Lawyer Health and Wellbeing: Tackling stress and creating resiliency

The global pandemic has added to growing concerns about 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.

Lawyer Health and Wellbeing: How the legal profession is tackling stress and creating resiliency brings together subject matter experts to highlight a number of varying initiatives that they are using to tackling this growing issue head on.

From using emotions within legal work to assist lawyers in developing psychologically healthier and more sustainable ways of working, to the causes and effects of the stress that junior lawyers are experiencing and the positive measures that are being put in place to alleviate that stress, to how a firm and its clients can came together to drive positive change in the profession, Lawyer Health and Wellbeing identifies the practical steps that individuals and firms can take today.


Executive summary

About the authors


By Richard Martin, director, byrne·dean

Chapter 1: The lawyer wellbeing movement in the US

By Bree Buchanan, JD

  •     Why create a National Task Force on Lawyer Wellbeing?
  •     How did the NTF start the lawyer wellbeing movement?
  •     The lawyer wellbeing movement is launched
  •     Conclusion

Chapter 2: Emotional competence for wellbeing

By Emma Jones, Sheffield University

  •     Why emotional competence?
  •     Thinking about emotions
  •     Thinking about other people’s emotions
  •     Using emotions in managing others
  •     Reflecting on your emotions
  •     Coping with strong emotions
  •     A proactive approach

Chapter 3: The Mindful Business Charter

By Kate Dodd, diversity and inclusion consultant, Pinsent Masons LLP

  •     A stroll back in time
  •     Back to reality
  •     A race to the bottom?
  •     A meeting at Canary Wharf
  •     A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
  •     The Mindful Business Charter is born
  •     The first signing
  •     What next?
  •     So, what has actually changed?
  •     Acknowledgements

Chapter 4: Culture and practice of law – creating lasting change

By Elizabeth Rimmer, chief executive, LawCare

  •     It’s not new
  •     Going back to basics – what is wellbeing?
  •     Why does mental health matter in the professional context?
  •     The legal environment
  •     Emotional competence – fit for law
  •     About LawCare – our vision
  •     Culture change – steps we can take now

Chapter 5: Conversations that matter

By Lubna Gem Arielle

  •     NILE – a model for conversations that matter
  •     The challenge
  •     My story
  •     Background to the NILE model
  •     “We all have mental health”
  •     A definition of mental health
  •     The mental health spectrum and workplace stress
  •     Common myths
  •     NILE – a four-step model for conversations that matter
  •     Listening tips
  •     What if someone insists they are ok?
  •     Conclusion
  •     Note to the reader

Chapter 6: Creating psychological safety

By Matt Dean, byrne·dean

  •     What actually is psychological safety?
  •     Building psychological safety – conversation by conversation
  •     Do lawyers have the social sensitivity skills to do this?
  •     Some rules might help?
  •     There’s a much bigger problem – time!
  •     Some further rules?

Chapter 7: Junior lawyers and mental ill health

By Kayleigh Leonie, trustee, LawCare

  •     Starting your career in law
  •     Junior lawyer research
  •     Negative stress experienced by junior lawyers
  •     Mental ill health experienced by junior lawyers
  •     Supporting yourself as a junior lawyer
  •     Best practice in the workplace
  •     Mentally healthy workplaces
  •     The future

Chapter 8: Anxiety in the legal community – a study of junior lawyers, legal practice, and legal education

By Professor Richard Collier FAcSS, FRSA, Newcastle Law School, Newcastle University, UK

  •     Setting the scene – lawyer and law student wellbeing and mental health
  •     The study: anxiety and wellbeing among junior lawyers – selected
  •     findings and themes
  •     Concluding remarks

Chapter 9: Supervision without stress

By Paul Bennett, solicitor and partner, Bennett Briegal LLP

  •     Why is supervision stressful?
  •     The aim of this chapter
  •     My first love story – an introduction
  •     Supervision is a skill
  •     Supervision is a relationship
  •     Set the standards
  •     Be trusted
  •     Beware of the micromanager
  •     The basic process
  •     My first love story – part 2
  •     Stress

Chapter 10: Lawyers’ mental health, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, and the courts

By Paul Bennett, solicitor, Bennett Briegal LLP

  •     Introduction
  •     The purposeful approach of the Courts
  •     The UK’s Legal Services Act 2007
  •     Fitness to Practise
  •     Dishonesty and mental health
  •     Case study: Daniel
  •     Case study: Sovani James
  •     The Court and the Regulators
  •     Conclusion

Chapter 11: Wellbeing and the upskilling of lawyers – professional insights and practical applications

By James Pereira QC, FTB Chambers, barrister and coach

  •     Introduction
  •     Failing to succeed
  •     Wellbeing and the upskilling of lawyers
  •     Conclusions

Chapter 12: When altruism is not enough – the economics of wellbeing in the legal profession

By Renee Branson, founder, RB Consulting

  •     A continuous process
  •     The cost of attrition
  •     Investing in wellbeing
Lawyer Health and Wellbeing

Price: £76
ISBN: 978-1-78358-390-4
Format: Paperback