Well-being in in-house legal teams

Well-being in in-house legal teams

Studies focusing on the legal profession have reached alarming conclusions about the mental health risks faced by lawyers. On 25th January 2017, the LexisNexis Strategic Advisory Board, Knowledge Management and Chief Legal Officers forums met to discuss well-being in in-house legal teams.

The roundtable session was facilitated by Richard Martin from Byrne Dean. Richard was an employment law partner and now works with organisations to help promote awareness of mental health and create healthier, more productive workplaces. The discussion covered two key areas:

  • Recognising the signs of stress and risks to mental health
  • What can you do to protect the well-being of employees?

What do we mean by pressure and stress?

Pressure is necessary for productivity and it is part of life. Stress is not. Stress is a state of mind where our perception of the demands upon us exceeds our perception of the resources available to us. The more we get into a state of stress, the worse our sense of perspective gets – suddenly everything seems urgent and insurmountable.

Anxiety is a problem when it becomes an unhelpful response to things that aren’t a threat. The roundtable session considered some of the risk factors that heighten susceptibility, including major change, persistent stress and lack of light in the winter months. A constant state of stress causes low performance and a high risk of mental health issues.

Why is it important to consider the well-being of your team?

  • Moral case: The need to look after ourselves and the people that work for us.
  • Legal case: Employers have a legal duty of care and responsibility to look after their employees.
  • Values of the company: Well-being and employee satisfaction are often

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About the author:
Sophie Gould is the Head of Lexis®PSL In-house. Sophie worked as an in-house lawyer for 10 years including seven years as Head of Legal for Virgin Radio and Ginger Media Group. She has also run a legal risk and compliance training business.

 

Since joining LexisNexis in 2009 Sophie has worked on developing our legal and business content for the in-house legal community.  She also runs various networking and mentoring groups for in-house lawyers and works with schools to promote social mobility within the legal profession.