Professionals across the UK legal industry are being encouraged to participate in new research to assess the impact of workplace culture and practices on employees’ wellbeing, as issues around mental health continue to rise up the Big Law agenda.
The study is being spearheaded by legal mental health charity LawCare, which is currently running an anonymous online questionnaire across the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands, and Isle of Man until 31 December. The results – which will be announced next year – will form the basis of an academic paper and be used to help LawCare improve the levels of support available to employees in the legal industry employees.
In particular, the research will investigate scales of burn-out, psychological safety, and autonomy among participants. The survey will focus on questions around sleep, workload, hours worked, self-care, working environment, and what wellbeing support is offered at work.
Commenting on the nature of the research, Elizabeth Rimmer, CEO of LawCare, said: ‘This is the biggest-ever piece of academic research into wellbeing in the legal industry in the UK and Ireland. We’ve been absolutely delighted with the number of responses so far and we urge all legal professionals to make their voice heard and tell us about their life in the law. This will give us a clear picture of how the culture and practice of law affects mental health and help us not only to improve the support available to legal professionals, but drive long-lasting change in legal workplaces so that people working in the law can thrive.’
Mental wellbeing has become an increasingly important topic of discussion for the industry in recent years and has given rise to a number of initiatives. One such enterprise is the Mindful Business Charter (MBC), which was devised by banking giant Barclays alongside Pinsent Masons and Addleshaw Goddard and launched in 2018. The MBC looks to combat workplace practices that contribute to stress and poor mental health among lawyers, with Cooley’s London office becoming one of the latest to sign up to the initiative .
Legal professionals can take part in LawCare’s research at: lifeinthelaw.org.uk
For more background on mental health concerns over the practice of law, see ‘Fault lines – Can City law face up to the challenges of mental health?‘ and ‘No alarms and no surprises – Behind the Mindful Business Charter‘