Seyfarth Plans For A Remote Well-Being Week
The COVID crisis can’t deter Seyfarth’s commitment to well-being and participation in Lawyer Well-Being Week. The firm is a signatory of the ABA’s Well-Being Pledge and has year-round well-being initiatives and activities as part of its “SeyfarthLife” efforts. Lawyer Well-Being Week fit well within their efforts to prioritize a holistic focus on well-being.
Seyfarth’s National Director of Attorney Talent Kelly Wing said that the firm was well on its way to planning a host of innovative, in-person activities for Well-Being Week when the stay-at-home orders began blanketing the country.
Understanding that well-being was never more important than now, the team quickly began revamping their plans to reach a remote workforce. Here are some of the activities they have planned for Well-Being Week:
On each day of Lawyer Well-Being Week, they’ll propose a different challenge that aligns with the dimension of well-being featured that day. An example comes from a prior initiative to promote mental health in which the well-being team sent a Wellness Wish List that consisted of 10 items to complete (e.g., drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water, exercise for at least 30 minutes, watch a short video on stress management, write a gratitude note to someone, etc.). Seyfarth members (lawyers and staff) reported if they completed all 10 items (the honor system applied) and then were entered into a raffle for items such as Fitbits and SpaFinder gift cards.
Seyfarth has hired a meditation expert (Jeena Cho) to lead a “mindful pause” session via Webex. During this session, Jeena will offer tips and lead a 12-15-minute meditation. In addition, Jeena has been facilitating a “Mindful Pause” program for 13 weeks, so the recordings of those sessions will be circulated again during this week.
An ongoing activity that will continue through Well-Being Week is a book club in which members read and discuss a well-being-related book. They’ve also done Watch Clubs where a team picks a show to watch.
Seyfarth members have been invited to submit funny photos of their new “furry co-workers” (pets) that have been posted on an intranet website.
Seyfarth recognizes that not only does their organization employ many well-traveled individuals, but many of them are quite skilled in their photography of those trips, landscapes and views. They will ask people to submit their best pictures – and hopefully offer some peace to others through their lens.
Peloton Pack Ride
The Firm’s Peloton Pack group will schedule a ride for those that want to participate as a group.
Seyfarth will circulate an article or video each day on topics ranging from Stress Management, Leadership, Mental Health, etc. with an inspiring quote.
Benefits & EAP
Additional reminders will be shared to allow people to keep on top of the resources that are available to them.
Seyfarth is modeling resilience for the profession and we thank them for their participation in Well-Being Week! Can you tailor any of Seyfarth’s ideas to use in your own organization?
Well-Being Efforts Are Under Way In Utah
The Utah State Bar is celebrating Lawyer Well-Being Week as part of its overall commitment to well-being in the legal profession. In June 2019, the Utah Bar formed a permanent well-being committee to carry out the recommendations from the Report from the Utah Supreme Court’s Joint Task Force on Lawyer & Judge Well-Being. Since then, the Utah Bar has offered a host of well-being CLEs and other educational opportunities and gathered data on lawyer and law student well-being to inform future efforts. The Bar is also working closely with Utah courts and bar regulators to innovate on ways to best support a healthy and thriving profession.
Here are some of the activities that the Utah Bar has planned for Well-Being Week and beyond:
Lawyer Well-Being Week Daily Challenge
On each day of Lawyer Well-Being Week, Utah will draw from the Bar Association Guide to provide each bar member with a link to an article, video, and activity that aligns with the dimension of well-being featured that day. These resources will also be promoted on the Utah Bar’s website and through social media channels.
Free Resilient Lawyer CLE Webinar Series
In the weeks leading up to Well-Being Week, Utah is offering a resilience webinar each week to help Utah lawyers remain successfully cope with the challenges of COVID-19 and the stresses of the profession.
Best Practices for Lawyers & Legal Employers, Phase 1
Kick starting well-being efforts can be challenging, so Utah’s well-being committee recently launched the first phase of its recommended best practices for both legal professionals and legal employers.
