Clifford Chance considers rolling out trainee stress programme across firm

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  • Lawyers don't need "workshops" to deal with the stress this job brings. They need greater support around them and more bodies to share the burden of work, especially as the economy picks up. Firms need to stop relentlessly targeting greater profitability and PEP.

    Invest more in your employees and you won't have people killing themselves over a job.

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  • Is this a serious initiative or an April Fools joke? Since when does Clifford Chance care about the psychological wellbeing of its staff? Most of the Partners here are Sociopaths and that adds to the stress that no workshop can ever resolve.

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  • Great to see CC considering the well being of their trainees.

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  • So if a trainee does require occupational health support will this be duly noted on their records and used for reference when it comes to determine NQ qualification?

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  • Providing mental health support to trainees, associates and partners will make absolutely no difference if there is no attempt to fight the stigma of mental health disease. The help is there and it is great, but how many lawyers will actually visit and therefore, make it known to others, most times, more senior to them that they have stress and anxiety issues?

    The competition and the environment in law firms, especially those of the same calibre as Clifford Chance is so intense, that no trainee, junior lawyer, associate and even partner will want to show a sign of weakness. If you do, you can say good bye to good cases, and if you are a trainee, perhaps you will not even be kept on post qualification. Instead, your colleagues will supposedly try to show sympathy, while they are figuring out ways to get the work which was intended for you.

    It is harsh, but, unfortunately, it's the reality in law firms and I assume in most other professions which are characterised as highly-stressful.

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  • I agree with Anonymous at 3.56pm. Lawyers and trainees alike need better support to deal with workload and expectations in terms of billable hours and long working hours. They do not need more lip service from HR. "Performance optimisation" sounds more about keeping an eye on trainees to get more work out of them and cut absence rather than any genuine scheme to counsel on stress and look after the people. Anonymous at 5.04, you clearly work for Clifford Chance's HR team - post something useful or don't bother.

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  • Here are the 8 keys to living a psychologically balanced life (I read it in an Italian version of Men's Health ten years ago):
    1. Don't try to do too much. (Non strafare)
    2. Do what you do best (Fai quello che ti riesce meglio)
    3. Think first, then act (but don't think too much) (Pensa, poi agisci)
    4. Express gratitude all the time (Ringrazia sempre)
    5. Take care of your appearance (Curati l'imagine)
    6. Find time for friends and family (Trova tempo per le amici e per la famiglia)
    7. Live in the here and now (Non ti preoccupare troppo di quello che e gia passato oppure di quello che possa avenire)
    8. I can never remember all eight.
    You read it here in THE LAWYER. Now back to work!

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  • 9. Don't work at Clifford Chance.

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  • CC is too kind to its trainees. They don't give them BBs and now even provide them with a stress programme.

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  • I wonder whether CC have already included resilience tests and checks in the trainee recruitment programmes. Spotting the weakest link in terms of resilience may be too late once the training contract offer has been made. But come to think of it, I would not be surprised if the training contract contains a clause that if you score poorly in the stress and resilience monitoring at any time before or during your training, you would be invited to consider another career option away from 10 Upper Bank Street.

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