Skip to content

Close

Search

Institute of Barristers’ Clerks

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.

The IBC has led a campaign promoting wellbeing across the Bar taking advantage of the unique role of clerks within all sets of chambers. The campaign has been designed to help clerks to assist their barristers and other clerks/colleagues in chambers.

The IBC has supported the Wellbeing at the Bar movement since it was founded. Its members supported the initial survey and the subsequent development of the wellbeing web resource – both for barristers and clerks/other chambers staff.

What was the business (other case) for action?

The members of the IBC welcomed the initiative as a way of supporting the barristers for whom they worked, as well as recognising that they too worked in an environment which has the potential to cause mental illness.

The IBC’s involvement in the development of the Wellbeing at the Bar website meant that the initiative could reach out to all those working with members of the Bar. The pages written specifically to support clerks and other chambers personnel have provided all those (thousands) working at the bar with the information and support they need to function well. Feedback suggests this has resulted in a shift in culture with wellbeing now being an open topic of conversation and the IBC’s membership enjoying the reputation of being part of an Institute that recognises and supports the wellbeing of its members and others with whom they work.

What did the IBC do?

The IBC have organised a number of seminars on the topic including ‘Managing difficult conversations’, ‘Managing challenging behaviour’, ‘Understanding and Managing Anxiety and Depression’
The IBC in conjunction with the Chancery Bar Association has developed a Wellbeing policy which will be made available to all ChBA Chambers.

Mind will be delivering ‘Managing Mental Health at Work’ training to all managers and supervisors this year. Following this Inner Temple are planning to make Wellness Action Plans available for staff to complete if they wish.

What were the results?

Every member of the IBC now has access to proper advice and support on Wellbeing both for themselves and in supporting others.

IBC involvement on this agenda enabled the Institute to take a leading role on an important new initiative for its members. It also meant they could help shape the Wellbeing at the Bar resources to reflect their own concerns and meet their requirements.

Ensuring clerks’ support for the initiative has had a significant impact on tackling any stigma associated with mental health for barristers.

“The IBC has been a vital partner in the Wellbeing at the Bar initiative since its inception. The clerk is a critical supporter to everyone in chambers. The whole campaign owes much of its success to the IBC recognising wellbeing and mental health as important both for themselves and for their barristers. For most barristers, the support they get from their clerks will make the difference between maintaining their practice or leaving the profession and the Institute’s proactive role on this agenda is a major contributor to the programme’s impact. It would be good to see learning from working on a wellbeing policy with the Chancery Bar extended to other practice.”

Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group

Tips

  • Leadership is critical. Strong messages from the top acknowledging that Wellbeing is important and a topic that should be discussed gives others permission (if it is needed) to talk about wellbeing and mental health, and to raise it as an issue in their own workplace.

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