Because too many legal professionals aren’t thriving, multiple initiatives have been launched to catalyze positive change. In 2017, the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being (renamed the Institute for Well-Being in Law in 2020) published its comprehensiveThe Path to Lawyer Well-Being report that included a call to action to organizations across the profession.
Many already have responded in a variety of constructive ways:
- Nearly 200 legal employers have signed the ABA’s Well-Being Pledge since 2017
- 71% of AmLaw 100 firms have signed the ABA Pledge
- In 2021, Vault.com first added “Wellness” as a category in its Best Law Firm associate survey–30 large firms and 25 midsized firms achieved a ranking
- A recent Mercer survey found that 99% of participating law firms offer some type of well-being program
- A growing number of law firms have hired dedicated coordinators of their well-being programs
- Over 60 legal employers have signed the Mindful Business Charter to promote well-being in attorney-client relationships
- And much more
Don’t be left behind. Be a leader at the forefront of change.
Well-being strategies aimed at all three levels can
take many forms—including, for example:
So far, most well-being programs in the legal profession have focused mostly on secondary strategies (e.g., meditation, resilience training, stress management) and tertiary strategies (e.g., mental health literacy, lawyer impairment policies). These strategies are a great place to start. But to build sustainable workplace well-being, it also will be important to explore primary strategies that seek to root out cases of stress and poor mental health.
Get Started Building A Healthy Workplace During Well-Being Week in Law
To encourage you to start exploring ways to root out causes of poor mental health and build sustainable workplace well-being, Well-Being Week in Law (WWIL) has added an organizational track. For each day of WWIL, we’re providing information, resources, and activities about one of the major psychosocial workplace factors. Our aim is to get some ideas percolating during WWIL and then to provide additional year-round support for the long-term process of building sustainable workplace well-being in the legal profession.
Take The ABA Well-Being Pledge
The ABA has launched a Pledge Campaign inviting all types of legal employers to: (a) recognize that substance use and mental health problems represent a significant challenge for the legal profession and acknowledge that more can and should be done to improve the health and well-being of lawyers; and, (b) pledge to support the Campaign and work to adopt and prioritize its seven-point framework for building a better future. Learn more about the Pledge Campaign here and download the Pledge Infographic here. Contact Theresa Gronkiewicz with any questions or to pledge your support: Theresa.Gronkiewicz@americanbar.org.