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.
The genesis of the lawyer wellbeing movement in the United States has spread to the UK, EU, Canada and Australia. In this opening chapter, Bree Buchanan, chair of the ABA Commission, covers the 2016 research regarding lawyer and law student impairment that served as the catalyst for creating the National Task Force on Lawyer Wellbeing. From this coalition of national organizations came the 2017 Report, which in turn launched a wide variety of national and state policy and practice innovations. Bree summarizes a snapshot of those developments.
Chapter 1: The lawyer wellbeing movement, By Bree Buchanan, chair, ABA Commission
Chapter 2: Emotional competence for wellbeing, By Emma Jones, senior lecturer, University of Sheffield Law School
Chapter 3: The Mindful Business Charter, By Kate Dodd, diversity and inclusion consultant, Pinsent Masons LLP
Chapter 4: Culture and practice of law – creating lasting change, By Elizabeth Rimmer, chief executive, LawCare
Chapter 5: Conversations that matter, By Lubna Gem Arielle, corporate facilitator and applied theatre practitioner
Chapter 6: Creating psychological safety, By Matt Dean, byrne·dean
Chapter 7: Junior lawyers and mental ill health, By Kayleigh Leonie, Trustee, LawCare
Chapter 8: Anxiety and junior lawyers, By Richard Collier, professor, University of Newcastle
Chapter 9: Supervising without stress, By Paul Bennett, Bennett Briegal
Chapter 10: Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and Courts approach to mental health, By Paul Bennett, Bennett Briegal
Chapter 11: Having your cake and eating it – how enhanced wellbeing and excellent professional performance go hand-in-hand, By James Pereira, FTB Chambers