Queensland Law Society

QLS backs judge’s call for need for healthy work-life balance

Date 07 Oct 2016
Contact Tony Keim
Phone 07 3842 5835
Mobile 0488 433 884
Email media@qls.com.au

Queensland Law Society has backed a call by recently retired Gold Coast District Court judge Clive Wall on the need for lawyers and the legal profession to ensure a healthy work-life balance for all practitioners in such a stressful and competitive profession.

Society president Bill Potts said QLS was spending considerable time and resources to ensure all of its members were given access to the proper assistance via its LawCare program.

Mr Potts said there was no doubt the impact and stress of practising law in Queensland has dire, and sometimes fatal, outcomes on the mental health and well-being of some members.

“As the leading membership group of all solicitors practising in Queensland it is imperative QLS play a leadership role in ensuring lawyers have every opportunity to obtain the help necessary to deal with any problems in a positive way,” he said.

“The Society is committed to ensuring every member in need of help is afforded it.”

LawCare is a Queensland Law Society member benefit and is part of the “Love Law, Live Life” program promoting resilience and well-being resources for QLS members.

The program is a confidential, personal and professional development resource available to all Society members and staff, and their immediate family members.

His comments come in response to statements made by Judge Wall – who said working in the legal profession “can cause (a great deal of) stress.”

Mr Potts said addictions and substance abuse were a major concern for the legal profession.

“Exactly what the QLS does about it, supporting our members could take a number of avenues and these are currently under investigation and research,” he said.

“QLS is currently investigating and researching the correct type of early intervention educational programs to address this key underlying risk.”

He said greater education aimed at prevention, including public awareness campaigns within the legal profession is greatly needed to overcome the pervasive stigmas surrounding substance abuse and mental health concerns.

The confidential nature of lawyer assistance programs needs to be more widely publicised in an effort to overcome the privacy concerns that may create barriers between struggling lawyers and the help they need.

ENDS

For further information, please contact Tony Keim on 07 3842 5835, mobile 0488 433 884 or via email, media@qls.com.au.