Judge Gary Flower

Judge Gary Flower relaxes on a hammock near a body of water

When in need of a quick recharge I… Spend time at the beach. Surfing or relaxing among the waves always revitalizes me when I need a pick-me-up. I also spend time each day reading something that I enjoy and am interested in. Stimulating your mind is just as beneficial and important to your overall health as eating right and exercising regularly.

My preferred method of exercise is… Gym workouts with weights. My wife and I walk through the door of the gym five days a week at 5:00 A.M. We are multitasking by spending time together while working out, encouraging each other and talking about our day. Discover the forms of exercise you enjoy. Set goals and measure your progress. Eat a good breakfast. Drink plenty of water.  Know the restaurants near you and treat yourself to a healthy option.

The first thing I do when I wake up is… I go to the gym with my wife every morning at 5:00 am. This strengthens our bond, and gives us time together outside of the house. 

The one thing I would tell a stressed out and overwhelmed young lawyer is… Burn out is a very real thing in our profession as both judges and lawyers. Take a break if you are hitting a wall. Whether it be a half-day, or just a 30 minute walk, you should take a break when you feel like you are stressed to the point of losing your head. A small break here and there will keep you focused on the task at hand. 

I keep my priorities straight by… Staying healthy and living an active lifestyle. As long as I remember to do those things, I can keep my priorities straight. Healthy living concerns the mind as much as it does the body.

The most gratifying part about my job is…The opportunity to mentor young lawyers. I follow the tenant that “people are not my burden to bear but my privilege to serve.” 

My favorite snack is… An energy bar. These keep me nourished and focused. Having a healthy snack can be a nice break, and can also help you get through the day. 

The best way to promote health & wellness among lawyers is… Finding a work/life balance that meets the needs of both the lawyer’s career and the lawyer’s family life. This balance is hard for everyone, and what works for me may not work for you. I offer this advice for balancing work and life. There are often choices that you will be forced to make during your career where you are being asked to choose between your family and your profession. These choices are known as defining moments as both of these choices are the right thing to do. Always keep everything in perspective when making these kinds of choices, and know that you cannot please everyone. The stress of trying to please everyone is not healthy! Your family and your career both deserve your quality time, so plan vacations, attend your children’s sporting events and recitals and work those long hours when it is appropriate to do so.

The happiest lawyers are those that… Give back to the community and find time for themselves. Helping others be happy will make you happy. Taking pride in and serving the community is an essential part of health and wellness. In addition, we all need a little alone time whether it be weekly or daily. This alone time is a great way to clear your head.

Law schools should teach… Work/life balance. Balancing work and life can be a tall task, but for those that devote time and attention to that balance can find happiness in both their career and their personal life. If law schools would teach about the amount of stress placed on young attorneys, it may help a young lawyer steer clear of drug and alcohol abuse, for example. Drug and alcohol abuse is a very real concern for young attorneys, and it is important to discuss this potential for abuse with young attorneys.