The legal profession is at a tipping point, with soaring rates of depression, anxiety, burnout and substance abuse, says the American Bar Association.
And the path to improvement starts at your firm.
The ABA Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession has created a pledge for law firms. By signing the pledge, the firm commits to: (a) recognizing that substance use and mental health problems represent a significant challenge for the profession and that more should be done to improve the well-being of lawyers; and (b) pledge to adopt, support and prioritize a seven-point framework for building a healthier future.
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The ABA Well-Being Pledge
Recognizing that substance use and mental health problems represent a significant challenge for the legal profession, and acknowledging that more can and should be done to improve the health and well-being of lawyers, we the attorneys of ________________________ hereby pledge our support for this innovative campaign and will work to adopt and prioritize its seven-point framework for building a better future.
Our organization has taken the following steps to promote well-being over the past year:
- We have provided enhanced and robust educational opportunities to our attorneys and staff on topics related to well-being, substance use disorders, and mental health distress. Describe at least one program your organization put on during the past year.
- We have disrupted the status quo of drinking-based events: Describe at least one way in which your organization has de-emphasized alcohol.
- We have developed visible partnerships with outside entities committed to reducing problematic substance use disorders and mental health distress in the profession. Describe at least one way in which your organization has partnered with outside entities to promote well-being.
- We have provided confidential access to addiction and mental health experts and resources to all employees, including free, in-house self-assessment tools. Describe the ways in which your organization has fulfilled this commitment (optional).
- We have a proactive written protocol and leave policy that covers the assessment and treatment of substance use and mental health problems, including a defined back-to-work policy following treatment. Describe the ways in which your organization has fulfilled this commitment (optional).
- We have actively and consistently promoted and encouraged help-seeking and self-care as core values of our organizations. Describe at least one way in which your organization has fulfilled this commitment.
- We have highlighted the adoption of this well-being framework to attract and retain the best lawyers and staff. Describe at least one way in which your organization has fulfilled this commitment.
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