What Is “Well-Being Week in Law” Anyway?
“Well-Being Week in Law” is a national event that takes place annually the first week in May. The goal is to raise awareness about mental health and encourage action and innovation to improve well-being throughout the profession. In 2021, the event’s name was changed from “Lawyer Well-Being Week” to “Well-Being Week in Law” to acknowledge and include the contributions to the profession by those who are not lawyers.
The Institute for Well-Being in Law ─ which promotes and coordinates the event ─ challenges the legal community to come together to effect change for the good of all and invites individuals and organizations alike to get involved and make a difference:
“When our professional and organizational cultures support our well-being, we are better able to make good choices that allow us to thrive and be our best for our clients, colleagues, organizations, families, and communities. It is up to all of us to cultivate new professional norms and cultures that enable and encourage well-being.”
“We invite you to coordinate or participate in local activities, whether you’re an individual, law firm, corporate legal department, government entity, bar association, or other organization or consultant involved in the legal profession.”
What Went Well in 2020?
Let’s look back at some of the different ways lawyer assistance programs and bar associations around the country promoted participation in Well-Being Week last year:
- Shared photos of lawyers holding signs saying why they chose to practice law
- Live-streamed a yoga class
- Featured a daily podcast on different well-being topics
- Highlighted articles on the physical, emotional, and professional challenges from COVID-19
- Offered a free guided live meditation
- Sponsored a free CLE on dealing with adversity
- Hosted a Town Hall on psychological wellness during the pandemic
- Offered a weekly resilience webinar
- Shared posts of gratitude from lawyers and law students
- Offered virtual Mindful Mondays
- Shared anonymous stories of recovery by lawyers and law students
- Invited comments acknowledging positive contributions of other lawyers
And of course, our very own OAAP organized daily activities:
- Monday: Attorney counselors presented a webinar to discuss dimensions of wellness and provide well-being resources.
- Tuesday: A Kindness Challenge invited lawyers to perform acts of kindness to be shared on Friday.
- Wednesday: Lawyers were invited to share quotes or poems that inspired them.
- Thursday: Held a 30-minute informal discussion about how to create community connections.
- Friday: Blog was devoted to lawyer well-being reflections and shared moments of kindness.
What’s in Store for 2021?
Looking ahead to next week, the OAAP has a daily line-up planned again. Each day’s blog post will focus on a different aspect of well-being and will include suggestions to “watch this,” “read this,” and “do this.” You can choose from a veritable buffet of well-being activities all week. The attorney counselors will also be leading informal chats every day from 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for participants to learn and share about the day’s topic. No sign-up required – just come as you are.
So get ready, because you’re invited!
(Can’t wait to get started? Check out these videos on the Lawyer Well-Being YouTube Channel!)