Wednesday, September 8, 2021 - 02:00
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In the Pursuit of Calm: Stress Management for Weathering the Storms of Indigent Defense and a Post-Covid Work/Personal Life

Time: 2:00pm - 3:15pm (EST)

Are you looking at trials and deadlines stacked back to back this Fall? Is your calendar filling up with jail visits, investigation work, discovery review and hearings? What about your personal life? How are your family and friends and community coping?

Are you stressed?

Stress has always been a constant companion to those in criminal defense work, and it sat closer than ever as we experienced the events of 2020 and adapted to a new world and work life during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, we are returning to offices, the trial floodgates are opening, and we are adjusting to a “new normal” in our work lives and personal lives.

Please join us for 75 minutes where you will learn from one of our own what happens when we don’t properly manage stress (it isn’t pretty). You will be able to identify stress, side effects and understand if you are experiencing burnout and using negative stress responses. Tracy DaCruz, a former Assistant Federal Defender, who is a certified stress management coach, will provide everyone on the defense team with strategies to (1) better manage or reduce stress for a better work/life integration, (2) improve professional and personal well-being and (3) prepare for transitioning back to a work life post-Covid.

During the first portion of the webinar, we will discuss the unique factors that create high stress in defense attorneys and staff.  We will explore how stress is individualized and unique to each person and address the mental, physical, and ethical consequences of not properly managing or reducing stress with positive stress responses.

During the second portion, we will use the provided stress management guide workbook and apply four steps to better manage current stressors.  Additionally you will receive other materials to help you immediately develop coping skills for stress management.


Tracy DaCruz served as an Assistant Federal Defender and Research and Writing Specialist at the Federal Defender’s Office in the Middle District of Florida for over seven years. Currently, Ms. DaCruz practices appellate litigation as a solo practitioner and is an adjunct professor in the Legal Studies Department at Palm Beach State College. Ms. DaCruz is the founder and owner of Esquire Wellness, LLC whose mission is to promote and provide law student, attorney, and law firm/agency wellness programs. Ms. DaCruz is certified in stress management, life, and happiness coaching, and she is currently completing her corporate wellness certification.