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Gray’s Inn

This case study may be useful if you are looking for examples of developing a wellbeing policy, developing resilience training schemes and/or promoting wellbeing initiatives.

Gray’s Inn incorporates wellbeing into each stage of its education and training programmes.

The Inn has run a series of meditation sessions and wellbeing events specifically aimed at students, pupils and junior barristers.

What was the business (other case) for action?

Gray’s Inn believe that wellbeing is of great interest and importance to those about to enter, and those already in, the legal profession.

As an Inn of Court, Gray’s is in a different position from chambers and law firms, with its focus on education. Other educational institutions (particularly in Australia), have already made wellbeing a critical part of their training programme and Gray’s Inn was keen to do the same.

Gray’s takes the training and welfare of its members very seriously and identified those in the early stages of their legal careers as being particularly vulnerable. The Inn felt they would also benefit most from training around wellbeing. They recognised the particular pressures of pupillage and early days of practice, and the benefit of forming good habits for lifelong wellbeing at the very outset of a career in the profession.

What did the Inn do?

  1. Incorporated wellbeing as a subject within education and training programmes.
  2. Organised a trial series of ‘meditation for barristers‘ sessions
  3. Arranged for members of staff and representatives to attend a Wellness for Law Forum Conference.
  4. Organised, in conjunction with the Barristers’ Committee an evening wellbeing event for students, pupils and junior barristers. Speakers included Rachel Spearing, Sir Mark Waller, Pushpinder Saini QC, Nicholas Peacock and Gillian Higgins. An optional mindfulness/meditation session was included.  The talks were followed by an informal drinks reception which gave them a good insight into how the event was received.

What were the results?

The meditation sessions were well received.

Feedback on education and training events has shown an appreciation of the subject being raised.

The event in September was considered to have been well timed as it coincided with the start of students’ academic year and the start of pupillage. For many students, it was their first event in the Inn and we believe it sent out a very positive message that the Inn gives prominence to wellbeing. Gray’s Inn very much hope to be able to hold similar events again in future.  A quote from one of the attendees was:

Fantastically helpful and very reassuring. I would highly recommend talks like this throughout the year. It is great way of reminding people that there is more to life”.

“Gray’s Inn has demonstrated a long-term commitment to wellbeing as a member of the original wellbeing working group established by Bar Council in 2015. As befits its principal role in education, Gray’s focuses on raising awareness and the education of members on the importance of wellbeing and in tackling stigma. Of note, is wellbeing and resilience work with new students and pupils.”

Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group

Tips

  • Try to attend a conference or event relating to wellbeing, as it may inspire you to change your own organisation for the better.

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.


Get in touch Policy & practice

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.

A simple expression that sums up wellbeing is ‘travelling well’

Psychological wellbeing within the profession is rarely spoken about