Law Firm HRs: a helpful suggestion

Wellbeing, Learning & Development, Diversity & Inclusion

This is a post about

1. mental health, a topic of eternal interest to law firms.
2. self-expression, because if people can talk and be heard, that can help.
3. allowing everybody to be heard, whoever and whatever they are – to improve diversity and inclusion.

That’s me in the middle, wearing specs.

Starting (and re-starting) a conversation

As you know already, the hardest thing can be starting a conversation about these topics – even at firms where it’s been discussed before, because you have to keep re-starting the conversation.

An obvious choice is to bring in an external speaker.
- But who?
- How to know if you have chosen the right one?
- How do you know they won’t waste the (expensive) time of your audience?
- Or worse?

A lesson from Slaughter and May

Jo Gubbay, head of learning and development at Slaughter and May, told me candidly that it felt like a huge risk to bring in an external speaker (me, as it happens):

Read the transcript, here

A bit about me

Journalist: At the Financial Times, I set up the current Saturday Magazine. I worked for years for The Times and The Sunday Times as magazine writer.

Author: I’ve published six books, in 16 languages, including How To Change The World and (in 2021) A Modest Book About How To Make An Adequate Speech.

Human being: I had a breakdown in 2018, went into psychiatric hospital for eight weeks.

Artist: In talks about mental health I share drawings I made in hospital.

Speaker: I’ve delivered talks and workshops at these and other companies:


This screengrab shows an email from the head of learning and development after an online talk to a law firm:

Online is even better

Since speaking at Slaughter and May, I’ve spoken at many other firms, including online.

Here’s a taste of the extraordinary interactions I’ve been able to have with participants, preserving their anonymity by using the typed chat:

4mins, 45 secs

If you would like me to speak at your firm, please get in touch. Thank you for reading.