Mindfulness Mondays & Fridays
The Utah Bar is teaming up with the Mindfulness in Law Society to offer “Mindful Mondays” virtual guided meditations to Utah legal professionals. The Bar will also be offering a 30-minute meditation, movement, and mindfulness sampler via Zoom on Fridays.
The Utah well-being committee is getting its own website to keep the Utah legal community up to date on well-being activities and to provide a library of resources. The committee hopes to launch during Well-Being Week.
The Utah Bar has asked its members to send in positive gossip about the great things that lawyers, judges, and staff are doing to help each other, clients, and the community during COVID-19. These positive reports will be shared with the community.
Lawyers Helping Lawyers & EAP
Utah will continue to share reminders of where members of the profession can seek confidential assistance if needed.
Congrats to the Utah Bar for blazing a lawyer well-being trail that other bar associations can follow!
Morgan Lewis Celebrates Lawyer Well-Being This Week (And Every Week)
For more than a year, Morgan Lewis has formalized its commitment to well-being through ML Well, a program designed to promote thriving among its lawyers and professional staff. The firm is looking forward to continuing this commitment with a virtual celebration of its inaugural Lawyer Well-Being Week!
Spotlighting Thriving Lawyers
Each day of Lawyer Well-Being Week, Morgan Lewis will spotlight a different lawyer from its diverse community who will share strategies for thriving that correspond to the Well-Being Week daily themes. By putting a face to well-being and promoting strategies practiced by its own personnel, the firm hopes to continue to inspire and keep its community connected, even while they have to be apart.
Well-Being Benefits and Resource Enhancements
Morgan Lewis recently rolled out multiple enhancements to its behavioral health benefits, including virtual therapists, psychiatrists, and nutritionist services through telehealth. Lawyer Well-Being Week presents a fitting opportunity for the firm to continue to promote awareness of these new benefits and help potential users understand the support available.
A Firmwide Culture of Gratitude
To celebrate the many incredible acts of kindness experienced across the firm during the COVID-19 pandemic, ML Well has launched a feature on the firm’s well-being portal allowing Morgan Lewis personnel to send virtual gratitude cards to one another. Similar to an earlier version of this initiative in which thousands of pieces of gratitude stationery were made available across our global offices, this virtual gratitude exercise has been wildly successful. To date, more than 1,100 virtual gratitude cards have been sent throughout the firm. Simple-but-impactful acts and activities like these are the hallmark of ML Well’s practical, science-based approach.
#WeAreMorganLewis Virtual Fitness Group: Spinning Worldwide!
Changes to the daily work environments can’t keep the Morgan Lewis community from exercising together! Lawyers and staff from around the globe will soon gather for a series of Peloton rides.
Emotional health is one of the core domains of well-being, and lawyers experience a disproportionate rate of emotional health issues. To respond to this challenge, ML Well has led a campaign to educate lawyers and staff about the signs, symptoms, and support strategies for some of the more common behavioral health challenges experienced by legal professionals, including anxiety disorder, substance misuse, depression, and burnout. This educational initiative will be promoted firmwide over the course of Lawyer Well-Being Week and Mental Health Awareness month, and made available on demand as an ongoing resource.
Let’s give a round of applause to Morgan Lewis for its commitment to well-being and innovative program! What elements of ML Well could your own organization adopt?
TLAP Invites Texas Lawyers To Join A Week Of Well-Being-Boosting Activities
Texas’ Lawyer Assistance Program (TLAP) is planning a week of well-being activities for Lawyer Well-Being Week. Remote Zoom activities will include Mindfulness Monday, a “Being At Home Boot Camp” session on Tuesday, and Wednesday’s session about “Young Lawyer Well-Being During the Coronavirus.” Thursday will feature a Gratitude Extravaganza during which TLAP will anonymously share items of gratitude emailed to them from lawyers and law students across the state. For “Very Vulnerable Friday,” TLAP will anonymously share on Facebook stories of experience, strength and hope, including lawyer and law student stories of recovery from mental health and substance use problems.
