Co-Chair of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being and Founding Organizer of IWIL honored as the 2023 Reed Smith Award for Excellence in Well-Being in Law Recipient

Bree honored during the Institute for Well-Being in Law 2024 Conference

 WASHINGTON D.C.- The Institute for Well-Being in Law (IWIL) named Bree Buchanan as the recipient of the second Reed Smith Award for Excellence in Well-Being in Law. Bree’s name has been synonymous with the well-being in law movement.  Drawing on the passion instilled by her own story of recovery, Bree’s fingerprints are everywhere as it relates to launching, developing, and inspiring a commitment to make well-being serve a core centerpiece of professional success.  The award was presented on January 23, 2024, at the IWIL 2024 conference.

Bree has achieved four principal achievements. First, Bree served as co-author of the groundbreaking 2017 report, The Path to Well-Being:  Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, generally regarded as the catalyst for the launch of the movement. Second, as the movement was launching, Bree served in a key leadership role as the co-chair of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, where she strategically brought key constituencies together to advance an action plan intent on a culture shift. That Task Force established a proverbial home for those passionate about this issue. Third, Bree, as a visionary, noted the need to transition from a volunteer-driven movement to a more sustainable, professionally supported movement.

With that vision, Bree served as lead organizer and principal founder of the Institute for Well-Being in Law, the nation’s preeminent think tank focused on well-being in law. In its early days, she also doubled as the organization’s Board President and de facto executive director.  Without her incredible organizing talents, IWIL would not exist today in its current form.  Bree has also co-hosted The Path to Well-Being in Law podcast, where leaders of the movement have shared their story, expertise, and findings for where well-being in law is today, and where it needs to go.  Bree’s warm presentation style and engaging presence have been a key ingredient in the podcast’s success.  IWIL Past President, Chris Newbold, remarked, “as we think about the Reed Smith award, we are looking for someone who’s made an outstanding lifetime contribution towards fostering systemic change by destigmatizing mental health, strengthening resiliency, and creating a synergic approach towards work and life in the legal profession.  I can think of no one more deserving of this honor within the well-being community than our friend, Bree Buchanan.”

Bree’s impact in the well-being space will have an indelible impact on the culture of the legal profession, lawyers and what it means to be a lawyer for decades to come.


Photo: Bree Buchanan (lower) receiving the Reed Smith Award from Past President Chris Newbold (upper left) and IWIL Board Director, Marcie Dickson (upper right).


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