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The Western Circuit

This case study may be useful if you are looking for examples of increasing awareness of wellbeing.

Western Circuit has updated its compulsory pupillage training to include wellbeing.

Its aim is to encourage healthy working practices in pupils and new practitioners at the beginning of their career.

What was the business (other case) for action?

Circuit leaders wanted to develop a strategy to help reduce the level of poor health, illness and absence experienced by practitioners on their Circuit.


Leaders of the Western Circuit recognised the challenges faced by practitioners and the opportunity to prepare and safeguard new practitioners through wellbeing education and training.

In the materials developed they sought to promote active engagement on wellbeing by (i) reducing the stigma associated with mental health issues; and (ii) normalising the risks faced by working life on the Western Circuit.

What did the Circuit do?

The Director of Education & Training (Philip Mott QC) initiated and developed wellbeing materials which could be delivered alongside the mandatory core pupillage training. Materials were developed in collaboration with the Wellbeing at the Bar team.

The new training materials were piloted with Western Circuit’s 2016 pupil cohort, allowing them to test content and monitor feedback. The material was delivered at a complimentary lecture introducing wellbeing concepts and covering practical tips on practice management.

What were the results?

The Western Circuit secured positive feedback from their new practitioners, and increased engagement with other Circuiteers in their chambers.

New practitioners have welcomed the focus on wellbeing and the new materials will, it is hoped, give them knowledge & skills to build on.

“Western Circuit has recognised the world we now live in and the need for the circuit to provide leadership around wellbeing. We applaud their initiative to embed healthy working practices early on in a barrister’s career.”

Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group


• Keep the information evidenced based, relevant and focused to your audience, in our case pupils.
• Don’t assume that all new pupils are well and resilient; Western Circuit learned that some had existing challenges. Allowing participants an opportunity to talk informally was important.

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