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LawCare’s Coordinator for Ireland, Mary Jackson, recently addressed over 200 solicitors at a conference organised by the Law Society In-House and Public Sector Committee in partnership with Law Society Professional Training.
The theme of the Annual In-House and Public Sector Conference, held at the Education Centre in Dublin, was Leadership – Opportunities and Challenges Facing the In-house Solicitor. The in-house sector represents 19 per cent of Irish solicitors, and this year’s conference explored the unique opportunities and challenges in-house solicitors in Ireland have, and to show leadership in a time of unprecedented change for the profession and the country.
“There were opportunities to network with the panel members and speakers, as well as the chance to mix with the delegates, which generated a great buzz,” says Mary Jackson. “We have recently relaunched the LawCare brand, and our new factsheets were available to delegates, the most popular of which were those on Sleep, Worried about A Colleague? and Alcohol.”
The keynote presentation, Leading in Uncertainty, was delivered by Steven D’Souza, International Executive Educator, advisor and author. The main aim of his session was to explore the concept of ‘not knowing’, and how this relates to the current challenges of being an in-house lawyer. It was a humorous and provocative session that got the delegates exchanging views on solving workplace problems.
There was also a joint presentation from Antoinette Moriarty and Sean O’Tarpaigh, who are psychotherapists, and they spoke about Leader Wellness, concentrating on motivation, mental resilience and stress management.
The LawCare presentation picked up on these themes with an overview of the service, examples of the type of calls to the Helpline, and thoughts and pointers on the importance of working well and staying well. There was emphasis on the confidentiality and independence of the service and the work of the volunteers and peer supporters, who are there to encourage, befriend and empathise.
“I reminded the audience of what makes a good leader, as well as what is special about being a lawyer and what is tough about it too,” concludes Ms Jackson. “I talked about our wish to break down the stigma of talking about mental health issues and asking for help, and how we put wellbeing firmly at the heart of our agenda.”
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