The NY Bar Is Ready For Well-Being Week
The New York State Bar Association is ready for Lawyer Well-Being Week with a week-long plan for well-being activities. Each day will feature a new podcast on lawyer well-being on topics like systemic culture change, limiting beliefs, mindfulness, senior lawyer well-being, and stress and anxiety. A social media campaign sponsored by the Lawyer Assistance Program and the Well-Being Task Force will highlight the week’s daily well-being topics and provide links to resources and information. The May/June edition of the NY Bar Journal (available during Well-Being Week) will include feature articles on physical well-being and emotional and professional challenges during the COVID-19 crisis. The newly launched Attorney Well-Being webpage will continued to be updated to include recent information and resources.
Nevada Bar’s Well-Being Week Plans
The State Bar of Nevada is on board for Lawyer Well-Being Week, plannings activities or events for each day: .
Monday: Free 20-minute guided live meditation.
Tuesday: Town Hall – Finding Solutions: Psychological Wellness During the COVID-19 Crisis
Wednesday: Free Financial Wellness CLE, presented by ABA Retirement Funds
Thursday: Connect with your legal community by joining a section or local or county bar association
Friday: Free CLE – Dealing with Adversity: Identifying and Harnessing Your Emotions
Benesch’s Activity-Filled Well-Being Week
Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP is proud to support the inaugural Lawyer Well-Being Week with a variety of offerings to the firm’s attorneys, paralegals, and professional staff. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has required a pivot to an entirely virtual and self-study approach, the firm remains committed to providing an experience that will educate and entertain the Benesch family.
Through daily emails, Benesch will share resources, activities, videos, and challenges to encourage its team to explore the six facets of total well-being. Activities include the following:
Daily Acts of Kindness, Well-Being Webinars, & Yoga
Each day of Well-Being Week, the firm will promote an act of “Kindness in the Workplace” as well as the daily ABA Well-Being Webinar created for Well-Being Week. The firm also will showcase one of its paralegals who is a licensed yoga instructor who will lead a different chair yoga flow each day by webinar and pre-recorded video.
The firm will distribute a custom-made mandala-style coloring page in the design of the firm’s logo and invite the team to color it in–an activity found by multiple studies to reduce anxiety. The page will be distributed on Monday with a deadline for completion of Thursday evening. The winner will be awarded a gift card, and all submissions will be showcased on the firm intranet.
LAP CLE Programs
Working with local Lawyer Assistance Programs for each state in which the firm has offices, the firm has prepared CLE programs for each office.
The firm will encourage its team to take breaks during the day by providing a daily brain teaser – crossword puzzle, word search, Sudoku. The word search list consists of words relevant to the firm. The crossword puzzle answers are related to the various wellness activities and themes included during the week.
Read & Roundtable
The firm will share an article addressing well-being and invite team members to an online roundtable to discuss the article and share strategies for maintaining a healthy mind and body, especially during this pandemic.
The firm will offer workshops titled “Your Personal Mission Statement” and “Using Your Strengths in the Workplace” (leveraging the VIA Assessment).
Good work Benesch! The firm has designed strategies that can be tailored to many different types of organizations. Which ones can you adopt for your own Well-Being Week program?
Oregon AAP Supports Well-Being Week
The Oregon Attorney Assistance Program (OAAP) is getting ready for Well-Being Week with plans for daily activities to engage Oregon lawyers:
Monday: OAAP attorney counselors will present a webinar to discuss dimensions of wellness and well-being resources.
Tuesday: A Kindness Challenge will invite lawyers to perform acts of kindness that will be shared on Friday.
Wednesday: Lawyers will be invited to share quotes or poems that inspire them.
Thursday: The activity will focus on social well-being—inviting lawyers for an informal, 30-minute discussion about how to create community connections.
