The American Bar Association has released a well-being toolkit to make it easier for lawyers and legal employers to find resources to support lawyer well-being.
The focus of the toolkit is on helping legal employers support healthy work environments, which are critical for lawyer wellness. Research shows that if workplace cultures support well-being, lawyers will be better able to make good choices that allow them to thrive and be their best for clients, colleagues, and work organizations.
It is a third major development by the ABA to address the issue of lawyer well-being in as many years. In 2016, the ABA and Hazelden Foundation released a study of more than 15,000 lawyers and law students that showed more than a third of all practicing lawyers and law students have problems with alcohol and substance abuse, depression, anxiety and other emotional disorders.
In 2017, the National Task Force on Attorney Well-Being issued recommendations for the profession to address the problems identified in the ABA-Hazelden Report, including the recommendation that lawyers, judges, and others in the profession try practicing mindfulness.
California lawyer Anne Brafford, the primary drafter of the National Task Force Report, also served as primary drafter of the well-being toolkit. She can be reached at email@example.com.