It’s good to talk – and in the law it is a particularly good time to talk about the world of work. As an old-fashioned press scoop can, last month’s Presidents Club revelations will influence gender equality far more than any number of boilerpate corporate Respect Agendas.
Solicitor Karen Jackson’s Gazette blog spelling out the lessons of the scandal for the profession’s ‘Old Boys Network’ is a bracing read.
On a more modest scale, our story about a junior lawyer who avoided strike-off for dishonesty on account of her ‘toxic’ office environment certainly resonated with solicitors. It segued neatly into last week’s Time to Talk Day, when the Law Society’s Junior Lawyers Division sensibly deployed a nationwide focus on mental health to publish best practice guidance for supporting wellbeing and resilience in the workplace.
Suggestions include law firms appointing a ‘mental health first aider’, and wellbeing champions and mentors.
Critics will cavil that stress is inevitable in a fast-moving sector that demands much of its professionals. Quite so. But that is stress defined as the quotidian pressure that comes with working to hit targets and goals that are within the realms of the achievable. It does not mean stress defined as emotional distress arising from oppression and enforced subservience.
The JLD’s guidance is overdue. Better still, it is serendipitous.