Last year was a pivotal time for well-being in the legal industry, as law firms, nonprofits, bar organizations, media, and individuals worked to increase awareness of the prevalence of mental health difficulties faced by legal professionals and to address the underlying issues. Well-being has long been a priority at Mintz, and the firm continues to lead this charge through innovative programs and benefits for employees and by communicating openly with lawyers and professional staff about well-being challenges.
Notably, Mintz was one of the first 12 law firms to sign on to the ABA Well-Being Pledge. The Pledge is an initiative organized by the ABA Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession designed to support lawyer well-being and address the legal profession’s troubling rates of alcohol and other substance-use disorders, as well as mental health issues. The Well-Being Pledge now boasts 167 signatories.
Shortly after signing on to the Pledge and Campaign in 2018, Mintz formed a Well-Being Committee to guide and support the firm’s efforts to fulfill its commitment. The firm has since adopted a formal Well-Being Policy to reinforce its support of those struggling with substance use and mental health issues.
Over the past year, Mintz has developed a wealth of resources to support well-being, such as mental health and alcohol awareness and screening tools, and communications and presentations aimed at mental health well-being awareness. The firm maintains its long-standing relationship with an Employee Assistance provider, which provides employees and immediate family members the opportunity to speak with professional counselors, and also partnered with the Lawyer Assistance Providers in each state, which provides counseling specifically for the legal industry. In addition, the firm launched a Mindfulness at Work program—an eight-week series of presentations on mindfulness fundamentals, exercises, benefits, and more.
Human resources professionals at Mintz are also key contributors to the broader conversation on well-being in the legal industry. For example, Laurie Cappello, Director of Human Resources – Benefits and HRIS/Payroll at Mintz and Co-Chair of the firm’s Well-Being Committee, recently co-authored an article published by PD Quarterly titled “The Time Is Now: Leading the Charge for Lawyer Well-Being,” which provided practical suggestions for implementing well-being policies and practices in the law firm environment.
All of the above-mentioned efforts serve to further improve the mental health and well-being of Mintz lawyers and professional staff. The firm is proud to play a role in de-stigmatizing mental health and substance use disorders in the legal profession.