Tell us about your life in the law…
Legal mental health charity LawCare has launched a new ground-breaking research study, “Life in the Law”, ahead of World Mental Health Day on 10 October. We’d like to encourage all IP professionals to take part in the study, which will complement our own 2018 and 2019 surveys into mental wellbeing in the patent and trade mark professions (see here and here).
The study aims to find out how legal practice and workplace culture affect wellbeing. Anyone working in the legal industry, including support staff, can complete the online questionnaire across the UK, Ireland, UK, ROI, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. The results will form the basis of an academic paper and will be announced next year. The data will help LawCare to improve the support available to legal professionals and drive long-lasting change in legal workplaces so that people working in the law can thrive.
Read more below, or visit this link to complete the questionnaire.
To develop this study, LawCare has teamed up with leading academics in the field: Dr Emma Jones (University of Sheffield), Professor Richard Collier (University of Newcastle), Caroline Strevens (Reader in Legal Education, University of Portsmouth) and Lucinda Soon (solicitor and PhD researcher), along with Nick Bloy (Executive Coach and founder of Wellbeing Republic) and Kayleigh Leonie (LawCare trustee and solicitor). Their research will look at the impact of work culture and working practices on the wellbeing of legal professionals, seeking to understand the day-to-day realities of life in the law. It makes use of three academic research scales to assess levels of burn-out, psychological safety and autonomy.
Anyone working in the legal industry, including support staff, can complete the online questionnaire across the UK, Ireland, UK, ROI, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. The study will be open until the end of December and LawCare plan to release the results and host a launch event for Mental Health Awareness Week in May 2021, with a view to bringing the legal community together to discuss the findings and consider the way forward. They hope to be able to provide an overview of the results specifically for members of the IP professions, for example patent and trade mark attorneys, paralegals and IP-specialist solicitors and barristers.
In a press release to mark the launch of the study on 6 October 2020, the CEO of LawCare Elizabeth Rimmer said: “This is the biggest ever piece of academic research into wellbeing in the legal industry in the UK and Ireland and we hope it will give us a clear picture of how the culture and practice of law affects mental health. The results will help us to improve the support available to legal professionals and drive long-lasting change in legal workplaces so that people working in the law can thrive. We would urge anyone working in the legal profession to take part.”
Dr Emma Jones, Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Sheffield, said: “This study is an opportunity to obtain important empirical data on the wellbeing of legal professionals. The findings will give us a valuable insight into the impacts of legal practice and legal culture on individual legal practitioners, raise understanding and awareness of the key issues influencing wellbeing and help shape the development of appropriate and sustainable responses.”
LawCare want to encourage as many people as possible who work in the legal profession – those in training, legally qualified and support staff – to take part. The results of this study will pave the way for determining what we can do together to improve the support available to legal professionals. It will enhance understanding of the issues that affect mental health and wellbeing, and help to drive cultural change in legal workplaces to benefit both the present and future generations of lawyers and staff.
Please play your part: click on the image below to access the questionnaire.
If you are finding things difficult and need to talk, LawCare can help. They provide emotional support to all legal professionals and support staff. You can call their confidential helpline on 0800 279 6888, email them at [email protected] or access webchat and resources at www.lawcare.org.uk.