Webinar: Lawyer Health and Wellbeing

An examination of the tools and initiatives being utilized to address stress in the legal profession, and the positive impact they are having on individual and firm performance.


  • 04 May, 2020
  • 10:00 - 10:00
  • ARK Group US c/o Wilmington FRA, 3420 Toringdon Way, Suite 240, Charlotte, NC, 28277, United States ()

Additional taxes may be applicable


Welcome, review of expected program and introduction to chair Bree Buchanan


Bree Buchanan, chair, ABA, and co-chair, National Task Force on Lawyer Wellbeing, will discuss:

  • the challenges to those with existing MH or substance use disorders during the pandemic;
  • general wellbeing strategies for dealing with added stressors; and
  • what the ABA and the NTF are doing during the crisis.

Richard Martin, director at byrne·dean, will look at: 

  • how individuals can better understand and address anxiety; and
  • what leaders can do to lead through this uncertainty. 


Renee Branson will focus on: 

  • individuals’ personal response to the crisis;
  • how that manifests in their ability to function and perform at work; and
  • how leaders can cultivate resilience in others.

Emma Jones will look at: 

  • how to look after your emotional wellbeing when working from home; and
  • the stresses, strains and emotional labour which lawyers are currently facing and the wider issues in the profession.

Kate Dodd, diversity and inclusion consultant at Pinsent Masons LLP, will talk about:  

  • the Mindful Business Charter, which is committed to driving change in high-stress industries; and
  • how the MBA can help people to respond to the current crisis.

Paul Bennett of Bennett Briegal will cover:  

  • why supervision is so stressful;
  • mistakes, feedback, leadership and supervision; and
  • why are lawyers treated more harshly than other professionals?

Final Discussions & Questions & Answers

Full Description

This webinar is now available on demand - click the book now button above to access the recording.

Recent years have witnessed growing concern internationally in wellbeing and mental health across the legal community, a shift reflected in a host of initiatives, networks, reports and research studies. Changes to working patterns, generational shifts, and an increased interest in overall wellbeing have contributed to a growing movement towards better working practices – across all industries but particularly in high pressure professions such as law.

Now Available OnDemand - Join Bree Buchanan, Richard Martin, Renee Branson, Emma Jones, Paul Bennett, and Kate Dodd as they discuss the ways in which individual lawyers and law firm leaders can tackle this growing issue head on.

Top industry speakers

Bree Buchanan

Bree Buchanan is founding co-chair of the National Task Force on Lawyer Wellbeing and is a co-author of its groundbreaking 2017 report, The Path to Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change. Bree is chair of the ABA Commission on Lawyers Assistance Programs which works to ensure assistance is readily available for those in the legal community experiencing issues related to substance use or mental health issues. As director of the Texas Lawyers Assistance Program from 2013 until retirement in 2018, she regularly worked with individual lawyers experiencing these issues, and with legal employers who were seeking resources and support for their staff. Her tenure with that program followed a two-decade legal career that included positions as a litigator, lobbyist and law professor. She is now senior advisor with Krill Strategies, Inc., providing consultation on issues related to lawyer wellbeing and impairment for major legal employers. Bree is a frequent speaker for international and national law-related organizations, as well as global law firms on strategies for lawyer wellbeing and impairment. In 2018, she was awarded the “Excellence in Legal Community Leadership Award” by Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. She has shared her own story of recovery as a featured guest on podcasts in the United States and Canada, and her writing has appeared in Law Practice Today, Judicature and Family Lawyer Magazine. In 2018, she graduated from the Seminary of the Southwest with a Masters in Spiritual Formation, where she honed a deep interest in the intrinsic link between meaningful work and personal wellbeing, as well as in assisting individuals with vocational discernment. Bree tends to her own wellbeing by engaging in a regular meditation practice, cycling, rowing, and being willing to ask for help when she needs it. 

