find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
No easy solution to depression

No easy solution to depression

The head of people and development at a top-tier law firm believes timesheets and the culture within private practice can’t be blamed for the high rates of depression among lawyers.

The head of people and development at a top-tier law firm believes timesheets and the culture within private practice can’t be blamed for the high rates of depression among lawyers.

Katy McDonald (pictured), the national director of people and development at Minter Ellison, spoke to Lawyers Weekly ahead of Mental Health Week, which will be held from 7 October to 13 October.

McDonald is an advocate for reducing the stigma associated with depression by encouraging people to speak about it.

However, she believes it is too simplistic to point the finger at timesheets and the long hours lawyers work as an explanation for why the legal profession has inordinately high rates of depression.

“Lawyers are not the only profession that records their time: accountants, engineers and a lot of other people record their time,” she said, adding that “there is a danger about getting too excited about timesheets”.

“I don’t think there is any particular magic in the time-costing or the culture in large commercial law firms.”

McDonald is speaking at the Healthy Mind, healthy Bottom Line lunch in Sydney on Thursday 11 October, which is organised by Chartered Secretaries Australia (CSA). Other speakers at the lunch include Professor Alan Fels, the chair of the National Mental Health Commission, and Therese Fitzpatrick, a workplace and workforce program leader at beyondblue.

“I will be talking about the importance of this subject to this firm and the legal profession and legal industry,” said McDonald. “The focus of the policy at Minters is that we really try and educate and raise awareness about depression.

“We provide lots of learning opportunities to equip our people with resilience skills and prevention strategies.” In 2010, Minters launched the ‘Resilient ME program’ after consulting with the former Victoria premier and beyondblue chairman Jeff Kennett.

On the evening of 11 October, the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation Annual Lecture will be held in Sydney at the Law Courts Building at the Federal Court of Australia.

The panel at the lecture will include John Colvin, the former head of Blake Dawson, and Matthew Stutsel, a former partner at Freehills and now the national head of taxation at KPMG.

Stutsel has previously spoken about his struggles with depression.

According to research from the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation in 2009, 31 per cent of solicitors surveyed reported having either high or very high levels of psychological distress.

For information on how to attend the CSA lunch, click here.
Information on the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation lecture can be found here
.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

No easy solution to depression
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Dec 14 2017
International arbitration and business culture
Promoted by Maxwell Chambers. This article discusses the impact of international arbitration on t...
Papua New Guinea flag
Dec 14 2017
World-first mining case launched in PNG
Citizens of Papua New Guinea have launched landmark legal proceedings against the country’s govern...
Dec 14 2017
Punishing offenders twice pointless, politicians warned
The president of the Law Society of NSW has warned legislators from other states about adopting cont...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...