Friday: OAAP’s blog will be devoted to lawyer well-being reflections and shared moments of kindness.
The OAAP provides a great example of how Lawyer Assistance Programs can get involved and contribute to Lawyer Well-Being Week!
Faegre Drinker’s Healthy Habit Challenge
Faegre Drinker is gearing up for Well-Being Week with plans for a 5-day Healthy Habit Challenge that piggy-backs on the firm’s year-round well-being initiative. The firm will challenge all of its members to try to adopt one new habit that’s aligned with one of the five dimensions of well-being featured during Well-Being Week. Each day, members will receive an email that explains that day’s well-being dimension, invites participation in a daily raffle, and issues a challenge that recommends well-being-related videos, articles, and activities (based on the Remote Participation Guide and social media post templates). By participating, members can earn points to spend in the firm’s online store filled with well-being-related goodies that also serve as prizes for year-round activities–e.g., yoga mats, activity trackers, water-proof ear buds, coaching sessions, standing desk, 3-month gym membership, etc. Members can keep earning points and winning during the entire month of May and points never expire. Winners receive a personal note of congratulations from a firm leader.
Congrats to Faegre Drinker for focusing attention on well-being through such a fun and practical program. Could your organization adopt the idea of regular well-being challenges?
Crowell & Moring Celebrates Well-Being Week
Crowell & Moring, LLP’s newly formed Well-Being Committee will host a wide array of activities to celebrate Well-Being Week:
Monday: The firm will start off the week with a “Walking Meeting Day” offering double points through its Healthy Living well-being program to encourage exercise while working. A number of firm leaders already have committed to “taking their internal meetings on the road.”
Tuesday: Mindfulness and meditation exercises will be offered to the firm community.
Wednesday: A Leadership Panel will talk with lawyers and staff about how to create, promote, and sustain a positive work environment. The panel includes high-level firm leaders who will engage with the firm-wide community using videoconferencing to elaborate on how they have developed a positive workplace culture prior to and in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thursday: The firm will launch two workplace challenges to foster a deeper sense of community: 1) asking
Friday: A resilience webinar will offer strategies to the firm community as an opportunity to sustain well-being in these difficult times.
Engagement of top leadership is essential for success of well-being initiatives and Crowell has done a great job of spotlighting its leaders’ commitment to well-being. How can your organization’s leaders get more involved in the well-being movement?
Reed Smith Gets Ready For Well-Being Week
Reed Smith is proud to celebrate Lawyer Well-Being Week with activities led by the firm’s Wellness Works initiative, including virtual events to boost the physical, emotional and mental wellness of its lawyers.
Monday – Stay Strong: Lawyers will receive a virtual packet containing numerous ways to workout at home. As an added incentive, all lawyers will be entered into a raffle to win an annual, virtual-workout membership.
Tuesday – Align: Research shows that meditation can contribute to well-being and even promote healing. Lawyers will be encouraged to attend 10-minute meditation sessions that Wellness Works has curated, including meditations from Jon Krop of Mindfulness for Lawyers.
Wednesday – Engage & Grow: Lawyers will have the opportunity to learn about development opportunities through Reed Smith University and to find ways to re-kindle the personal satisfaction, growth and the enrichment they derive from their work during challenging times. Programs will include a session on career development and on how to manage a practice during times of uncertainty.
Thursday – Connect: Zoom workout sessions will be offered, including yoga, boot camp, barre, and HITT.
Friday – Feel Well: Brian Quinn, Education and Outreach Coordinator for Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania, Inc. will give a talk titled “A Lawyer’s Guide to Coping with Isolation, Anxiety and Fear in Uncertain Times.”
Also, throughout the month, Wellness Works will lead a Health & Wellness @ Home program for attorneys and professional staff, which will feature fitness, healthy eating (including Managing Stressful Eating During Lockdown), mental wellness (including a session titled Managing Emotional Well-Being During COVID-19). The month will round out with a focus on managing finances during the pandemic.
