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Guidance on how to introduce wellbeing policies and initiatives and on tackling a wellbeing issue in chambers.

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Examples of successful wellbeing initiatives adopted by chambers, Specialist Bar Associations and the Inns of Court.

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Staple Inn Chambers

This case study may be useful if you are looking for examples of developing a survey to understand how to improve wellbeing in chambers, implementing a mentoring scheme and/or promoting wellbeing initiatives.

What was the ‘business’ (other case) for action?

Staple Inn Chambers (SIC) recognises that the wellbeing of individual members and staff is inextricably linked to the success of chambers. SIC understand that wellbeing issues which are left un-addressed can affect the environment and morale within chambers. This can ultimately result in the loss of members/staff.

SIC takes wellbeing issues seriously and by applying for a Certificate of Recognition, they want to demonstrate this to their members and staff. SIC aims to promote an environment within chambers where wellbeing issues can be discussed and tackled without judgment.

What did Chambers do?

Survey

  • Chambers conducted an anonymous wellbeing survey to understand how members/staff felt chambers dealt with wellbeing issues and what could be done to improve wellbeing in chambers.

SIC then sought to address the issues raised in this survey as set out below:

Wellbeing policy:

  • SIC developed a wellbeing policy, which included appointing a wellbeing officer and implementing a buddy/mentoring system.

Education:

  • SIC organised a mindfulness session in chambers (October 2019).

Other activities:

  • SIC re-introduced a monthly chambers tea; and
  • Put together a team for the London Legal Walk.

What were the results?

  • Re-introducing Chambers Tea has enabled members who are currently on maternity leave/not practising to keep up to date on chambers life and helped them to feel included and supported for when they are back at work. It has also allowed members and staff to discuss work and non-work topics in an informal setting.
  • Both members and staff have spoken with wellbeing officers about issues they were facing and have worked together to address these issues.

 

 

  • 8 members of chambers signed up to a mindfulness session in September.
  • Following the London Legal walk there has been interest shown about chambers engaging in more fundraising activities. SIC are now putting together a quiz team for the Great Legal Quiz in November 2019.
  • Chambers intend to survey members/staff again in 6 months-time to see how the wellbeing policy and buddy/mentoring system has been received.

“SIC sensibly surveyed members and staff before developing their strategy and programme. We’re encouraged by their appointment of a wellbeing officer and support for a buddy/mentoring scheme.”

Wellbeing at the Bar Working Group

Tips

Do

  • An anonymous survey at the outset to get a baseline understanding of how members/staff feel wellbeing issues are handled in chambers.

Don’t

  • Put pressure on members/staff to engage with wellbeing activities.

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