Building a better life in the law conference 2023
On Thursday 16 November we held our 2nd 'Building a better life in the law' conference where we focused on people risk management.
We explored the psychosocial risks in legal workplaces and why effective management and supervision is the key to supporting the mental wellbeing of your staff, meeting regulatory objectives and a fostering a culture where people feel valued and belong.
- Understanding psychosocial risks
- Perspectives on managing psychosocial risks
- Exploring reverse mentoring as a tool to support wellbeing and inclusion in the legal workplace
- Leadership insights on people risk management
- Australian perspectives on psychosocial risk strategy
This conference was made possible by the generous support of The Solicitors' Charity.
Many thanks to everyone who attended and contributed to the ongoing discussion about psychosocial risk in the legal workplace.
“I really hope that you will take away one nugget from today that is going to make you think about something that you could do differently, either yourself within your workplace, to start shifting culture into an environment where we really think about how we can mitigate and prevent those risks from occurring that are undermining people’s mental health in the legal profession. Because we want our profession to thrive, we want it to be sustainable, and we want it to continue to attract and retain a wide range of people in the law.”
Welcome from Elizabeth Rimmer and Nick Gallagher
We opened the conference with a short welcome from LawCare's CEO, Elizabeth, and Nick, the CEO of The Solicitors' Charity.
Understanding psychosocial risks in legal workplaces
In this opening keynote Becky Forster, a stress and mental health risk specialist at Willis Towers Watson, insurance brokers, introduced psychosocial risks, their impact on mental health and the steps that employers can take to mitigate them.
Here are some links from Becky so you can find out more about psychosocial risk:
Managing psychosocial risks in practice
This panel discussion chaired by Paul Bennett, explored the impact and management of psychosocial risks in practice. Paul was joined by:
- Paul Smith. senior risk management consultant at Travelers,
- Nadia Biles Davies, Chief Operating Officer at Sharpe Pritchard, and
- Kenny Robertson, Head of Outsourcing, Technology at IP at NatWest.
Fireside Chat: Leadership insights with Sharon Blackman OBE
A fireside chat with Sharon Blackman, OBE, Managing Director and General Counsel at Citi, and Emma Williams, LawCare Trustee and Director of European Risk and Compliance at Simpson Thatcher and Bartlett, sharing the realities and insights of people risk management.
Exploring reverse mentoring as a tool to support wellbeing and inclusion in the legal workplace
This interactive workshop was led by Kayleigh Leonie and Rachael O'Connor. We all had the opportunity to explore some of the initial reflections from an on-going reverse mentoring project in law firms, run by Rachael O’Connor at the University of Leeds, and supported by LawCare, as a tool to support wellbeing and inclusive cultures within the legal profession.
Here are some useful links where you can find out more:
👉 Challenging the ‘traditional’: how ‘micro-communities’ can bring about big
👉 ‘It makes me feel empowered and that we can make a difference’ Reverse
mentoring between international students and staff in legal education
👉 Supporting students to better support themselves through reverse
mentoring: the power of positive staff/student relationships and authentic
conversations in the law school
👉 Exploring academic personal tutoring in partnership with under-represented
👉 LawCare and University of Leeds reverse mentoring project
👉 Blogs on Times Higher Education website
Psychosocial risk strategy (perspective from Australia)
In this closing session, we heard from Desi Vlahos about new legislation in Australia which has placed a positive obligation on workplaces to manage psychosocial risks and how the legal sector is adapting to this and what we can learn from this. Desi shared her insights from working with legal and professional services firms on implementing strategy to mange psychosocial risks.
Real stories of people in the legal community who have experienced stress, depression, anxiety and more.