Covid-19 is changing the world with unprecedented intensity and speed – it feels like our public lives will never be the same again. This pandemic should make us more aware of other threats lurking in the dark which could have an equally negative impact on society. The Liquid Legal Institute is tackling a sensitive issue that far too long has been taboo in the legal industry and that now, in times of digital transformation and fundamental social change, may turn out to become a silent epidemic: the declining well-being and personal health of lawyers and legal professionals.
In early in 2020 we had identified the need to put a spotlight on health risks for lawyers. From our network we had heard loud and clear that there seems to be many colleagues that suffer from various negative effects of the job on their health. But – at least in Europe – there is little talk about that! So, we decided to tackle this important topic in 3 phases:
Phase 1 has been all about creating awareness and obtaining insights from our network. We invited Fritjof Nelting, the CEO of a private clinic, to add a chapter on “A Health Compass for Attorneys” to our second book. Additionally, we have published a position paper which is available on our website here.
In phase 2, we have created a questionnaire and conducted about 20 interviews across the legal ecosystem to validate our belief, that we might be looking at a larger issue – covered by an even bigger taboo. And indeed, the results (also available on our website) have been concerning, creating additional urgency to continue our work.
Now, we’re ready for phase 3: With our project partner BUJ e.V., the largest German inhouse counsel representation, and supported by EuPD GmbH, a longstanding and renowned consultancy in the field of mental health in the workplace, we have finalized the work on a broad survey that we will launch before the end of the year.