To introduce wellbeing to the conversation in chambers, Chambers decided to design a range of pragmatic approaches which they felt would be meaningful and have impact. They felt that an earlier focus on enhancing a positive working culture within chambers provided them with a sound foundation and a level of trust and openness, conducive to discussing wellbeing.
One of Gainsborough Law’s recent business objectives was to focus on organisational development. They invited those who work within Chambers to discuss their views on what working for an engaging organisation meant to them. On the back of this, they implemented ideas to foster a positive and innovative working culture.
When faced with lockdown and the challenges of working remotely during a pandemic, they decided to build on their success and bring wellbeing to the forefront. They felt that increasing awareness of wellbeing and discussing it openly, was a natural progression for them.
The business case for introducing wellbeing at this point was based on the unprecedented situation everyone found themselves in (working from home, managing the unknown and coping with pandemic anxiety during the initial COVID-19 lockdown period). Chambers recognised that more than ever, there was a need to support each other and clients.
Chambers also knew that developing initiatives to support wellbeing in the workplace was widely-recognised as a trait of a successful organisation which believed in supporting its greatest asset – its people.
As individuals with different responsibilities within Chambers (ranging from clerking to IT to Head of Chambers to barrister), they understood that wellbeing would mean different things to different people at different times and they should aim to be aware of this in all they did.
The range of approaches included the following actions:
A new approach to meetings
Internship Programme (work experience)
Communications about Wellbeing
Wider Equality/CSR activity (which supports wellbeing)
Chambers found and continue to find, many benefits of increasing their awareness of wellbeing and integrating it into work conversations and activities.
Some of the benefits experienced include:
‘Gainsborough Law has clearly worked hard to create a supportive environment where people are comfortable in discussing wellbeing. It is also good to see such a focus on mentoring and the introduction of discussions around managing relationships at the Bar, stress and emotional and financial wellbeing for their interns’.
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