September 2018 is suicide awareness month. Despite all the social media campaigns, all the talk, and television commercials there is a high rate of mental illness and suicide in the legal industry. The stigma against openly discussing personal mental health issues in law firms is still running strong so it is unknown if the conversation has even started at the firm level. How can firms begin to promote mental health awareness?
Over the summer, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain’s both committed suicide. This month (September) is also suicide awareness month so the topic of suicide has been in the collective consciousness of Americans for a few months now. Unfortunately, the legal profession is suffering a lot from suicides, coming in fourth as the profession with some of the highest suicide rates. We ask, how can law firms create supportive environments and systems that support good mental health for all associates?
People are not always easy; they have good days, they have bad days. Working with difficult people decreases productivity and increases stress levels for everyone involved. However, you can mitigate the negative impacts of difficult people by improving your empathetic response.
Everyone wants to be liked. If you're a new attorney at a top law firm, you especially want to be liked. However, there is a fine line between being likable and an easy going associate and being a doormat. If you’re a chronic people pleaser, you may have a history of being a doormat. That's not good or healthy for you.
Recruiting and hiring diverse job candidates isn’t just about initiatives and quotas or hitting all the right demographics. A diverse workforce is about nurturing and maintaining a strong foundation so your law firm can thrive today and in the future. Diversity begins in different places for individual law firms. For some firms diversity is about more women; for other firms, it is about diversifying the ethnic pool. Whatever diversity means for your firm, there are clear benefits to maintaining a diverse workforce.
You want to be number one in all you do; your personal and private life, but not necessarily be the first one at the company who is [different]. In the same breath, you also do not want to pass up a great opportunity out of fear. But, how do you know how diverse a workplace is before you apply?
There simply are not enough women and people of color getting hired to the most established law firms. In response to the lack of diversity, many well-meaning law firms have launched diversity initiatives. How do law firms get the most out of their diversity efforts?
Reports show that gender and racial diversity is positive for the organization. Retaining and promoting women and ethnic/racial minorities is important if you want to continue to grow your business, and if the firm wants to effectively serve an increasingly diverse client base. Today, many corporations have made a commitment to diversify their team; they also want and expect their legal representation to be just as diverse. Here are tips on steps a law firm can take to improve racial and gender equity.
We see it in the news every day. Politics can be cutthroat. Even in the well-known, most organized, and equitable law firms politics can rear its ugly head. New associates and recent lateral hires have to adapt to a new culture, learn the ropes and relearn how to survive when they’re inevitably thrown into the office politics ring. This is our take on surviving office politics.
Almost every law firm suffers from some level of office politics but it’s to the benefit of associates and partners to minimize toxic office politics when possible. Let’s take a look at how law firms can take action to minimize office politics in the workplace.