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Morgan Lewis: 5 Things to Know about Well-Being at Morgan Lewis

July 01, 2019

Stress inevitably accompanies any job, a fact that rings especially true regarding the practice of law. However, at Morgan Lewis, we recognize that despite the inherent strain that comes with this profession, science supports the notion that we can do things as individuals and organizations to enable each other to respond better to stress, and, ultimately, to thrive.

We take this science seriously. So seriously, in fact, that I am the firm’s first ever director of employee well-being, a role that is also new to the legal profession as a whole. In my job, I apply the science of well-being to develop innovative programming to assist our people in improving professionally and personally. Similar to the well-being component of Penn’s own Professional Responsibility course, we see this as effort as a necessary extension of existing education regarding how to succeed as a lawyer.

In March, we launched a firm-wide approach to support the well-being of all Morgan Lewis legal and professional staff, calling it ML Well. The program focuses on five dimensions that influence an individual’s overall ability to thrive: intellectual, physical, emotional, occupational, and community engagement. Read more below about the significance of each dimension to our firm and examples of programming Morgan Lewis offers to enhance thriving in all five of these areas.

  1. Intellectual well-being involves more than just cognitive wellness

Actively engaging in lifelong learning helps everyone lead longer, healthier, and more engaged lives. If attorneys seek to grow their intellectual well-being, they might listen to our recent ML Well neurodiversity panel, during which experts explained neurological differences and employees shared their own personal experiences with neurodiversity.

  1. Physical well-being influences mental and emotional health

Physical health profoundly affects all aspects of our lives. Facilitating physical well-being includes getting adequate exercise, achieving proper nutrition, sleeping enough, and exploring the mind-body connection. Lunchtime yoga sessions, office sports teams, and fundraising runs are just a few components of ML Well programming available to increase physical well-being at Morgan Lewis.

  1. Emotional well-being fosters flourishing

Learning to actively and positively influence our own emotions to better manage anxiety, improve decision-making, deepen our relationships, and achieve our personal goals enhances our health. To kick off our curriculum dedicated to promoting emotional well-being and understanding, Morgan Lewis collaborated with Patrick Krill, attorney mental health expert, to educate our lawyers and professional staff on behavioral health issues. These include alcohol abuse, depression, and anxiety, and their prevalence in the legal profession.

  1. Occupational well-being enriches your life in and out of the workplace

Occupational well-being includes focusing on developmental goals, actively engaging in the workplace, and taking career ownership to help thrive at work. Morgan Lewis personnel wishing to cultivate more occupational well-being might access a schedule of training opportunities offered by the firm or other resources aggregated on our ML Well portal that offer insight, for example,  into their own character strengths and how to elevate their work performance. 

  1. Community well-being allows Morgan Lewis to do well by doing good

Our firm comprises interlocking communities that exist within a larger global community. Like people, communities need resources and support to be healthy. Science shows us that people who dedicate themselves to building and strengthening their communities tend to be healthier and happier. Thanks to our robust pro bono program, our attorneys who contribute to enhancing their communities contribute to their own well-being on a regular basis.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to boosting well-being. We hope to weave well-being into the fabric of the culture here at Morgan Lewis. While recognizing the challenging nature of the legal industry, establishing ML Well and cementing the firm’s commitment to assisting its employees in thriving constitutes a vital first step. For those deciding where to take their talents after graduation, it’s worthwhile to make well-being a major part of the consideration.