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Welcome to Advancing Wellness in Law

A network created to promote wellness within legal education and the legal profession

If you missed our final digital conversation for this academic year you can find a recording link and more information on the blog page. Have a lovely summer folks and we will see you all in the autumn. Look out for our newsletter that will give you a flavour of what is being planned. As always , of you have an idea of a topic or would like to discuss your ideas please email lawwellnessuk@gmail.com

Thursday, 7th July 2022

Dr Ernestine Gheyoh Ndzi    EDI through a personal lens.
 
Dr Ernestine Gheyoh Ndzi Associate Dean: Law and Policing, York Business School, York St John University. Ernestine’s research interest lies in the areas of company law and employment law. Recently, she has been researching widely on the challenges of shared parental leave. Ernestine is interested in equality, diversity and inclusion agenda, for which is a co-chair for the Race Equality Charter Self-Assessment Team at York St John University and also supports the equality and diversity agenda with BFN as a member of the board of Trustees.

Professor Caroline Strevens: A discussion of Mentoring
 
The Association of Law Teachers is launching a mentoring scheme for all members.  Full details of this can be found on the website http://lawteacher.ac.uk/about/alt-mentoring-scheme/
Not everyone considers that a hierarchical approach to the mentoring relationship is beneficial.  As we launch this new scheme we invite discussion as to the merits and imperfections of mentoring.
 
 Caroline Strevens: Professor of Legal Education, University of Portsmouth. Caroline’s academic career was preceded by a career in legal practice as a Solicitor. Caroline’s primary research area is legal education including investigating how principles of positive psychology may influence wellbeing of staff and students in Higher Education. . She is a co-founder of Advancing Wellness in Law network.  She is also part of an international team that is investigating perceptions of wellbeing in senior managers to inform the development of international guidelines to support staff and students in Law Schools.


Our June Digital Conversation will be on Thursday 16th 9.30 – 11 am. Our speakers are Claudia Carr Director of Wellbeing Hertfordshire Law School and Rachel Clements SRA

Rachel Clements is a Regulatory Manager in the SRA’s Thematic Risk Team. Rachel leads thematic reviews of risks across the legal sector and engages with practices of all types and sizes across England and Wales to gather information. Rachel was responsible for leading a thematic project reviewing workplace culture in law firms published in February 2022 drawing on in-depth interviews with lawyers, firms and stakeholders.

Claudia is a Principal Lecturer and Head of Wellbeing for the University of Herfordshire’s Law School. She has implemented a range of initiatives designed to promote better law student wellbeing.


Keele Law School’s research cluster for Legal Education, Innovation & Practice is hosting an online symposium – this time on Tuesday 14 June, called Feeling Law: Emotion and Relationship in Legal Education – Theory, Practice, and Design. 


Keynote: Authenticity and its relationship with emotions and values in legal education and practice – Emma Jones
Trust as part of the educational transaction – Hannah Gibbons-Jones
Shame in legal education: observation, relationship, and the developing self – Stella Coyle
Teaching Feeling: bringing emotion into the law school – Sen Raj
Emotions and reflecting on the journey in Professional Legal Skills – Catherine Edwards
The psychology of legal practice – Marc Mason

Everyone is welcome! For further information, and to book a place, people should contact me via the cluster email address: leip@keele.ac.uk





“The Manifestations of Compassion in Legal Academia of England and Wales” – a call for participants in a survey. One of our network members is undertaking a survey as part of their PhD study, exploring the ways in which compassion can be manifested within legal academia with reference to legal education, legal research and in additional academic roles and responsibilities. For this study, input from legal academics who currently work in university law schools based in England and Wales is requested.  Here is the link to the survey  https://forms.office.com/r/w4Ty8uhgbh





12th May 2022 9.30am Transitioning to the online environment

We are delighted that Jill and Teri-Lisa are joining us to lead a digital converation around transitioning to the online environment during the pandemic.  We shall start at 9.30 am on Thursday 12th May.
After we have heared their presentation we look forward to discussing their findings and applying the ideas to the working environment.



