Early in Libby Coreno’s legal career she realized she was suffering—and so were her colleagues. It wasn’t until she watched on colleague begin to slip away that she realized she could not remain silent about the mental health and well-being of herself and her fellow lawyers. In this episode of Erasing the Stigma, Libby shares her personal journey with Mark Yacano and then discusses how the Humanized Lawyer Project came to be.
Libby Coreno provides counsel and consulting services to individuals, regional businesses, and international corporations in the real estate and construction industries. She is currently General Counsel to Bonacio Construction, Inc., and manages a small boutique practice (Law Office of M. Elizabeth Coreno, Esq. PC) for clients who need expertise in zoning, planning, and real property development; complex commercial and real estate transactions; land use and SEQRA actions. Over the last 17 years, Libby has acted as land use counsel to some of the largest economic and real estate development projects in the Capital and Mohawk Valley regions of New York State.
Libby is also a long-time advocate and speaker on the issue of attorney well-being and worked to form the first-ever Attorney Wellbeing Subcommittee at the New York State Bar Association, as part of the Law Practice Management Committee. When she was President of the Saratoga County Bar Association, she brought about the establishment of SCBA’s Lawyers Assistance Committee and currently serves as the committee’s chair. Libby was also a contributing member of NYSBA’s Working Group for Mental Health which successfully advocated for the removal of mental health screening questions for admission to the New York State bar in 2019. In 2020, she and her colleague, Dr. Kerry Murray O’Hara, PsyD, hosted the first-ever 5-part Attorney Wellbeing Podcast for NYSBA which focused on the foundations of the attorney suffering and methods to begin to shift change. When the COVID-19 shutdown began, Ms. Coreno and Dr. O’Hara developed a confidential, weekly Zoom gathering solely focused on well-being impacts to the lives of lawyers. The Lawyer-to-Lawyer Well-Being Roundtable met for 54 free sessions between 2020 and 2021 in which lawyers collectively shared fears and concerns about depression, anxiety, court closures, racial injustice, political upheaval – but ultimately obtained skills for their lives, tools for their practices and a sense of belonging. She is the author of several articles on attorney well-being including, “Attorney Wellness: The Science of Stress and the Road to Well-Being” (with Dr. O’Hara) (NYSBA Bar Journal, Oct. 2018) and “Never Alone: Addiction, Recovery & Community” (NYSBA Bar Journal, Dec. 2018). During the same period, Libby also co-chaired the 85-member NYSBA Attorney Wellbeing Task Force which released its 175-page landmark report on October 30, 2021, after unanimous acceptance by the House of Delegates. She has been interviewed by national publications on issues facing lawyers and their well-being including law.com, the New York Law Journal, Bloomberg Law, and the American Bar Association’s Bar Leader. Ms. Coreno, along with Dr. O’Hara, are nationally recognized speakers and workshop leaders in lawyer well-being, specifically advocating for culture change and teaching skills for the rehumanizing of law and its lawyers.
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