LAW FIRMS are joining the ranks of the health conscious, but they’re not all keen to partake in a fitness boot camp.
“Forte Family Lawyers enjoy massage especially, just because it’s such a good way to escape from the stressful job of family law,” said Marcel Berger, managing director of Get a Life Health Management.
Among the first law firms to trial the Get A Life way of life was Clayton Utz. “They were one of our first companies to actually commit to a new 13-week training program; they were key to getting that program off the ground,” Berger said.
Clayton Utz partner David Cowling said that the adoption of the program was part of a wider awareness at the firm of the “mental and physical pressures on our lawyers”.
“Introducing [the program] allowed us to proactively concentrate on the health and wellbeing of our staff. Our program also helped us make the most of the opportunity to raise funds for the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute through the PUMA Lap and we are proud to say that we were the major leading fundraiser for the PUMA Lap 2006, in Sydney,” he said.
Berger has been thinking long and hard about ways to get lawyers active. “Certainly the major issue that we find with lawyers is time, because they’re so time-poor their health falls down the priority list very, very quickly. Also, because they live their lives in six-minute blocks it becomes more difficult.”
So how do you get lawyers away from their desks? Well, Berger admits this might be a trick question. “What we’ve found is that the norm of one-hour to one-and-a-half-hour training session just doesn’t work within law firms,” he said. “Instead, we’ve created software which will prompt you to do three to six minutes worth of stretches and exercises while sitting at your desk.”
Berger hopes that their new healthy habits will put lawyers in the frame of mind to go out and train on their own after the initial program is over. “We’re very much into trying to educate our clients, rather than having them rely on us for the rest of their lives.”