We look foward to seeing you soon Caroline, Emma and Richard

Abstract
Against the backdrop of an already challenging Higher Education environment, this presentation presents findings from a multi-disciplinary, longitudinal research project that explored both lecturers’ and students’ perspectives of their navigations of transitioning to the online environment during the Covid-19 pandemic. Adopting a case study approach and creative research methods, the project drew on photo-elicitation to develop a deeper understanding of lecturers’ and students’ perceptions of, and attitudes towards, their changing learning spaces. Analysis of the data revealed several key themes including the importance of networks and peer-support for facilitating wellness, wellbeing, and mental health. Following a brief introduction to outline the research questions, the methodology, and findings, Jill and Teri-Lisa will invite the audience to engage in a discussion around their own perceptions of the changing learning spaces presented by the pandemic and the challenges faced and/or benefits presented, and encourage a dialogue around the development of future ways of working as the sector is looking towards the new academic year.
 

Dr Jill Dickinson is an Associate Professor with the School of Law at the University of Leeds and a Solicitor (non-practising). Jill enjoys collaborating with colleagues, students and external partners on the development of new initiatives that support teaching and learning, employability, and applied research. Jill’s external roles include co-convening the Property People Power and Place stream for the Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference and membership of the England Committee for the International Professional Development Association. Through her role as SFHEA, Jill has reviewed the Advance HE Global Teaching Excellence Awards and she has also sat on the judging panel for the Yorkshire Legal Awards. Jill’s research encompasses the dual themes of space and place, and professional development, and Jill has published on topics including pracademia, self-efficacy, and most recently, learning spaces. Jill’s research appointments include Associate Editor for the Journal of Property Planning and Environmental Law, and the Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal of Place Management and Development.
 
Teri-Lisa Griffiths is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology. A former careers adviser, her teaching and assessment activities are focussed on embedding employability skills into the undergraduate curriculum. As the Year Tutor and Employability Lead for Criminology, an awareness of how institutional and national policy initiatives impact on course delivery is influential in her work. Her research interests are focussed on professional development and the student experience. As a founding member of both Hallam Pracademia and the Advance HE Connect Pracademia Networks, Teri-Lisa is interested in the professional development of former/current practitioners who now lecture/research in HE. Her research with students explores where and how spaces of personal and professional development emerge, including the consideration of campus spaces and participation in extracurricular activities as instrumental to the student experience.







SRA Thematic Review presented by Rachel Clements

Rachel Clements works in the thematic risk team at the SRA and led a thematic review looking at workplace culture in law firms. Her powerpoint slides can be accessed here https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1dn-2njpq52kSEnqvLQ-Ob8zOvTjTcs1S The report was published in February 2022 with new support and guidance on creating healthy working environments.  The Workplace Culture Thematic Review found that whileContinue reading “SRA Thematic Review presented by Rachel Clements”

Legal Education for Wellbeing: Design, Delivery and Evaluation

Yesterday was the launch of a Special Edition of The Law Teacher Journal titled ‘Legal Education for Wellbeing: Design, Delivery and Evaluation’. The event was hosted by co-editors Emma Jones and Caroline Strevens, with support from The Law Teacher and Advancing Wellness in Law. Each of the contributors to the Special Edition also contributed toContinue reading “Legal Education for Wellbeing: Design, Delivery and Evaluation”

Pioneering approaches to law

Join us for our next digital conversation on Thursday, 3rd February from 9.30-11am to listen to two amazing speakers involved in the therapeutic jurisprudence and integrative law movements. For the meeting link, subscribe via our website or email lawwellnessuk@gmail.com. Dr Anna Kawałek is a Senior Lecturer in Law from Leeds Law School. She is alsoContinue reading “Pioneering approaches to law”

New Digital Conversations planned for 2022:

Link to join The Law Teacher Journal Special Edition event on 4th April 4 – 5.30 pm – please register via Event brite Legal Education for Wellbeing: Design, Delivery and Evaluation Tickets, Monday 4th April 2022 at 4:00 PM | Eventbrite. 

Can coaching, supervision and emotional literacy change culture in the legal profession? 6th April 2022 13.30

Laura Simpson and Marc Mason

Laura will discuss the following question: Does coaching work? In what ways does coaching facilitate individuals’ wellbeing? How does emotional literacy link to coaching, and what wider role does it play in advancing wellness in the legal profession?

