3VB is tackling the stigma that can be associated with mental ill-health in the workplace and encourages openness about mental health and wellbeing.
Chambers is a large set, but central to its success and its core business strategy is the real sense of collegiality that exists, and which prevailed throughout lockdown. Chambers has set out as a key strategic objective the need to maintain that collegiality and to build even stronger ties between members, pupils, and staff.
Chambers wanted to provide clear, different, and confidential channels of communication in the event of any personal issues related to wellbeing arising. They also wanted to ensure that everyone could learn more about identifying potential mental health indicators in their own working and private lives, ways to deal with them and the signs to look out for in others.
To support this, Chambers recognised the need to arrange more social events, talks and activities, mentoring schemes, more generous parental leave arrangements, and flexible working arrangements including any reasonable steps to adjust work schedules.
These not only support and reinforce the sense of collegiality, but also engender an environment where people feel supported at all levels, bringing people closer together, and allowing everyone to understand that the business is not simply about hard work and high performance.
Chambers’ CSR Committee is responsible for Wellbeing in Chambers. It consists of barristers from a range of seniority, the Chambers Director, the Senior Practice Managers, a Marketing Director, and a Practice Manager.
Over the last two years the CSR Committee has been highly active. It has produced a Wellbeing Policy, (written more as a guide than as a policy) and has been instrumental in setting up the following initiatives:
Wider Equality/CSR activity (which supports wellbeing)
Chambers are developing a culture where members undertaking pro-bono work, is the norm. All new tenants are expected to take an Advocate case within the first 2 years of practice and where all fourth seat pupils take on an Advocate case under the supervision of or (where required/appropriate) jointly with their pupil supervisor.
It is great to see 3VB’S efforts to be outward looking and community focused in their approach to wellbeing. They have also acknowledged that practical career support for their members is a key component of a good wellbeing strategy.
Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group
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.
A simple expression that sums up wellbeing is ‘travelling well’
Psychological wellbeing within the profession is rarely spoken about