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. Continue reading “‘Drive long-lasting change’: Professionals urged to take part in survey on law and mental health”
Junior lawyers have penned a letter to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) demanding clarification on the protection available to junior lawyers who are subject to ‘toxic’ work environments.
The letter, published yesterday (13 February) by the Law Society’s Junior Lawyers Division (JLD), cited concerns around rulings from the High Court and Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal that struck off junior solicitors who were subsequently found to be working under difficult conditions. Continue reading “‘Not adequately protected’: Junior lawyers demand SRA response on concerns over toxic working conditions”
Legal Business‘ team and contacts have had to put up with me banging on about my intention to do an issue focused on quality of life for quite some time. It is a difficult topic to write about without descending into generality or banality but this remains a people business to the bone.
Continue reading “Comment: Quality of life – law can give it…and take it away”
The City’s leading firms have formally embraced flexible working, with the percentage of fee-earners working part-time at the top ten of the Legal Business 100 ranging between 2% and 10%.
Continue reading “‘Some firms do it very well’: Top City outfits embrace flexible working”
‘Management is the most noble of professions… No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow. More and more MBA students come to school thinking that a career in business means buying, selling and investing in companies. That’s unfortunate. Doing deals doesn’t yield the deep rewards that come from building up people.’
Clayton Christensen, How Will You Measure Your Life?
Continue reading “Survivors – the battle to improve the working lives of lawyers”
Researching our quality of life special, we canvassed the top ten UK firms for details on their HR policies on parental leave and flexible working, as well as other support provided to improve the lives of all staff. Below are the results
City lawyers have long been prone to burnout. Are changing attitudes seeing law firms finally face up to the challenges of mental health and extreme stress?
‘I decided the sensible thing to do was walk across four lanes of French motorway traffic. Eventually I was accosted by a toll gate assistant asking: “What are you doing?” I had to confess that I really had little idea. I wasn’t aware of the warning signs.’
Continue reading “Fault lines – Can City law face up to the challenges of mental health?”
‘One evening I found six cans of Red Bull on an associate’s desk. I just sent him home. People get tired, people make mistakes.’
David Trott, Freshfields
To coincide with LB‘s quality of life special, senior lawyers discuss stress, wellbeing and what makes it worth it
‘If there’s a deadline or things are blowing up on a deal, you need to take a deep intake of breath. As you go through these episodes of stress it gets easier. There are peaks and troughs for stress in any job but it gets easier.’
Andrew Ballheimer, managing partner, Allen & Overy
‘We have a reasonable word-of-mouth reputation as purveyors of miserable music for gut-wrenching films.’
Many City lawyers have outside interests, few combine being at the very top of their profession with another career outlet. But Slaughter and May senior partner Steve Cooke is one such individual. Since 1993 the M&A veteran has worked with cartoonist Russell Taylor – famed for creating the comic strip Alex – to produce soundtracks for over 50 films and documentaries. Among others, they composed the music for Bafta-winning and Bafta-nominated documentaries such as The Lost Girls of South Africa, China’s Stolen Children, Chosen, Orphans of Nkandla, and the recent BBC series about Country Life magazine titled Land of Hope and Glory. Cooke plays and composes on the keyboards and guitar.
Continue reading “The quality of life report: Pursuits – Steve Cooke, Slaughter and May”