Laura Simpson is the Founder of Altura Coaching, and an EMCC-accredited executive coach. She works with lawyers and others working in high-performance environments to dismantle the obstacles which prevent them from fulfilling their full potential. Laura also works with law firms to help them solve problems relating to people, relationships, inclusivity and culture and is an advocate for the importance of emotional literacy as a cornerstone of DEI work and a driver of optimal wellbeing and commercial success. Simply put, her mission is to make work better and contribute to ensuring the legal sector is a place where everybody can thrive. Laura has a 10-year HR career in Spain and the UK; prior to establishing Altura, she was hired by Latham & Watkins to lead on trainee development after spending almost three years at fellow US firm Katten Muchin Rosenman as Recruitment and Learning & Development Manager. Laura holds an MSc in HR Management and Organisational Analysis from King’s College, and is also a qualified Mental Health First Aider.

Marc Mason is a BACP registered counsellor. He is also a Senior Lecturer in Law at Westminster Law School, where he researches various aspects of practice at the Bar and teaches Family Law, and the Psychology of Legal Practice. He now focuses his research particularly on how psychotherapeutic understandings can impact on legal practice.  Prior to joining the Law School he practised as a barrister specialising in family law.

Marc will discuss his ongoing research on how clinical/psychotherapeutic supervision is used by solicitors.

Embedding wellbeing in the curriculum and in practice 28th April 2022 Claudia Carr Director of Wellbeing Hertfordshire Law School

Building community: a discussion of longitudinal research at Sheffield Hallam around staff and students’ navigations of their changing work spaces 12th May 2022 Dr Jill Dickinson and Teri-Lisa Griffiths

Past Digital conversations are listed below and further information on several can be found on our blog page

Response to error Thursday 3rd March 2022 9.30 am A recording of this session can be found on our Digital Conversations page

We all make mistakes: it is part of being human. However, we often regard mistakes as a precursor to failure, perhaps even as a reflection of a lack of ability or talent. Making mistakes can leave us feeling negative and unsuccessful, it can haunt our ability to practice as professionals. Sometimes they can even be career limiting and cause intense personal and organisational trauma.

In our seminar we look at the power of learning from mistakes and near misses. We look at the essential ingredients required for a ‘safe culture’ as well as practical ways of learning from mistakes on a personal and organisational level. Novel approaches to consent, candour, responding to error and wellbeing will be discussed, and we will share the experiences of professions who were leaders in this discipline. We hope you can join us for this whistle-stop tour of the latest approaches to increase professional and client safety through learning from error. 

Dr Caroline Mitchell (B. Pharm (Hons), M. Med Sci., PhD)

Caroline Mitchell is a Visiting Senior Lecturer at the University of Portsmouth. She recently took early retirement from the NHS after over 30 years’ experience working with in healthcare and academia in the UK and Europe. She now does teaching and research on the professional aspects of safety. She continues to serve on national advisory bodies

A discussion of the case of Claire Matthews led by Professor Caroline Strevens

In March 2020 Claire Matthews was struck off for dishonesty by the SDT for lying about the time when she left a briefcase on a train containing documents sensitive to a client matter. She was a newly qualified solicitor and unrepresented at the Tribunal.

The Respondent appealed against the Order of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. On 18 March 2021 Mrs Justice Lang approved a consent order quashing the Tribunal’s Order dated 9 March 2020 to strike the Appellant off the Roll of Solicitors and for payment of £10,000 costs.  The case has been referred back to the SDT.

Caroline is a professor of Legal Education at the University of Portsmouth. Caroline’s academic career was preceded by a career in legal practice as a Solicitor.  Caroline’s primary research area is legal education including investigating how principles of positive psychology may influence well-being of staff and students in Higher Education. She is one of a team of UK academics who are supporting LawCare in the development of research aimed at understanding work culture and working practices in order to enhance the wellbeing of legal professionals.

Pioneering approaches to law

Join us for our next digital conversation on Thursday, 3rd February from 9.30-11am to listen to two amazing speakers involved in the therapeutic jurisprudence and integrative law movements. For the meeting link, subscribe via our website or email lawwellnessuk@gmail.com.

