The Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey (HBA-NJ) is hosting its Second Annual Mental Education & Nurturing Through Engagement (M.E.N.T.E.) Conference on May 17, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. This year’s event will be held virtually and will tackle mental health struggles silently affecting the legal profession and our community. Our panelists will share personal stories and expert advice as part of the HBA-NJ’s efforts to eradicate stigmas in our profession surrounding mental health, answer your questions, and equip you with tools to help you and your loved ones navigate the challenges to mental health posed by the legal profession.
THE HBA-NJ WILL BE OFFERING CLE CREDITS FOR THIS EVENT, INCLUDING ETHICS CREDITS FOR NEW JERSEY AND PENNSYLVANIA!
Zoom link and CLE details/forms will be provided prior to the conference date.
The Second Annual M.E.N.T.E. Conference (Mental Education & Nourishment Through Engagement) will focus on the following goals.
1. BREAK THE STIGMA: Help attorneys realize that they are not alone when dealing with issues related to their psychological well-being.
2. EMPOWER SELF-CARE: Give practical techniques to help cope with anxiety, burn out, and imposter syndrome.
3. GUIDE TOWARDS HELP: Provide resources available to attorneys, such as Lawyers Assistance Programs (LAPs), support groups and hotlines and explain how they can help.
The M.E.N.T.E. Conference will help attorneys realize that they are not alone when dealing with issues related to their mental health and well-being. This 90-minute panel discussion will make attorneys aware that others have faced and overcome similar issues, helping destigmatize the act of seeking help. The M.E.N.T.E. Conference panelist will not only share personal stories—but will also provide practical techniques that attorneys can begin implementing to help reduce anxiety and the potential for burnout. Additionally, Deputy Ethics Counsel from the Office of Attorney Ethics of the Supreme Court of New Jersey will explain the obligations related to seeking help when not doing so can interfere with your ability to effectively represent your clients. The panel will also explain the confidentiality and efficacy of New Jersey’s Lawyers Assistance Program.
To this end, we have assembled an esteemed panel of professionals with experience in the field of mental health in the legal profession. Our panel consists of:
Raul Ayala, Esq.
Deputy Federal Public Defender, Collaborative Courts Supervising Attorney, Office of the Federal Public Defender
Raul Ayala is the Collaborative Courts Supervising Attorney for the Federal Public Defender’s Office in the Central District of California. In addition, he is a team member of the Substance Abuse Treatment and Reentry (STAR) Program, the district’s post-conviction reentry drug court. Raul has been part of the CASA and STAR programs since 2011, and also serves as the office supervisor for its developing Social Services Unit. As a recovering alcoholic since 2004, Raul has served on the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, on the board of The Other Bar, Inc. (a California non-profit organization for legal professionals in recovery), and is currently co-chair of the HNBA Attorney Wellness Committee.
Grissel Seijo, Esq.
Senior Director, Counsel, Employment Law
Grissel Seijo has over 20 years of psychological counseling and legal advocacy experience, spending the last decade as an employment and labor attorney in Florida and New York. As Senior Director, Employment Legal, Ms. Seijo dedicates her time to counseling the business on a wide variety of topics from hiring, recruiting, retention, training, coaching, progressive discipline and making effective choices for company operations. Currently, she serves as the Chair of a Latina Commission of the Hispanic National Bar Association, she actively looks to diversify the practice of law in corporations, law firms and at law schools.
Lauren Martinez, Esq.
Deputy Ethics Counsel, New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics
Lauren Martinez is Deputy Ethics Counsel with the Office of Attorney Ethics of the Supreme Court of New Jersey. In that capacity, Lauren investigates and prosecutes attorney misconduct, including financial crimes. Lauren graduated magna cum laude from Rutgers University. Specializing in behavioral neuroscience, she was published for her scientific work in the international peer-reviewed Journal, Behavioral Brain Research. She graduated from Rutgers Law and was a 2014 Eagleton Institute of Politics Graduate Fellow.
Ruben Lambert, Psy. D.
Clinical and Consulting Psychologist, Wisdom Spring Wellness Services
Dr. Ruben Lambert is a licensed Psychologist and founder of Wisdom Spring Wellness Services (WisdomSpring.com). He specializes in Mind/Body Wellness Interventions. He is also a Zen Master in the Korean Zen Tradition. Dr. Lambert integrates the wisdom of Zen with modern day scientific psychological research to provide training and interventions that target the mind and body. His approach is simplistic and the goal is to provide practical techniques for achieving optimal wellness moment to moment in daily life.
Ramon Ortiz, Esq.
Senior Attorney Counselor, New Jersey Lawyers Assistance Program
Ramon Ortiz is a Senior Attorney Counselor at the New Jersey Lawyer’s Assistance Program (NJLAP) in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He has been employed by NJLAP for the past 27 years. Prior to joining the New Jersey Lawyers Assistance Program, he was an Associate Professor of Law, Clinical Professor of Law, and Director of Clinical Programs at Seton Hall Law School. He also practiced law with the firm of Ortiz & Velez for 20 years.
CLE Credit Provided by Stark & Stark, P.C.
NJ: This program is pending approval by the Board on Continuing Legal Education of the Supreme Court of New Jersey for CLE credit.
PA: This program has been approved by the Pennsylvania CLE Board, Pennsylvania Judicial Center for 1.5 Ethics Credits.
We would like to extend out sincerest appreciation to our generous sponsors:
Diamond Sponsors: Lowenstein Sandler LLP, Holland & Knight
Platinum Sponsors: Bederson LLP,
Gold Sponsors: Archer & Greiner PC, The Castro Firm Inc.
Silver Sponsors: Stark & Stark, Consilio, Day Pitney LLP, Hudson Court Reporting, Hill Wallack LLP, Kiomeiry Csépes Law Offices, McDermott Will & Emery, Reed Smith, Webster Bank, Marcum Accountants
For sponsorship opportunities, please click here or reach out to the President of the HBA-NJ, Tabatha Castro, at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions about the event, please contact our WELL Conference co-chairs Alex Fajardo at email@example.com and Maria Z. Cortes at Maria.Cortes@hklaw.com.