The legal profession is plagued by poor mental health and lawyer’s lifestyles threaten their physical health. A lot of practicing lawyers have suffered from chronic stress, depression and substance use. Especially in the US, there has been quite some progress to establish a wellness movement in the legal profession.
In August 2017, a Task Force established by the American Bar Association published a first-of-its-kind report, The Path To Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations For Positive Change which included specific actions members of the legal community—including law schools and legal employers—could take to make wellness a top priority.
The report prompted the formation of a workgroup, which, in April 2019, not only published its Well-Being Toolkit For Lawyers And Legal Employers, but also launched a Campaign to continue to push for prompt action by legal employers.
The centerpiece of the campaign is its seven-point Pledge. Legal organizations who sign the Pledge commit to (1) acknowledge the significance of the problem; (2) acknowledge that more can and must be done to address the problem; (3) support the ABA wellness campaign; and (4) begin the work of adopting a seven-point framework for promoting lawyer well-being. The Pledge has been signed by over 160 legal organizations, among which are law schools.