New Zealand Law Society - John Marshall, QC – The Practising Well Story

John Marshall, QC – The Practising Well Story

"I want to see us becoming a more caring profession, where we look out for signs of stress in our colleagues, whether they are our partners, employees, friends or opponents in court. And if we detect that all is not well, we need to have a network of health professionals and mentors to whom we can refer colleagues in need" - John Marshall, QC, (Law Society President 2007-2010)

Practising Well, the Law Society's professional and personal support initiative, was launched in 2009, during John Marshall's tenure as Law Society President.

The Practising Well initiative arose from growing concern at statistics from overseas and local anecdotal evidence about the high incidence of depression and stress in the legal profession. John was a constant advocate for developing supporting resources and measures to provide collegial support and advice, which John saw as crucial to the health of the profession. He wanted to draw attention to the need for lawyers to look after their own health - particularly mental health - in a profession that must deal with conflict and disputes on a regular basis.

The initiative was designed to highlight the availability of information and services as well as developing existing resources, including the Friends Panel. Practising Well was the culmination of the energy and dedication of many people. However, it would not have happened without John. No individual was quite such an advocate as John. He was inspirational. John passed away in June 2015, but his legacy and his passion for practising well continues.

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