A new guide has returned focus to the personal wellbeing of lawyers.
Drawing on the expertise of contributors from a number of disciplines, the Being Well in the Law pocketbook provides tips on how to manage the pressures of work and life.
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The free book offers a combination of positive psychology techniques and insights, which the authors point out can help “shape attitudes and build a sense of hope for the future”.
Emily Ryan, the new president of NSW Young Lawyers, commended the publication in a recent Christmas message to members.
“This toolkit … offers ideas to help everybody, young and old, deal with depression, anxiety and stress and learn to better manage the business and pressures of work and life,” Ms Ryan said.
Officially released in November, the guide is a product of collaboration between NSW Young Lawyers, ANU Legal Workshop and the Law Society of NSW.
Introducing the book on its website, the law society underscored the need for practitioners to understand that wellbeing affects all parts of their lives – personal, professional and everything in between.
“Compartmentalising our lives into a professional section, a health section, an emotions section and so on puts us on the road to ill health in all these areas,” the law society said.
“We need to act with all areas of our lives in balance and this will lead to an integrated experience of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, with the potential for change and growth.”
The guide explores different varieties of stress, good and bad, and urges lawyers to check whether the stresses they experience have become detrimental. It also aims to return the conversation about mental health and depression within the legal fraternity to the practical issue of wellbeing.
“For too long, the debate on mental health in the legal profession has focused on the negatives. The negativity has only served to exacerbate the stigma and trauma of the members of our profession who has been suffering in silence,” the law society said.
“The Being Well in the Law guide aims to shift the focus to wellbeing again.”