Dr Anna Kawałek is a Senior Lecturer in Law from Leeds Law School. She is also the co-founder and co-chair of the UK Chapter for Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Trustee and a member of the Advisory Board for the International Society of Therapeutic Jurisprudence. Both these roles involve being at the forefront of international and national decision making and discussions in the area. Dr. Kawalek’s research interests are, Problem-Solving Justice, Specialist Courts, Justice Innovation, and Therapeutic Jurisprudence. Her recent book in this field has inspired some new work in policy, which will involve setting up a new therapeutic court in line with the government’s White Paper. Alongside this, Dr. Kawalek is also working on a project commissioned to herself and colleagues by the Ministry of Justice, and outputs from this project are expected imminently.

Abstract:

This paper will present the findings from a process evaluation carried out at a problem-solving court located in Manchester (UK). Unlike the widely documented successes of similar international problem-solving courts, there is no detail of this court in the accessible literature. By adopting the seminal ‘wine’ and ‘bottle’ analytical framework propounded by therapeutic jurisprudence scholars, and by carrying out a detailed comparative analysis comparing Manchester Review Court to the international yardstick, findings shed new light on the causes of the UK drug court downfalls pending the UK’s government’s recent calls to roll-out a fresh suite of problem-solving courts and retrial this model. This analysis allows the author to propose a UK-specific problem-solving court matrix to shape new practice in this area, whilst accounting for past failures and acknowledging current issues. The presenter will also provide an overview of new UK research that being developed in this field.

Amber Turner LLM is a Barrister, Acting Solicitor and Mediator. She litigated for 17 years in the Magistrates Court, Supreme Court and Employment Tribunal of Gibraltar and thereafter became a consultant.  Amber founded a unique law firm ‘Amber Law’ in March 2013. “When I founded Amber Law it was to create the first Holistic Law firm that I knew of.  I wanted to create a law firm with a difference, one which sees the human being behind each client and not just their legal problem, or potential for fee earning! A law firm that supports lawyers and clients at all levels of wellbeing: mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually”.

Amber’s mission is to teach her Holistic Law Model to law students, lawyers, solicitors and barristers across the globe, providing practical tools and action steps on how to practice law in well-being and why this is essential to attain a more ‘perfect justice’ for all.
Amber took her Bar exams at the Inns of Court School of Law, London (1998) and read her Masters’ Degree in Law at Bristol University (2002). She is a member of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, of the International Society for Therapeutic Jurisprudence (including the UK Chapter co-led by Dr Emma Jones) and PISLAP (the Project for Integrating Spirituality, Law and Politics, USA). 

Abstract:
Many pursue careers in law from a passion to create a safer, more just world. Paradoxically in this pursuit, many of us end up working in highly stressful environments. Over a long period of time this leads to chronic stress which negatively impacts our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health: anxiety, heart palpitations, insomnia, brain fog, depression…How then can Lawyers be at their best to serve their clients and attain justice for all? Integrating ‘Mindfulness’ in our daily legal practice and importantly during client conferences increases the likelihood of a ‘just’ outcome for ourselves and our clients- I’ll share why and how!

Social Media Links for Amber:

www.amberlaw.com subscribe to join the Email List (to be notified when my book is out)

https://www.linkedin.com/in/amber-turner-43313818/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/5226769/admin/  (Amber Law Global)

Connect with me: https://www.facebook.com/amber.turner.161214

Follow me: https://www.instagram.com/amberlawglobal/

Subscribe for free today: youtube.com/channel/UCAigSjbd0yyR_LMfMA-VyBA  

For free weekly mindfulness sessions: https://www.mindfulnessinlawsociety.org/

Advancing Digital Conversation 14th December 2021 9.30am

Is there a place for mindfulness in the (post-Covid) law school?In recent years, mindfulness has become established as one of the most accessible, ‘go-to’ therapeutic techniques. When the pandemic struck, a number of universities introduced, in disciplines other than law, mindfulness-based interventions as a way of helping students to manage low mood and anxiety. Fiona will consider what place, if any, there might be for the introduction of mindfulness in the (post Covid) law school.Fiona Clements is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Sussex and she is also a qualified mindfulness teacher. 
Who needs a doctorate?We will hold an informal discussion around the pros and cons for embarking upon a doctoral qualification (including the professional doctorate that might be of interest to our practitioner members) to the more traditional PhD that is fast becoming an essential to anyone wishing a career in academia.

