Addressing health and wellbeing at the Bar

Back in 2023, Briefed took significant strides in understanding the unique challenges faced by the legal industry, particularly those within the Bar. Through close collaboration with over 150 chambers, we actively engaged in conversations with barristers, clerks and chambers staff to pinpoint the prevailing concerns within the legal profession.

A resounding theme emerged, highlighting the importance of health and wellbeing, with notable emphasis on complex personal challenges such as mental health, menopause and vicarious trauma surfacing as focal points that resonated with those at the Bar. The resounding consensus was a clear thirst for Bar-specific training addressing these topics.

Therefore, we have acted directly in line with these findings with the launch of our brand-new Health and wellbeing portfolio. Currently a four-module collection covering mental health awareness, vicarious trauma, menopause in the workplace and stress management.

Mental health awareness

Barrister, clerks and chambers staff are exposed to a psychologically challenging work environment every single day. From dealing with a heavy caseload or working long hours, to working from home, attending online hearings and spending extended periods of time isolated from their colleagues and loved ones.

This course aims to act as an introduction to mental health awareness, addressing situations that chambers members and staff typically experience at some point in their career like stress, burnout and isolation. There is information on how mental health issues present themselves as well as how to deal with these struggles and actions to take if you suspect a colleague is struggling mentally.

Vicarious trauma for the Bar

In the legal sector, there is a lack of awareness of the threat of vicarious trauma to barristers. They often deal with clients who have experienced significant hardship, such as victims of crime, individuals facing legal challenges, or those involved in emotionally charged situations.

While trained to maintain professional distance and objectivity, the nature of a barrister’s work may expose them to the suffering and trauma of their clients.

This course aims to help legal professionals recognise symptoms of vicarious trauma in themselves and others, provide guidance on how to cope with it and how the issue can be addressed on individual and organisational levels.

Menopause in the workplace

Menopausal women make up a significant portion of the workforce, yet Chambers often overlook the challenges they face. Only recently legal obligations regarding reasonable adjustments have been clarified by the EHRC to protect women suffering in work.

This course emphasises the significance of menopause awareness, focusing on legislative aspects relevant to chambers. It addresses actions chambers can take to create a supportive environment for their staff and members, including effective strategies for managing menopause through communication.

Stress management

The daily challenges of a legal career can serve as motivation, but when these pressures persist, they may transform into unhealthy stress. Prolonged exposure to demanding situations can have adverse effects on your mental and physical health.

The course includes identifying stress signs at work, improving coping skills in stressful situations, and implementing practical strategies to control and manage this stress effectively. As many in the legal industry experience “burn out”, it’s important to know how to prevent this.


Leadership and Wellbeing Conference

Join us on 23rd April 2024 as we host a full day conference for leaders in chambers to come together and discuss what is working well and what could work better to help members and staff thrive, creating a healthier, more resilient, and ultimately more successful set of chambers.

A number of guest speakers and panellists will address some critical issues at the Bar, such as case burnout, isolation, lack of support and mental health challenges that are prevalent for barristers and chambers staff.

You can sign up and secure our tickets for the conference here

If you are at all interested in any of our Health and Wellbeing modules or if you have any other queries, please feel free to contact us via email at or call us on 028 9621 6345.


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