This case study may be useful if you are looking for examples of developing a wellbeing policy, increasing awareness of wellbeing, developing resilience training schemes and/or promoting wellbeing initiatives.
Falcon Chambers have undertaken multiple initiatives to ensure that Chambers remains one of the nicest chambers to work in.
What was the business (other case) for action?
Falcon Chambers has historically had an excellent track record in attracting and retaining members, in large part due to a friendly and supporting working environment.
However, Chambers recognised that the modern ways of working are increasing levels of pressure on barristers and staff, and that more active and formal measures were needed to ensure that everyone continued to feel, and to be, fully supported and to perform at their best. Falcon Chambers were particularly keen to provide a warm and useful welcome for new members of chambers, and to set up structures for existing barristers to help each other to identify and solve potential issues before they affected either wellbeing or work performance.
What did the Chambers do?
Chambers set up a Wellbeing Committee with representation from junior and senior barristers and clerks, fully endorsed by Chambers’ Management Board.
The Wellbeing Committee worked with the Chancery Bar Association to develop and refine a Chambers Wellbeing Policy, which has been adopted as part of the Chambers Constitution.
To support the implementation and success of the policy, over the past year or so, the Committee has:
“Falcon Chambers have used work on wellbeing to formally recognise the pressure now placed on members of the Bar, keeping very much to the pre-existing ethos of chambers. They have worked effectively with Chancery Bar in developing their strategy; and initiatives like talks from experts and reviewing induction processes demonstrate a well-considered approach. Good to see too investment in mentoring.”
Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group
What were the results?
A culture of open dialogue amongst barristers and staff about wellbeing issues has developed, allowing potential problems to be identified and avoided.
Feedback from new members of chambers on the new induction process was universally positive, and the process will be used for all future recruits.
Wellbeing issues are integrated into chambers’ decision-making processes, and there is a greater understanding of how these affect, and are affected by, other aspects of Chambers’ business and work practices.
Strong support, and resourcing, from the senior management of Chambers is important, both practically in being able to run a full programme of activities, and in signalling that the importance of well-being is recognised.
Draw on external experts who have a good understanding of the particular challenges and pressures of working at the Bar.
Don’t pigeonhole wellbeing as a detached issue but try to embed it as an important consideration in all aspects of Chambers management and decision making.
The information and resource packs on this website are designed to help you and your colleagues to work as a community for better wellbeing and professional resilience. If you want to provide feedback on these resources, or to get involved in promoting wellbeing please get in touch.
It can be difficult to make a living from law and it can be pressurised and demanding. Competition and an adversarial approach to everything can make collegiate relationships difficult. This website aims to provide you with the knowledge to manage these stressors, make emotionally informed, wise professional decisions and thrive in your chosen profession.
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