On May 2, the Well-Being Week in Law event began, which will last until May 6 and aims to raise awareness about the lack of emotional, mental and social well-being in the legal market. The event is organized by the Institute for Well-Being in Law (IWIL), an American non-profit organization that seeks to solve the socio-emotional and psychological problems present in the public and private areas of Law.
The instance was held for the first time in 2020 under the name “Lawyer Well-Being Week”, which was changed in 2021 to Well-Being Week in Law to include not only lawyers but also other officials from the legal world such as attorneys. lawyers, judges and prosecutors.
The event is exclusively online and consists of webinars, podcasts, articles, and at-home activities that cover one of the five types of wellness that will be explored throughout the week: physical, spiritual, occupational, social, and emotional wellness. Ingrid Benninghoff, president of the Latin American chapter of the Mindfulness in Law Society (MILS), points out that this multidimensional vision of well-being is due to the effect that one dimension has on the other. “When you fail to have healthy ties with the community, your physical and emotional well-being is affected, which could be seen in the pandemic due to social distancing, where there were several people who suffered physical health damage due to loneliness,” Add.
Bree Buchanan, chair of the IWIL board, comments that the reason for such separation is the need to develop a holistic definition of wellness, other than simply the absence of disease. “We have used the WHO definition and the existing literature. We believe that to fully thrive, a person must consider that each of these areas come together to make up a person’s experience of wellness,” says Buchanan, adding that the most important area for an individual will depend on time and place, such as An example is the social well-being of several lawyers who, as Ingrid Benninghoff mentioned, was affected due to prolonged isolation as a result of the pandemic.
The effect of the pandemic is in fact one of the issues that Buchanan is most concerned about and he warns, based on studies such as the one carried out by the International Bar Association, that the welfare crisis in the legal profession is heading in the wrong direction. “For example, in the United States, binge drinking among lawyers went from 20% before the pandemic to 30%. Burnout rates hover around 50% among lawyers and too many are looking for ways to leave their careers. This exodus of lawyers, mostly women and people of color, is going to reduce diversity within the legal market”, comments the expert on the effects of the crisis.
Well-Being Week in Law is free and requires only registration to attend the webinars, which are open to all audiences, not just lawyers. “We know that the week generates tremendous activity in the US and UK, but we’re really looking forward to seeing the actual numbers this year,” Buchanan says of the expectations for the 2022 release.
The president of the IWIL board also tells of her desire to strengthen her relations with organizations from other parts of the world. “Our hope is to create strategic partnerships with our friends in Latin America,” Buchanan mentions about one of the areas that she has her interest in.
You can visit the event at the following link.
In addition to IWIL, organizations such as MILS will also carry out activities within the week, which you can review at this link.
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