Formed nearly a year ago under the late Chief Justice Gants, the Massachusetts SJC Standing Committee on Lawyer Well-Being has been working hard on a number of initiatives involving leadership from across the legal community in the Commonwealth.
In January of 2020, the Massachusetts SJC announced members of the newly formed Standing Committee on Lawyer Well-Being. The late Chief Justice Ralph Gants announced in his October 2019 State of the Judiciary Address that the SJC would form a Standing Committee on Lawyer Well-Being at the recommendation of the SJC Steering Committee on Lawyer Well-Being, formed in October 2018.
Our former deputy director, Heidi Alexander, began work as director of the committee in March, and she recently provided updates on the tremendous work the committee has done in its first year of existence in a recent episode of the Path to Well-Being in Law podcast. The podcast is hosted by the Institute for Well-Being in Law, which evolved from the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, which issued a comprehensive report, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, which offered recommendations for various stakeholders in legal well-being. The report included the recommendation for lawyer assistance programs like LCL MA to work with their state’s judiciaries to begin collaboration across various sectors of leadership, which the late Chief Justice Gants advanced following an inquiry from our executive director.
As Heidi explains in the podcast, the committee is focused on five primary goals: (1) changing culture, (2) fighting stigma, (3) diversity, equity, and inclusion, (4) improving life & career satisfaction and reducing burnout, and (5) increasing civility. The committee has provided greater detail in this recent update, which covers DEI, student loan debt, mentorship, and more. You can signup to receive their updates here.