Working collaboratively to promote sustainable practice across the legal sector

Health and Wellbeing


Wellbeing is the composite of happiness, feeling well and living safely without illness, but the way many of us work, the demands of modern life and our personal choices can impact on our health and wellbeing.

Legal work like many modern professions is predominantly sedentary often involving pressure and long working hours. These long hours in combination with personal commitments can also reduce the amount of health building leisure-time workers can enjoy. The reduction of health and wellbeing experienced as a result of these types of lifestyles can have significant and long-term impacts on peoples’ lives.

Many AusLSA members already recognise their social obligations to their workforce but they also know that improved workplace health and wellbeing delivers:

  • increased productivity, alertness and concentration among staff
  • staff who feel valued with better morale, satisfaction and motivation
  • decreased mental ill-health and other work and non-work-related illness
  • reduced sick leave and fewer worker’s compensation claims
  • increased staff retention and attractiveness to new employees
  • improved corporate citizenship and image.

Employers, in addition to social responsibility and the benefits to organisational health, have a legal duty of care for their employees.


AusLSA members are among the highest performing and most successful law firms in Australia and the world. Law firms that reach the top rely on their people to consistently function at their best and produce an extremely high-standard of work. Just like all elite performers, for lawyers to perform at their best they need to be managed sustainably and within their limits of resilience. Anecdotal evidence about the amount of time lawyers spend working and the pressures that they endure to meet the expectations of their clients and standards of their employers suggests a higher proportion of lawyers may be exposed to illness when their resilience to stress is exceeded.

Workplace psychosocial risks are a key influence on our physical, mental and social health. Studies show that mental ill-health is the third most common source of disease burden after cancers and heart disease and is the major cause of disability in Australia. Studies have shown that one third of lawyers and one fifth of barristers suffer a disability or distress due to depression.

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