Over the last couple of years the Bar has been working together firstly to ‘take the temperature’ of wellbeing within the profession, initiating the conversation with our colleagues to respond to the challenges highlighted by the research, and we are now beginning to respond with actions to address the difficulties faced by many of us. One of the initiatives was Wellness for Law, a ‘not for profit’ seeking to provide a one-day forum for sharing knowledge to aid our development of good practice in the area of health and wellbeing.

One very clear message is that the landscape we face as a profession is challenging and fast changing with great resilience needed by current practitioners and those joining to adapt and respond. Therefore the theme of this year’s Wellness Forum, kindly sponsored and hosted by the Honourable Society of Inner Temple, is ‘Building a Resilient Profession’.

This year the Forum Keynotes will be provided by Professor Felicia Huppert, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Cambridge University, and Fellow of Darwin College, whose research has assisted governments and global institutions with policy and practical responses to address wellbeing issues; and Professor Cheryl Thomas QC (Hon), Director of the Judicial Institute at UCL and leading researcher for the Ministry of Justice and the Judicial Office.  Both will offer their insights on the foundations of wellbeing and their application to the law and courts system applying their various research experiences.

The Forum provides an opportunity for delegates to see practical presentations from clinicians, chambers practitioners and staff to demonstrate their initiatives within their workplaces at the Bar.  This we hope will inform and encourage those who are considering suitable initiatives for their own chambers, practitioners and staff with an opportunity for questions to help them shape their presentations to management.

The panel discussion with leadership will consider what resilience in a changing legal environment means with representatives from Government Legal Services, Bar Council, YBC and Clerks, allowing delegates to hear what steps are being taken to address the challenges, and pose questions to the leaders. 

This event is designed to be useful for all within the Bar - practitioners, staff and students - to support the continued progress of our wellbeing work. To review a full copy of the program and for further information and details to book a place please see www.innertemple.org.uk/wellness or www.wellnessforlawuk.org

Contributor Rachel Spearing is the Co-Founder and Chair of the Wellbeing at the Bar Project and the Convenor of the Wellness for Law Forum