Richard Martin

Richard Martin is a director of leading workplace consultancy byrne·dean. Richard spent the first 20 years of his career as an employment lawyer in London, serving as a partner at Gouldens and then Jones Day (following the merger of those firms) before moving to Speechly Bircham where he ran the large employment team and sat on the firm’s management committee. In 2011 he suffered a serious mental breakdown, spent time in hospital and two years recovering. He is now a leading activist in the field of mental health. His day-to-day work involves working with organizations around the world to raise awareness of mental health and illness, enabling people to be more aware of their own wellbeing, creating supportive cultures in which wellbeing can be discussed, and ensuring that those in difficulty are supported. He co-chairs the Lord Mayor of London’s This is Me campaign, which uses storytelling to reduce the stigma around mental health and illness, and he leads the Mindful Business Charter, an initiative to remove the unnecessary stress in our workplaces. Richard is a mental health first aid instructor and coach. In 2018 he published his memoir of mental illness and recovery, This too will pass – Anxiety in a professional world.

Renee Branson

Renee Branson is the founder and principal at RB Consulting. Combining 20 years in education, counseling, and non-profit leadership, her passion and purpose is helping individuals, teams, and organizations cultivate resilience. After years of working with survivors of trauma she now teaches others the skills of resilience for workplace wellbeing. As a certified resilience coach (CReC), she provides clients with immediately usable tools to increase resilience, wellbeing, and optimism in the workplace. She works with lawyers, educators, business professionals, non-profit leaders, and others to help them understand and incorporate resilience in their own professional lives and in the teams they lead. Renee is a member of the American Bar Association’s Attorney Wellbeing Committee. Renee speaks to international audiences on resilience and wellbeing, including as a guest lecturer at the UCLA School of Law. She holds an MA in counseling psychology from the University of Colorado and a BS from The Ohio State University.

Kate Dodd

Kate Dodd is a diversity and inclusion consultant who has a particular interest in working collaboratively with business leaders to develop the business case for cultural change. Kate advises Pinsent Masons LLP and Brook Graham Ltd and their clients across the full range of diversity topics. Kate’s interests include developing and embedding mental health and wellbeing strategies and helping businesses learn how to start conversations and reduce stigma. She has been heavily involved in founding and developing the Mindful Business Charter, which is a cross-industry set of principles, aimed at reducing unnecessary sources of stress and increasing wellbeing. The Mindful Business Charter has now been adopted by a number of leading law firms and financial services institutions. Kate is also passionate about supporting businesses achieve a better balance in relation to gender, race and ethnicity. She works with companies to develop strategies to attract and retain the best talent, and to cultivate the skills needed to serve their clients and communities. Kate is an employment lawyer by background, with 15 years’ post-qualification experience specialising in equality, diversity and inclusion. Kate is an experienced advocate and represented her clients in Employment Tribunals across England, Scotland and Wales. Kate also assists her clients with practical diversity initiatives, including setting up mentoring and buddying schemes and delivering unconscious bias training. Kate is a member of the Employment Lawyers’ Association, and a number of leading diversity networks.

Emma Jones

Dr Emma Jones is currently a senior lecturer at the University of Sheffield Law School, developing modules on digital lawyering and lawtech. Prior to that she was a senior lecturer and teaching director at the Open University Law School. She is also a senior fellow of the Higher Education Authority and an associate academic fellow of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple. Emma’s research focuses on the role of emotions and wellbeing in legal education and the legal profession. She is academic lead on the Fit for Law project, working with the charity LawCare, to provide free online resources for legal professionals promoting emotionally and psychologically healthier ways of working. Prior to moving into academia, Emma was a solicitor in private practice, specialising in construction law.

Paul Bennett

Paul Bennett, partner at Bennett Briegal, is a specialist in both professional practice and employment law work. Paul is a nationally recognized expert who can help if the situation is challenging or potentially career-defining. Paul works across England and Wales, with London and Manchester dominating as the locations of key regulators.

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