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Stress Free JD

Stress Free JD

By Amanda Bynum
The legal profession falls short when it comes to well-being. In addition to interviews with legal professionals about well-being in the profession, this podcast shares research, tips, and tricks about how to be more stress-free in a stressful profession.

Amanda Bynum is an Attorney licensed to practice in the State of Arizona. She currently serves as the Director of Bar and Academic Success at the University of Arizona College of Law, after working for nearly a decade as a public defender and private criminal defense attorney.
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Lawyer Loneliness: Interview with Indiana Law Graduate Olivia Ash
On this episode of the Stress-Free JD Podcast, I talk with Olivia Ash, a law graduate from Indiana who currently works educates employers about benefits regulations, including wellness program management.  On the side, she runs Liv Balanced, LLC.  In our interview, we talk about Olivia’s research on lawyer and law student wellness, how she has overcome adversity including a divorce during law school, chronic illness, and a bar exam failure by staying positive and maintaining healthy hobbies and habits.
January 26, 2020
How to trick your mind into thinking positively, Stress Free JD Interview with Attorney Matt Schmidt
Arizona attorney Matt Schmidt shares his experience on the podcast including his experience struggling to get over the hump a few years into practice realizing that there are no more long breaks and transitions in the real world.  We talk about law school, balance, and Matt’s thoughts on how to maintain a balanced lifestyle as an attorney.  Matt is extremely well-read and passionate about mindfulness and well-being in the profession. Matt shares about how his “why” drives him in all areas of his life, where he focuses on family and helping his community.  Matt also shares lots of other insights on how to maintain balance the profession.
January 6, 2020
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome and Finding Happiness in the Law: Interview with Keopu Reelitz
On this episode of the Stress-Free JD Podcast, I am talking with  Keopu Reelitz.  She is currently Head communications strategy and efforts for the Executive Office of Early Learning, which leads and coordinates the state's early learning system in the State of Hawaii.  This is just one of the non-legal jobs she’s held since graduating law school a decade ago. This episode is full of tips about how to have work-life balance both in law school and in a busy career.  She shares her experience with imposter syndrome as an underrepresented minority, passing and later failing the bar exam leading to a decision to pursue a non-legal career where her law degree has helped her every day.  We talked about mentoring relationships staring in law school, and how she used her strengths to build those relationships.  I loved her insights on flexible work arrangements, candor, and both reframing and overcoming failure. I am Amanda Bynum, I am an attorney and educator and I am on my own health and lifestyle journey.  I want to share my journey through this podcast.  I also want to share other attorney’s perspectives on how to thrive rather than just survive in the legal profession. Thank you for being patient as these episodes trickle out.  I’ve been spread thin, and I always like to practice what I preach so I had to prioritize my time and that meant putting the podcast on the back burner for a few weeks. But do not worry, I have not given up, and I don’t intend to.  I still have so many ideas, so be sure to give me some positive feedback if you can, and share this podcast with anyone, attorney or not, who might benefit from ideas and perspectives on self-care. Intro & Outro Music: Cool Intro - Stings by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license ( Source: Artist:
December 1, 2019
Put yourself out there as who you want to be
The power of telling people around you about your goals and developing your identity as the person you want to be.
October 31, 2019
Using Your Passion to Find the Perfect Legal Career
Shannon Montgomery is a Solo Practitioner running a virtual law firm servicing social media influencers after finding success by combining her passion for fitness with her law degree. Her dream job as a sports agent didn’t work out, so she spent a few years as an associate all while knowing it was not what she wanted to do She shares her struggle to find her place in the law by working in a couple of firms that weren’t a great fit and found a need in the market for her niche practice area. There is some great insight about how she built her business without mentors, how she set up her business and an inside look at the day to day of a work-from-home solopreneuer We also talk about the importance of health and fitness and lessons learned from overdoing it, tips for time management, and not feeling pressured to fit into the stereotypical lawyer role when there are so many different ways to practice and be happy in the law. Follow Shannon on IG: @liftinglawyer @montgomerylawpllc
