In an effort to strengthen the resilience, engagement, and mental fitness of Utahns working in law, the Salt Lake Chamber’s social impact foundation, Utah Community Builders, has partnered with the Utah State Bar and its Well-Being Committee for the Legal Profession to create a wellness guide entitled “Living Well in Law: A Guide to Building Engagement and Resilience in the Legal Profession.”
“Life in the law can be stressful,” explained Justice Paige Petersen of the Utah Supreme Court. “The work ethic and diligence that make lawyers great at what we do can also lead us to burn out, especially if we regularly put the demands of the profession ahead of caring for ourselves.”
The guide is broken into seven comprehensive steps. The first steps include understanding why engagement and resilience matter, identifying a committed champion or group and recruiting leader buy-in.
The beginning steps are designed to create change in the workplace by championing resilient behavior and culture. “Legal employers and the organizational culture both play a vital role in the level of employee well-being, engagement and resilience,” the guide states.
The next steps include assessing the workplace and employees, articulating goals, executing an action plan and measuring and adapting for continuous improvement. The guide stresses the importance of starting where an organization currently stands and implementing strategies from the ground up.
“Be willing to adjust!” the guide says. “If something isn’t working well, eliminate it. If something else gets traction, expand it.”
Additionally, “Living Well in Law” features valuable statistics, ways to recognize and prevent burnout and advice from professionals in the field.
“Supporting the health and well-being of the attorneys at my firm is of paramount importance to me, not just as a shareholder but as a friend and colleague,” said Nicole Salazar-Hall, shareholder at Parsons Behle & Latimer. “Ensuring our attorneys are able to access the help they need without judgment or stigma allows the entire firm to flourish and serve our clients and the community more effectively.”
The practice of law is a demanding profession that requires an incredible amount of time in the workplace. However, by implementing a combination of mental wellness strategies and resources, legal employers have an opportunity to realize benefits for their professionals and for their organization.