just had coffee this morning, for real, with a younger lawyer. And we were talking about mentoring. And I said, you know, “I’m not sure that it’s helpful to say I need a mentor”, as in one-to-one mentor. I think, in the course of a lawyer’s career, they may have many mentors in the sense of people to whom they look for advice, people they can watch, study, learn from. And I don’t think mentoring needs to be a one-on-one relationship. 

I think part of the job of senior members of the profession is to help any junior member of the profession who asks them for help. And I think we need to create an environment in which newer members of the profession should feel comfortable in approaching more senior and more experienced members of the profession and say, you know, “Do you think we could have a cup of coffee? I’d like to talk about my career”. Or, “I’ve got a trial coming up; I wonder if you could give me a little bit of advice?” 

I don’t know a single lawyer who wouldn’t be happy to respond to that kind of approach. So, that’s just a thought. 

Julia:                 That’s a very important thought and I totally agree with it. And I think that’s one of the key solutions, also. And it’s also – it’s the feeling of being together, you know, and so having colleagues and collegiality. Which I think is also very important as judges. So, thank you for sharing a bit of that. And I also wanted to know, like did you ever – did you have any mentors at this moment, or did you have any mentors during your practice or role models that you’d like to share?

George:             Well, I would say definitely. You know, I was fortunate I started out in a small law firm, a small litigation firm that were, perhaps, eight or ten lawyers in that firm at any given point doing litigation. And they routinely took me to court. They routinely took me to Bar events, introduced me to other lawyers, introduced me to judges, you know, demonstrated by their own behaviour how litigators work, how they treat one another, how they behave in court. 

And it just so happens, this month, Ian Benny wrote an article in the Advocate’s Journal about that firm, and he and a number of other litigators were mentors for me. But we never used the word mentor. I didn’t hear the word mentor until about 15 years ago. They just thought of themselves as lawyers doing what lawyers do, bringing on the younger members of the profession because they cared about the profession and cared about the people they worked with.

                          And so I did. And to be honest, I – when I became a judge, I had mentors too. You know, we were given – when I was first appointed to the Superior Court; I was told that I would be shadowing another judge, and she took me to court. We talked in her office afterwards about what had happened. I watched how she behaved in court. And that lasted for only a few weeks, because judges don’t go into other judges’ courtrooms, hence they’re judges. But I had the chance as a rookie to watch her. And I watched other judges, you know, over the years and got a sense.

                          So, I think we all need role models; you know. Nobody joins the profession of law with a depth of wisdom and experience. We need that. And we need to understand.

Julia:                 Yeah. Yeah. And I will also take the time maybe to say – because I know that the Canadian Bar Association has a mentorship program, and I think it’s very great as well. So maybe I would encourage people to look this up, because I really do believe in mentorship as well. It really did help me, and also, to – yeah, to hear about other people’s careers. 

And you know the anxiety that you might have as a lawyer; it really helps out. So, thank you very much. And any other good practices that you’d like to share here that you haven’t mentioned that you have seen in your career or that you’ve heard of that you’d like to share in this podcast?

George:             Well, let me go, just briefly, back to the University of Sherbrook’s study. And one of the things that it talked about, in addition to creating boundaries, is the importance of giving lawyers a sense of personal control and the ability to set boundaries. And I think that’s a big part of mental wellness, is the ability to set ones on boundaries. And I think, I’ve said time and again, when I speak to lawyers, that we do have a personal agency or ability to take control of our own lives. And I think taking control of our own lives means taking time for ourselves and for our families. And for the other important things that are necessary to nourish our mental wellness. 

And so I don’t – you know, I don’t – mental illness is an illness, but mental wellness is something we all have. And we do have the agency and ability to take control of our mental wellness. And I urge lawyers, all lawyers, to think about that and to make time for themselves and those people and things that are important to them. 

Julia:                 Thank you. And I would have one last question, because, you know, as – so you were a lawyer. Now you were a judge. And I feel like – and you’re a public figure. I mean it can be challenging in different levels. It can bring another level of anxiety of stress as being a judge. I believe so. I mean, I have no idea. But that’s what I believe when I read decisions and everything, I’m like I’m very impressed. 

And I’d like to know, do you feel that the mental health challenges are different or they evolved, or they are different, they have different angles, or they have different – yeah, just different in their career trials, in your career, that you feel that you need to be more careful at some point when you’re a young lawyer versus now that you’re a well-seasoned judge? And do you have any advice that you’d like to give to perspective judges? But also, to younger lawyers, in terms of taking care of your mental wellness at the point where you are in your life? 

Because also, the report, what I found very interesting was that there is a difference between young lawyers versus senior ones. Because we don’t – we live things differently. We have different – yeah; we are at different places in our lives and everything. So I’d like, yeah, to hear you a bit. As a judge, do you feel like there were new challenges that you didn’t have before?

