In his Abovethelaw.com column today, lawyer-journalist, Joe Patrice, admits that it is difficult to motivate lawyers to attend special events related to the law. After all, practicing law is a time-consuming function, with not a lot of certainty about one's schedule.
However, Patrice then raises questions if conducting an alcohol Happy Hour afterward is, well, a troublesome ritual. No fools, event hosts know that in American society booze is the catnip for the Professional Class. Making booze available, preferably free, can ensure a well-attended event.
At the end of the article, Patrice polls readers. More than 70% view serving drinks as okay. Here you can read Patrice's column.
A 2016 joint study by the American Bar Association and Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation found that one out of three lawyers is a problem drinker. Here is the coverage in The New York Times.
So, Patrice has a good reason to raise this issue. It can be assumed that a number of lawyers at the Happy Hour will be struggling with alcohol abuse, in recovery or suffering a relapse.
The legal profession is not alone in this. The players in my field of communications are also known to be heavy-hitters in boozing.
When I was employed full-time in public affairs at a major oil company, probably everyone but one in the executive communications unit, at that time, was, had been, would be or should have been in an alcohol treatment program.
Irony: My boss took me out the bar to "talk to me" about my drinking. A former member of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), he was off the wagon then. Both of us got sloshed.
But since our industry is inherently social, boozing is a must-have at special events and client meetings. There are lots of those.
The same applies in the legal industry. Sure, many of the tasks are performed by monkish types who labor hidden away. However, the key functions involve public interactions. For those to go more smoothly and maybe even more effectively several hits of alcohol can make the obstacles seem less formidable.
In recovery for a while, I was warned at AA meetings, when applying to law school as a career change, that my sobriety would be at risk. "There is too much drinking at client meetings," lawyers told me. As a 1L, I didn't lose my sobriety. I lost my mind. I returned to the communications career path.
Simplification, Tone of Authority, Wit. Those are the NOW communications work-horses. Contact Jane Genova for complimentary consultation for your advocacy/marketing communications (firstname.lastname@example.org).