Professor Caroline Strevens will lead this informal discussion and will provide some input on recruitment practices based upon her 13 years as Head of Portsmouth Law School

Dr Jill Dickinson is a Senior Lecturer in Law at Sheffield Hallam University, and is currently on secondment with the Student Engagement, Evaluation and Research team. Jill completed her PhD by publication, and mentors others in navigating their doctorates via this route. Before moving into academia, Jill spent ten years as a Solicitor, specialising in commercial property. Supervising trainee solicitors and work placement students inspired Jill’s move into academia where she principally teaches Land and Tort to both law and real estate students across the University. Jill’s research focuses on two themes: law and place, and professional development. Jill is a Fellow of the Sheffield Institute for Policy Studies and an Associate of the Centre for Regional, Economic and Social Research. She also co-convenes the Property, People, Power and Place Conference Stream for the Annual Socio-Legal Studies Association, and is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Property, Planning and Environmental Law.  Jill enjoys building HE-Industry links to create collaborative opportunities around teaching and learning, employability, and research and, as a former practitioner-turned-academic, Jill has co-founded the Pracademia Connect Network with Advance HE

Advancing Digital conversation 4th November 2021 9.30 am

Equality Diversity and Inclusion – issues of career progression for legal practitioners and Legal Academics

Drawing upon recent interviews conducted with Law teachers on teaching-focused contracts in Scotland, England and Wales, Lydia Bleasdale will consider some of the challenges for colleagues on those contracts from an EDI perspective, through the prism of self-determination theory. Lydia’s presentation will provide a very brief account of the growth of teaching-focused contracts within Higher Education, before considering limitations on these colleagues’ ability to move institution, how valued and visible they feel within their institutions, and how their relationships with staff and students can be impacted by the nature of their contract. 

Lydia Bleasdale is an Associate Professor in Law at the University of Leeds and is one of the founders of Advancing Wellness in Law. 

Masculine structure of the legal profession in England and Wales: barriers to progression of women into leadership roles.

Today’s presence of female lawyers stands at an all time high. The percentage of women working in the legal profession exceeds that of men, yet, the number of women in senior positions is alarmingly low. Women lawyers still do not uniformly occupy leadership roles commensurate with their qualification and experience. As they progress through their careers, they are met with blockages which tend to have adverse effect on their professional growth.

The problem lies in the structure of legal profession, its masculine norms and historic non-inclusion of women. Leadership skills in law are associated with assertiveness, masculinity, and dominance, and this stereotypically constructs women in terms of ‘otherness.’ The ideal of bleached out worker, available twenty-four-seven sees women as unsuitable leadership material, the uncommitted lawyers who have caring and domestic responsibilities which limit their professional working capacity.

So far, equality has been measured against the masculine rules of men, in which women are expected to show masculinity and their assimilation to the men’s group. The failure to realise that they are not identical to men is directly responsible for the blockages they experience in their progression. It is necessary to account for and to accommodate their own diverse characteristics and not be judged by masculine norms and only then women can receive the same opportunities as their male counterparts. Until such time, this great institutional dysfunction cannot be resolved.

Leona Samuda is a third-year PhD research student at The Open University. Her research focuses on underrepresentation of women in leadership roles in the legal profession in England and Wales.

14th October Digital conversation

We are delighted to announce that Elizabeth Rimmer CEO of LawCare, the charity that promotes and supports good mental health in the legal community across the UK, and Kayleigh Leonie, a senior solicitor specialising in employment law and a Trustee of LawCare, and a leading figure in the wellbeing debates via her work leading the JLD resilience surveys will be presenting aspects from LawCare’s very recently published Life in the Law 2021 research findings.

We look forward to a detailed discussion of the report and work of LawCare and of some specific issues facing junior lawyers, and to bridging the discussion to the issues in legal education.

This will be an opportunity to find out more about the first study of its kind exploring wellbeing across the UK legal profession.

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