Good job, Reed Smith! The firm provides a good model for supporting lawyers and staff through these unusual times with virtual events and a continual focus on well-being.
Greensfelder Plans For Well-Being Week
Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale’s Well-Being Committee is looking forward to spending a week focused on attorney well-being. Each day of Lawyer Well-Being Week, lawyers will receive an email explaining that day’s well-being dimension and offering something to watch, something to read, and something to do to focus on well-being that day. The firm has selected TED Talks, articles, and activities from the Remote Participation Guide and elsewhere that correspond to each day’s theme. Activities will include taking a meeting standing or walking, cooking a healthy recipe from the Greensfelder cookbook, connecting with a friend or colleague you haven’t talked to recently, doing a short meditation on the Headspace app, and thanking someone who made your life a little better in the last 30 days Two special offerings include individual, laser-coaching sessions on Wednesday and a program on Reducing Stress and Building Resilience on Friday, both with Lauren Cohen. Lawyers who participate will have an opportunity to win gift cards or a well-being-related care package.
Applause for Greensfelder! Many small changes can accumulate into a transformation in lawyer well-being, and Greensfelder will offer many do-able strategies for lawyers to get started on a path to greater well-being.
Gibson Dunn Spotlights Well-Being
ABA Well-Being signatory Gibson Dunn will participate in Lawyer Wellbeing Week through a series of enhancements of existing wellness resources. Each day of Well-Being Week will feature action-oriented advice for fulfilling different components of well-being, consistent with the firm’s all-encompassing approach to wellness.
Tuesday–Work-Life Synergy and Physical Homeostasis: Because working remotely has created a number of postural dysfunctions, the firm will offer education on injury prevention in the workplace, including posture, balance, and flexibility.
passing approach to wellness.
Monday – Mindfulness and Stress Relief: Gibson Dunn Wellness will be rolling out its “3, 2, 1 Start the Day” Wellness Journal on day one of Attorney Wellbeing week. This wellness journal focuses on gratitude, connection, purpose, and joy. We will also be offering firm-wide meditation via our existing vendor, Journey Meditation, which includes 24.7 access to the Journey App. Monday is May 4th so we will also post a recipe for “Yoda Toast” in honor of Star Wars day.
Wednesday–Nutrition and Creativity: The firm’s Painted Plate campaign encourages individuals to tap into their creativity and add color to enhance snacks and meals. Each day of Well-Being Week will focus on foods that are different colors of the rainbow. Firm members will be encouraged to paint their plates and submit contributions to be entered into a raffle.
Thursday–Physical Fitness: The firm will offer three workout options to attorneys and staff. 1. Low impact stretch/workout for beginners. 2. Cardiovascular Interval workout. The workout is 30 minutes long and can be done as a running, elliptical, cycling or even walking workout. 3. Strength training workout, this full body workout will require no equipment to ensure all participants get the full benefits.
Friday–Stress Management and Sleep Health:The Gibson Dunn Wellness team will provide two presentations to cover stress management while working remotely and sleep health. The stress management presentation will address the stresses that come with working from home and give a toolkit on ways to manage these stresses. The presentation is 10 minutes long with a number of action items for participants to take part of throughout the week. The sleep health presentation will address the physiological benefits of sleep and risks of sleep deprivation. This presentation will also offer ways to improve sleep health.
President & CEO, Minority Corporate Counsel Association
“Being a lawyer in any industry can be a very rewarding but stressful job. As the world evolves and technology allows us to be connected 24/7, it is important that we focus on recharging and taking care of ourselves. For some, this can be exacerbated if you are a working parent, caring for the elderly and extended family. We need to ensure that we are providing a culture of inclusion where these differences are considered and accommodations are made to allow everyone to excel without the sacrifice of their well-being. We must take care of people first if we want our business to have an impact and growth.”
