Meaningful systemic change incorporating wellness within for-profit law firms will require a top-down approach that reprioritizes values forming the basis of the law firm culture. One paramount value driving firm culture may become to produce well-rounded professionals who are not only intellectually proficient, but are physically healthy and emotionally able to navigate the complicated life situations encountered by so many clients. In helping to produce emotionally grounded professionals, the firm will be able to offer superior value and significantly improved service to clients.
The table below proposes concrete top-down structure that meaningfully incorporate emphasis on attorney wellness in for-profit law firms:
|30.00||Client-specific Billable Activity||Firm-wide billing rates would be adjusted after comprehensive analysis to make this billable target economically feasible|
|3.00||Dedicated physical exercise 1 hour duration 3x/week||Firm would develop clear policy for exemptions from this policy; Attorneys and staff would be provided incentives that emphasize consistency and not necessarily high achievement; Accountability tools would be made available to attorneys and staff|
|2.50||Contemplative practice 30 minutes duration 5x/week||Firm would provide dedicated space for quiet self-reflection; Accountability tools would be made available to attorneys and staff|
|1.00||Group session to discuss current challenges, etc.||This weekly session would be mandatory for all attorneys and staff including equity partners thereby normalizing open, vulnerable interactions|
|1.00||Individual check-in with mental health professional||Weekly individual sessions would ensure that any problematic areas are proactively addressed with individual attorneys and staff; Clear procedures would be developed for dealing with identified issues of concern|
The values embodied in the proposal above, while requiring a fair amount of up-front resources in development and implementation, need not adversely impact the law firm bottom line. In addition to helping in talent recruitment and retention, the firm will be able to leverage these systemic changes from a marketing standpoint. Current and potential clients will not only recognize the heightened quality of professionals servicing their matters, but may philosophically embrace the values embraced by the firm in its new top-down approach.