George:             I think the answer is very definitely yes. There are new challenges in being a judge. It’s a very satisfying career. It brings a sense of doing something that is publically worthwhile and publically important. But it’s also very challenging in a number of respects. One is, the work is substantial. I’ve often said I worked very hard as a lawyer, but I’ve never worked as hard as I did when I became a judge. The work is constant. It’s interesting, but it’s very challenging. And judges work very hard. 

                          I would say there is, also, in many respects, enormous pressure. There’s enormous pressure to get it right, get it right for the parties, reach the right, just and fair result. And sometimes, it – many times it does not come easily. It takes a great deal of work, and a great deal of analysis, and a great deal of caring and empathy. And so, there is pressure to get it right. There are time pressures. There’s a heavy workload. 

In many jurisdictions, it’s a daily new case, every single day, sometimes multiple new cases every day. And dealing with those, disposing of those, writing reasons, giving reasons can be sometimes an overwhelming task. And just like lawyers have to learn skills about how to deal efficiently with their work, so judges have to learn how to deal efficiently with their work. And it comes with challenges. It comes with stresses. And judges are no different from lawyers when it comes to the impact of stress and workload and those sorts of pressures.

Julia:                 And that brings me to – I said it was my last question, but now that you said that it makes me think of something else that I read in your article, which I never heard before, was the growth mindset. And I’d like you maybe to share a bit of what it is exactly. 

George:             I have to say, I don’t remember saying that in the article. 

Julia:                 So when you say – you talk about a growth mindset, use intelligence and talents as abilities to be cultivated through effort and practice, learning from mistakes and sticking to it when it is not going well. Gladiator litigators use every success or failure in litigation as a measure of self-growth. And I find it very interesting, you know, this difference between how – the mindset that you should have when you’re a lawyer. 

George:             Yeah. Thanks. Thanks for refreshing me. Now I do.

Julia:                 Of course. I mean, it isn’t easy. I picked some stuff in your articles. 

George:             No, no. It’s OK. Yeah. I think it’s true, you know, in the litigation business the big highs and big lows. You know, high when you win and a big low when you lose, after you’ve invested all that time in the case. 

                          Or you go – you know, you win at trial, huge celebration, and you go in front of the court of Appeal for Ontario and you lose and you’re despondent and discouraged and upset. I had – I guess, and maybe it’s just because it happened over time, I had the ability to move on. 

I think you have to develop an ability to move on and realize – you know, celebrate the win, sure, but know as well that you’re going to have losses too. And realize that you can lose cases. I mean, I used to say, you know, I’ve won some cases that I didn’t deserve to win and I’ve lost some cases that I did deserve to win. But you have to, you know, not realize – sure, celebrate your wins, feel sorry about your losses, but move on.

                          And also, as you’ve pointed out, or, I guess, as I pointed out, you know, learn from your experiences, think about, you know, what worked in that case and what didn’t work, what is the takeaway, no matter what happened? And I think if you do that it ultimately creates a more healthy approach to your practice, because there’s always going to be losses. Anyway, that’s the way I’d be thinking about it. 

Julia:                 Yeah. OK. Well, thank you. But I think that’s also the idea, because you were talking about you as a judge, you know, the pressure, you want to get it right; you want to make sure, because for the parties, but also it’s a decision, people will read you. But I think at some point, also, as for lawyers, for judges, it’s hard to do, but to detach yourself, you know, to move on and to be like, yeah, I did the best I could. And if it didn’t work, it didn’t work out. But, you know, be nice to yourself.

Like you want people to be – like you are nice with others. I think it’s something like that. But yes, I think that’s – I don’t know if there’s something that I didn’t ask you that you would like me to ask you. But otherwise, it was very nice to have you in this podcast. 

George:             Thank you. I think we’ve covered just about everything that I wanted to talk about, and my papers are there for those who are interested in pursuing it. But I really appreciated the opportunity to speak with you, Julia. And thank you so much. 

Julia:                 Thank you so much for joining us today, Chief Justice Strathy. And I’m sorry, for a French speaker, it’s very difficult. So, I’ll say that again. Thank you so much for joining us today, Chief Justice Strathy. And – yeah.

George:             You got it absolutely right, but I’m not Chief Justice – I’m not Chief Justice anymore. 

Julia:                 Oh, OK, so just Justice. 

George:             No. Or Mr. Strathy is fine, but whatever. You got the pronunciation perfect. 

Julia:                 Well, thank you very much. 

                          So if you enjoyed this podcast, please rate it and share it with friends and colleagues. And look out for them. Also, look out for mental health episodes of The Every Lawyer in the weeks and month ahead.

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