September 28, 2019
Creativity as Self-Care
In this episode, we talk about Creativity as Self Care.  We start by redefining self-care.  We talk about getting rid of time scarcity excuses.  I’ll give you some research and information about the benefits of hobbies and how having a creative hobby makes you a better attorney.  This episode will conclude with tips for finding something creative to do and will provide examples from my life and from other attorneys know.   Listen to the end for a  link to download a FREE WORKSHEET to help discover a new creative hobby.
September 20, 2019
Happiness is Paramount: Interview with Attorney Elliot Glicksman
This Stress-Free JD Interview with Elliot Glicksman, an attorney with a practice in Tucson, Arizona.  In this episode, Elliot talks about the evolution of his career over time and shares how he practiced in many areas before finding what he really loved to do. His tips include disconnecting, avoiding procrastination, being prepared, and having a distinct demarcation outside interests, family, friends, both in and outside of the law. ABA Task Force Report on Wellbeing Tucson Jazz Festival January 20, 2020 Downtown Tucson.  It’s a great event.  I have gone before. Downtown JazFiesta on January 20, 2020 Elliot’s Law Firm Homicide Survivors since he talked about his work there, if you want to donate, it is a really great cause. If you have ideas for people you think I should interview, or topics I should discuss, I would love that. I have already received some great ideas and constructive criticism, which I am grateful for.  If you want to know how to reach me-- You can leave a podcast voice note, you can send me an email--,  I am stressfreejd on Instagram, I have a facebook page, I am stressfreejd on twitter.  I am Amanda Bynum on Linkedin, and I would love to connect with you.  I hoped you enjoyed this podcast, join me next time for an episode about creativity as self-care.
September 13, 2019
Burnout Basics
In this episode, attorney and educator Amanda Bynum talks about what burnout is, why it is a problem, and why attorneys suffer from burnout.  Because self care can be different for everyone, the podcast focuses on the basics of Movement, Fuel, and Rest to help combat burnout.  To address the issue of burnout in the profession, we need change in the profession as a whole.  These things must be encouraged and facilitated through wellness programs and incentives, autonomy support, and encouragement of healthy work-life balance. We’ve recognized there is an issue.  The time is now to make some changes.  How do we make those changes? I have my ideas that I am sharing through this podcast. What ideas do you have?  Contact me: View the ABA Task Force Report on Lawyer Wellbeing. Undeniably Dairy
September 6, 2019
The Profession Needs Significant Change to Improve Well-Being: A Stress Free J.D. Interview with Professor Susan Salmon
The Stress-Free JD Podcast is created by Amanda Bynum, an attorney, a law professor, and an advocate for taking care of yourself. This is a place to share stories in hopes that we can help end the stigma surrounding talking out our struggles, and help change the culture  in order to promote more balance and well-being. In this episode, Professor Susan Salmon shares her story as a big-law commercial litigation attorney turned Professor. She found a great fit in the profession.  In the episode, she talks about enjoying her life as an attorney but quickly realizing that the expectations--all-nighters and 24/7 on-call expectations were just unsustainable for the long-term. She shares how she learned early-on that healthy lifestyle habits are crucial to success. Now, she finds well-being through purpose, supportive colleagues, collaboration activity, and hobbies. Amanda and Susie talk about how the profession needs significant changes if we want to improve the problem with lawyer well-being. There is also some great discussion about leaving the law and JD Advantage careers. Thanks so much for listening to this podcast.  If you liked the episode, it would be great if you leave a review where ever you listen to podcasts.  It would also be great if you could help me get the word out by sharing the episode with anyone in the legal profession.  Finally, if you have ideas for topics on the show, or have thoughts on well-being that you would like to share, please reach out, I’d love to have you.  I’ve got some great episodes coming up, so join me for ideas about how to thrive rather than survive in the profession.
September 2, 2019
The ABA Task Force Report on Lawyer Being Study
Amanda Bynum discusses the ABA Task Force Report on Wellbeing in the Profession Well-Being Toolkit for Lawyers and Legal Employers Well-Being Toolkit Nutshell: 80 Tips for Lawyer Thriving  ABA 2018 Resolution Connect with me:  StressFreeJD LinkedIn
August 18, 2019
Introduction to the Stress Free JD Podcast
Amanda Bynum introduces why she started the Stress Free JD Podcast and what to expect in future episodes.
August 9, 2019