December 2023



THE ED REPORT – Denise Gaskin

Welcome to the December issue of the IWIL Alert. Our Programming Team, led by VP of Programming Anne Brafford, JD, MAPP, has designed a fantastic line-up of speakers and topics for our 2024 Well-Being in Law Conference, which will be held virtually January 23-25, 2024. Register here to take advantage of the Early Bird Discount. The discount rate ends on December 16!

Kicking off on December 6, 2023, is The Path to Well-Being: Speaker Series! This NEW series offers you cutting-edge ideas with practical solutions. The first in our line-up is Behavioral Scientist Dr. Scott Rigby, who has concrete strategies to promote lawyer and professional staff engagement and well-being. We are bringing a series of speakers throughout 2024. The full schedule is coming in January.

Do you know someone who has been an exemplary champion of systemic change in legal professional well-being? We are accepting nominations for the Reed Smith Award, which was created to acknowledge and thank a dedicated champion of well-being among us. Please submit your nominations via our online application form. The deadline to submit is December 31, 2023. The winner will be announced at our Well-Being Conference!

Our Well-Being Community continues to grow and evolve, with over 4,700 subscribers today. Please help us continue our Mission to make Well-Being a core centerpiece of professional success. We invite you to share this newsletter with others in your network. Encourage your peers, coworkers, and friends to subscribe to IWIL today: Join the Movement!

I wish you a well and wonderful Holiday Season!


Dr. Rigby kicks off the first presentation in our new Speaker Series. Next year, we will feature over 20 well-being topics from expert speakers. Our Speaker Series for 2024 will be announced soon!

Date: December 6, 2023

Time: 1:00-2:30 pm ET

Cost: $100

CLE Credits Available

Post-Pandemic Rules of (Re)Engagement: Concrete Strategies to Promote Lawyer Engagement & Well-Being.

Dr. Scott Rigby is an author, behavioral scientist, and founder/CEO of motivationWorks!, a company focusing on the application of behavioral science to organizations, products, and services. Scott and motivationWorks work with both small and large companies on culture and the development of motivational best practices. He is a leading authority on predictive measurement of motivation and engagement, as well as on interventions to improve organizational culture. Clients include Prudential, Amazon, Warner Brothers, Johnson & Johnson, and Disney.


Join us for the nation�s largest legal well-being conference on January 23-25, 2024!  #IWIL2024


Rethinking Thinking Like a Lawyer

Presented by: Francesca Acocella (Senior Director of Student Life, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law), Krista Larson (Director of Well-Being, Stinson LLP), Shailini George (Professor, Suffolk University Law School)

How law school and the practice of law trains attorneys to �think like a lawyer,� which includes legal analysis, risk aversion, attention to detail, and strong judgment in challenging situations. While this skeptical mindset may be appropriate and desirable in certain aspects of the practice of law, these professional advantages can come with serious personal costs. Specifically, pessimism can carry a significant risk for mental health challenges.

Join the speakers as they explore with you how to:

  1. Understand the ABA standards requiring instruction on professional identity.
  2. Develop an understanding of the relationship between well-being and professional identity.
  3. Learn concrete skills based on the science of Positive Psychology for developing and sustaining a strong professional identity in practice.

Journeys Unveiled: Navigating Mental Health and Advocacy for Black Women in the Legal Profession

Michell Hughes (Assistant Director, NAMI), Kris Mereigh (Director of Well-Being, Covington & Burling, LLC), Marcia Narine Weldon (Director of Transactional Skills Program, Lecturer, University of Miami School of Law Coral Gables)

?Black women in the legal profession often face distinct challenges in their pursuit of well-being. This panel aims to explore a critical and often overlooked aspect of well-being in the legal field � the unique experiences of black women legal professionals who have lived experience with mental health challenges and who have used their experience and journey to become advocates for the profession as a whole.

This panel engages the audience through the following six strategies:

  1. Authentic stories
  2. Thought leadership & expertise
  3. Intersectionality and representation
  4. Interactive discussions
  5. Practical tools & takeaways
  6. Inspirational journeys

Smarter Collaboration For Better Health & Well-Being

Presented by: Dr. Heidi Gardner (Distinguished Fellow Harvard Law School, and Bestselling Author, Gardner & Co.) and Csilla Ilkei (Insights Director, Gardner & Co.)

?Stressors, like heightened internal and client expectations, economic headwinds, rapidly evolving technology, and burgeoning workloads, are taking their toll, causing one in four employees globally to feel burned out. Research shows that the effect on lawyers and law firm staff is even higher. These factors are compounded by the tension of office versus home working, which requires new, creative ways to collaborate within and between teams that are increasingly siloed and fragmented.

In this session, you will:

  1. Gain a solid understanding of what smart collaboration looks like in day-to-day legal work, including how it sparks diversity and inclusion.
  2. Understand the short- and long-term mental health benefits of smart collaboration in legal.
  3. Apply three smarter collaboration practices right away to boost the well-being and health of others.

Client Driven Culture Change: A New Frontier in the Well-Being Movement

This session includes a robust panel hosted by Shannon Callahan (Senior Attorney & Development & Retention Manager, Nixon Peabody) and Ben Carpenter (Senior VP and Deputy GC, U.S. Bank). 

Modeled on the Mindful Business Charter (which has been adopted by a broad base of large law firms and banks as reflected here), US Bank and seven roundtable law firms collaborated to create the outside counsel engagement guidelines. Both the charter and the guidelines are intended to help clients and their outside counsel interact with well-being in mind and cover topics such as out-of-office time, emergencies, communication habits and preferences, and other topics. 






Sponsorship opportunities are still available for #IWIL24. Please contact Denise Gaskin at

Online Store: 2024 IWIL Conference Sponsorships & Exhibits


Join The Conversation on YouTube

Follow IWIL’s YouTube for the latest news and info.

Path To Well-Being in Law Podcast

A podcast presented by the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being. Powered by ALPS

Listen to wherever you get your podcasts.

Follow The Conversation on LinkedIn

Stay updated on important information, events, and connect with other IWIL members by joining our LinkedIn page.

Instagram  LinkedIn  X  YouTube

Special thanks to our principal donors:

Inaugural Founding Champions 

Crowell & Moring LLP

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

Latham & Watkins, LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Reed Smith LLP

Founding Champions

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Thomson Reuters

Master of Well-Being

Covington & Burling, LLP

 Goodwin Procter LLP

Well-Being Star

Husch Blackwell