Chair, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PLLC
“At Ogletree Deakins, we truly believe that nurturing open communication about mental and physical health will allow our attorneys to be the best resource for our clients and also the best version of themselves. We encourage our team members to utilize our employee assistance program to seek confidential consultations that support mental, physical, social, and financial well-being. And, in recent years, we’ve implemented more wellness-focused programing at our annual meetings, including yoga, mindfulness, and a 5K. We work hard to lead by example and prioritize well-being for attorneys and staff.”
Global Head of Legal Personnel, Reed Smith LLP
“Investing in our people is not only the right thing to do, it is an investment in the quality of our client service as well as a commitment to our culture of excellence. The ABA’s Well-Being Pledge is a powerful example of the profession linking arms to confront universal challenges and to come out stronger for having done so. Promoting well-being, destigmatizing issues around mental health and substance use and fostering discourse around the common struggles we all face will not only make the profession stronger, it will make its members better lawyers and better people.”
Partner, Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard PLLC
“As a long-time solo and small firm attorney, no one carves out time for me to look after my own well-being. To be my best, it is up to me to put my health and happiness first. Quality time with family, intense daily workouts and a nice vacation on the horizon keeps me rejuvenated. Everyone needs to figure out their own well-being recipe because, as the saying goes, we can’t pour from an empty cup.”
“The legal industry is extremely demanding, and the needs of our clients and the technologically-connected world we live in puts ever more pressure on professionals – lawyers and business folks. The industry needs to be laser-focused on giving all of the support we can to help our talent stay healthy and be well. At Goodwin, we do so through our You@Goodwin program, because having well-adjusted professionals is good for our clients, our firm and our industry.”
Chair, Crowell & Moring LLP
“Fostering an environment that supports the well-being of our attorneys and professional staff is a top priority at Crowell & Moring. As a proud signatory of the ABA Well-Being Pledge, we are joining other firms in shedding light on the challenges attorneys and professional staff face and identifying resources and best practices that can make a real difference. Our profession must commit to a meaningful dialogue about mental health and how to support it.”
Dean of Students, University of Pennsylvania Law School
“We do an excellent job training law students how to solve problems for their clients. Imagine the transformation of our profession’s well-being if we put equal emphasis on empowering lawyers to treat themselves as clients. We must encourage lawyers to value self-care, prioritize intrinsic motivation, and support empathy and relationship building – ideals we easily transmit to our clients but have difficulty applying to ourselves. These principles are at the core of our helping profession.”
Chair, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
“Along with client service, our top priority should be ensuring that our people are engaged, fulfilled and able to meet the incredible demands of our profession. Clients come to us with their biggest, most complex, sensitive problems. The stakes are big, the demands significant and, in many cases, the time short. We can’t make the job less demanding, but we can provide our colleagues tools to help them thrive in a challenging environment. We can enable them to be in the best position to have professional and personal lives that are integrated and fulfilling.”
Dean of Students, American University Washington College of Law, National Task Force Member; Vice Chair, ABA CoLAP Law School Assistance Committee
“Law schools are taking many of the approaches being considered by law firms toward greater well-being. As part of your commitment to well-being, consider giving some of your time back to your law school. Offer to meet with students in your practice area, mock interview a few of them, or talk about how your firm is committed to the next generation of healthy lawyers. They will love you for it!”
Chief Executive Officer, Katten
“As a firm leader, it is my job to be a role model and promote well-being as one of my firm’s core values. Working in a law firm in this era of intense competition and change poses well-being challenges for all of our people, not only lawyers. Core to my own well-being has been developing an understanding of how my career fits with the rest of my life—and also recognizing that my family, friends hobbies, and exercise provide fulfillment and balance that I don’t get from my law job.”
Anne Brafford, Chair ABA LP Attorney Well-Being Committee, National Task Force member and Chief Editor of the 2017 Report, Owner of Aspire
“For law firms, caring about lawyer well-being is not just the right thing to do, it’s also good for clients and for business. Healthy lawyers are more engaged and productive. They are more energized to fully contribute to their firms, colleagues, families, and communities.”