Wellness Wednesday: the ABA Well-Being Template for Legal Employers

Last Wednesday, I blogged about the small things that we can do to promote wellness & well-being within the legal profession.  Two of the examples I shared:

  • every Friday in August, the workday at a large Vermont firm ended at 3:00 PM.
  • the lawyers who work in-house for a Vermont government agency recently created a Well-Being Committee whose first task was to develop a tool to allow lawyers and nonlawyer staff to weigh in on the office’s strengths & weaknesses on well-being issues.

I’m a fan of whatever proactive initiative, no matter how small, that legal employers take to promote well-being.

Today, however, I’m blogging on a different topic: responding to a co-worker who is impaired.

The ABA and its Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs have been at the forefront of the drive to promote wellness & well-being within the legal profession.  Yesterday, I came across the ABA’s Well-Being Template for Legal Employers.  Per the Preamble:

  • “In 2019, the Policy Committee of the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance
    Programs (CoLAP) and the ABA Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession developed this template to provide suggested guidelines to legal employers for responding to an employee who is experiencing impairment due to a substance use disorder, mental health disorder or cognitive impairment.”

Employers who adopt the template not only commit to proactive wellness initiatives, but also to:

  • “(1) early identification of impairment and proper intervention to assist with
    preventing, mitigating, or treating the impairment; and (2) preventing our professional standards and the quality of our work from being compromised by any personnel member’s impairment.”

Along with the Law Firm Pledge, the Well-Being Toolkit for Lawyers & Legal Employers, and the Well-Being Toolkit in a Nutshell, the Well-Being Template serves as another valuable resource developed by the ABA for legal employers committed to their employees’ well-being.

wellness

 

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