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PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION
WELLNESS INITIATIVES

 

HONG KONG

The Law Society of Hong Kong for solicitors or Hong Kong Bar Association for barristers act as platforms for awareness raising and information dissemination. There are invitations of editorial contribution by mindfulness specialists and calling for registration to satellite yoga and meditation workshops available on Hong Kong Lawyer organized by Law Society of Hong Kong.

UNITED STATES

To decrease social stigma over lawyers’ mentality, ABA has bridged legal professionals with wider communities through national and local mental health campaigns e.g. Mental Health Awareness Month and Love Your Lawyer Day. This enables both lawyers and the community to accept the mental vulnerability of legal professionals. As a further step, ABA established a special committee Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs with objectives to reduce lawyers’ reluctance to step forward to address mental health and substance-use disorders.
As a cornerstone, ABA has collected about 160 signatories to a well-being pledge by legal employers, which commit to improve lawyer wellness as of 2018. Those signing include law firms, corporate entities, law schools, government agencies and legal aid organizations.
The most effective and sustainable initiative of normalizing mindfulness practice would be the incorporation of mindfulness programs into the Compulsory Professional Training Credits which is mandatory to maintain the U.S. license to practice law. The Law Society of Hong Kong has the equivalent of Continuing Professional Development that ensures lawyers’ continual education. Thus, it can make reference to the U.S. model and permits the participation in mindfulness programs as credit-redeemable.
Prima facie, all programs adopted by ABA are indeed transplantable to Hong Kong. Given the success of interference of US legal profession association, the Hong Kong association mandates shall consider the alternate proactive approach in promoting legal mindfulness.

AUSTRALIA

The Law Society of South Australia

The Society operates the LawCare program and support groups and services which encourages legal practitioners who are experiencing social and psychological problems, or any problem that is interfering or could interfere with their work performance; or wishes to speak to and receive support from a colleague in the profession on a confidential basis, to access these services. 

The Society also created a Wellbeing & Resilience Guide for lawyers. The guide contains useful information regarding balance, working, mindfulness, physical activity, nutrition and more. 

An online programme on the important topic of mental health and wellbeing has been developed by the Society as a way of engaging with members of the South Australian Legal Profession.

AUSTRALIA

The Law Council of Australia

The Law Council of Australia's mental health and wellbeing portal is an initiative designed to provide a centralised source of information about mental health for the legal profession. It highlights the range of resources and assistance services currently available through the Law Council's Constituent Bodies, as well as through national initiatives.

UNITED KINGDOM

The Bar Council 

The Bar Council has introduced a Certificate of Recognition as a means of acknowledging the huge efforts made across the profession to support the wellbeing of barristers, clerks and chambers’ staff. The Council also introduced the Assistance Programme is a true confidential and compassionate 24/7 service helping more than 9.5 million people overcome physical, mental, social and financial challenges.