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IBA Global Showcase

25 Oct - 29 Oct 2021


Session information

IBA Showcase: the global crisis of lawyer wellbeing. Unsustainable problems, and principles for a better future


Presidential Task Force on Mental Health and Wellbeing (Lead)
IBA Legal Policy & Research Unit


Recording now available

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In 2020 the IBA undertook the legal community’s first global survey of lawyer wellbeing, receiving responses from over 3000 lawyers and 100 legal institutions, including bar associations, law societies, and law firms. 
Now, one year on, the IBA’s Wellbeing Taskforce is launching its report of the results. After engagement with academics, law firm managers, bar leaders, and lawyers on the ‘front line’, one thing has become clear: the wellbeing crisis in law is a problem that has its root causes in the way law is practiced and justice administered globally, among all stakeholders in the legal profession.
This session will cover the various systemic issues affecting the wellbeing of lawyers around the world, including:

the unsustainable “arms race” in newly-qualified lawyers’ salaries, which is increasingly showing signs of no longer being enough to recruit or retain talent;   
the connected issue of the profession’s reluctance to sign up to basic working time directives, consider alternatives to the billable hour model, or push back against unrealistic case schedules set by the courts;

  • the near total absence of proper wellbeing training for those in managerial positions, or indeed any form of managerial training;
  • problems surrounding bullying and harassment in all branches of the profession;
  • increased pressure from clients and courts; and
  • the absence of any formal regulation on many of these issues. 
  • Yet speaking out about these problems is only half the battle; the profession as a whole must acknowledge the issue, and change the paradigm, so that meaningful and effective long-term solutions that address the causes can be implemented.

In recognition of this, the IBA’s Wellbeing Taskforce will also use this session to introduce a new set of IBA Wellbeing ‘Principles’: statements of universal application, designed to assist and guide all members of the legal profession as they look to engage with these and other issues raised by the crisis in lawyer wellbeing identified by the global survey. 
Please join us as we tackle these issues, and launch these principles, the first designed for the global legal profession.

All sessions are being recorded, unless otherwise stated.

Session / Workshop Chair(s)

Deborah Enix-Ross Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, New York, New York, USA; Chair, Bar Issues Commission Policy Committee
Steven Richman American Bar Association, Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Chair, IBA Credentials Committee


Philip Aiken Barclays UK, London, England
George Artley International Bar Association, London, England
Adriana Castro BLP, San Jose, Costa Rica; Co-Vice Chair , Young Lawyers' Committee
Antoinette Moriarty Law Society of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland