Wellness Committee

The Wellness Committee has been hard at work putting together a list of events on our new calendar geared towards a robust mindfulness practice. Mindfulness practice is a growing area of interest, specially to the legal profession. According to the ABA, practicing mindfulness has been found to help decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol, to improve the functioning of the immune system and to ease chronic pain, help heal psoriasis and reduce cardiovascular disease and diabetes, he writes. In addition, mindfulness has been found to aid in treating obsessive-compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder and addiction.


Founder and director of the University of Miami School of Law’s Mindfulness in Law program, Scott L. Rogers, writes that “Mindfulness is a form of mental training that carries with it benefits in the areas of cognitive performance, emotional intelligence and health and well-being — areas of great importance to lawyers and to those who look to lawyers for their wise counsel, reflective demeanor and problem-solving expertise,”


We all know that Immigration is a stressful practice, where lawyers often focus on the needs of the clients at the sacrifice of their own. Join your AILA colleagues in embracing health and well-being in each aspect of your life and work this coming up year. Remember, that even on the best days, stress can prevent us from being fully focused and doing our best work. And too much of it can lead to burnout, disengagement, more sick days, and strained relationships in the workplace. The Wellness Committee has put a list of resources available to you all and events throughout the county some of which are free, others donation based, and others are for pay.


The committee is also putting together a step-challenge for chapter members to track their steps and the person with the most steps at the end of each quarter will win a wellness prize (e.g., gift card for a massage or yoga sessions.) More details to come.


In addition, the committee will create a monthly sports group or will join another sports group already set up by other Bar Associations. The committee intends to poll the chapter to gauge interest on what sport, dates and times that best work for us all. Please look out for that survey coming up shortly.


Finally, the committee will start a “Wellness Wednesday” monthly newsletter to include topics of interest like journaling, mindfulness articles, recipes of the month, yoga and meditation tips, to name a few. Its going to be a busy season for us.


For now, we wanted to let you know what we have put together for the month of September. We are starting with a long list of Yoga offerings throughout San Diego County. There is something available for everyone practically almost every day of the week:


Yoga @Del Mar on the Deck @10am

Yoga @Balboa Park w/ live Music @11aam



Specialty items this month are on a Thursday evening, date to be set, our very own Arwa, will also lead a yoga class either in person or via zoom as a certified Yoga teacher. More details to follow and budge approval pending.


September 25, 2022: Spirt Rock Meditation Center - Retreat: Rest & Recalibrate: A Daylong Mindfulness Retreat for Legal Professionals. Note that Spirit Rock has a sliding scale that starts at $45 plus $50 for the MCLE Credit (this funds their employee that manages all the continuing ed for various professions.)

October 22, 2022 @9am, our very own Christina will lead a group for a hike at Mission Trails. More details to follow. (Rescheduled from September 9 due to inclement weather.)



The AILA-SD Wellness Committee

Chair: Maricela Amezola : maricela@amezolalg.com,

Co-Chair: Claudia Sandoval: claudia@sandovalimmigration.com

Arwa Zakir Kakavand: azakir@casacornelia.org

Christina Sullivan: csullivan@hackinglawpractice.com

Zakkery Clark: zakkery.clark@abaijp.org


“In between stimulus and response there is a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” -Victor Frankl