Wellness programs and initiatives are cropping up at law firms all over the country. Firms both large and small are recognizing the need to focus on mental health and happiness for their employees.
As lawyers, we all know that our profession can be stressful—we dedicate our intellectual and mental energy to problem-solving, long hours, and sometimes challenging clients. Stress can lead to addiction-forming behaviors like drinking and drugs, which are prevalent issues in the law industry. Furthermore, there is an epidemic of depression among lawyers.
Firms are finally taking note of these problems and choosing to address them proactively.
Recently, Morgan Lewis committed to the American Bar Association’s Wellness Pledge and launched ML Well to provide programs that support the “intellectual, physical, emotional, and occupational health” of their employees. They also hired Krista Logelin as the firm’s first Director of Employee Well-Being.
ML Well hosts educational programs about “how to design lives of meaning and fulfillment, including with Patrick R. Krill, a recognized thought leader on addiction, mental health, and well-being in the legal profession.”
ML Well also focuses on physical activity and community service and provides their lawyers with an online resource portal.
Other firms who have signed the pledge include Pepper Hamilton, K &L Gates, and Duane Morris, among others, plus several university law schools.
Dorsey, another law firm, has a Well Ahead program and also signed the ABA’s Pledge as part of their commitment to wellness.
Their Chief Administrative Officer, Patrick Lutter, says, “The ABA’s Campaign aligns with our initiatives and the importance of Well Ahead’s holistic approach to our employees’ well-being. We will continue to add new components to Well Ahead in support of the ABA Campaign” (apnews.com).
It’s uplifting news to hear that big firms are paying attention to wellness. We’ll be keeping an eye on this space to see what programs they design and how much of an impact they make.
Does your law firm have a wellness program? What would you like to see firms do to better support attorney wellness?
Feel free to respond in the comments!