Building resilience to work through adversity

How CLOs can adapt to unpredictability and disruption

Between growing workloads and burnout risk, resilience may be more important than ever to in-house lawyering. Break out of limiting patterns with practices aimed at mastering adversity through resilience.

Editor’s note: Information throughout this article has been adapted from Deloitte’s four-part Resilience article series.1

Learning to bounce back, out, and up

How resilient are lawyers? According to one study, not very. A group of 100 accomplished attorneys ranked in the 30th percentile for this personality trait.2

The good news for chief legal officers (CLOs) is that resilience can be learned. The first step is in recognizing that resilience isn’t just about the ability to bounce back from disruption and adversity. It’s also about bouncing out of self-limiting thinking and paradigms, and bouncing up to our highest potential.

Think of resilience as something that happens across three realms:

  • In the personal realm, resilience is defined by our command over how we respond to life’s events, rather than these events having their way with us
  • The interpersonal realm is all about relationship mastery. A deep, fulfilling sense of connection fuels our ability to be resilient and to feel engaged with our counterparts
  • The extrapersonal realm of resilience comprises the external, or “environmental” conditions that must be navigated across nature, society, and work

Download the full article to learn more about how CLOs can build resilience within each realm.

Bounce back from adversity: How chief legal officers can adapt in the face of disruption

Resilience: Assurance against unpredictability

In today’s world, resilience can offer some reassurance against a tide of unpredictability. The conditions that foster this core personal strength, the hardships we face, and the capabilities we bring to bear to overcome them act interdependently as we respond to our biggest challenges. If we peel back these factors and take a closer look at the skills needed to overcome these obstacles, we can approach optimum resilience.


1“Building Resilience: A roadmap for the modern C-suite,” Resilience article series, Deloitte, 2022.

2Markus Hartmann et al., “The perfect legal personality,” ACC Docket, July/August 2011, p. 33.

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