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Annmarie's Blog

6 top tips for great appraisals

Top tips for appraisals Do you dread appraisal time? Tend to find them a demoralising experience? Or are you often the one conducting the appraisals? Find it hard to know how to deliver them well? Read on here for our three top tips on how to be a good appraiser…and...

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The reality of pregnancy…

I’m having a ‘miracle pregnancy’. But this is why I’d never tell people to believe in miracles. Many, many individuals and couples go through fertility problems. It’s a situation that is at the same time both incredibly common and incredibly isolating. Suddenly, everyone around you is pregnant. I’m not even...

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Taking the “F You” out of Divorce

Last month was an exciting one for family lawyers as the long-awaited introduction of no-fault divorce became law.  There’s no doubt this is a big step forward for a system that was bizarrely antiquated in insisting that people still provided reasons for why they should be given a divorce. It...

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What is love?

What is love? (“baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more”) Thank you to Haddaway for making it impossible to say those words without segueing into that 90s pop classic. Valentine’s Day is coming up next week. It’s a day associated with hearts, flowers and grand romantic gestures.  But...

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Supporting those who support us

  With all our talk about wellbeing in the legal profession, what’s the glaring gap? What are we not talking about? Well, who do we mean when we talk about the ‘legal profession’? Is it just lawyers or do we include secretaries, PA’s, IT staff, front of house and reception,...

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Mental health MOTs for lawyers

Why therapeutic supervision for lawyers is the next big thing (And why it’s not quite the same as therapy) By Tim Rice For nearly two years I’ve been working with lawyers providing therapeutic supervision. Essentially this means I meet them individually every month or even every two or three monthsfor...

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Why I’m no longer talking about “wellbeing”

Well, what a weird thing to say… I mean, who doesn’t believe in wellbeing? Particularly at the moment, with reports of staff in professional services industries suffering due to overwork in lockdown. I get it. And I do believe in looking after ourselves. But increasingly I’ve come to believe that...

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Are relationship ‘MOTs’ the future?

A couple came to see me a year or so ago. They appeared in different Zoom windows because they were in separate houses. A few weeks earlier she had moved out. Communication between them had broken down. They hadn’t been arguing but had not been “connecting” in the way she...

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Are you addicted to work?

Last month I had some bad news. I heard first thing in the morning. I had a big cry. I considered crawling under my duvet. Then I slapped some make up on my face and got on with my (busy) work day.  If this sounds a bit cold hearted or...

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It’s about more than the cardies

The legal world was rocked last week (OK, slight exaggeration) by what is now known as ‘Vardie cardie gate’ (or ‘Vardigan gate’, to use its formal name). An email written by well-known family law firm owner Ayesha Vardag was leaked to the press, in which she berated staff for wearing...

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Better Together. Lawyers and therapists unite!

It’s a curious job, being a family lawyer. Yes, you need to be a technical expert, meticulous drafter, font of legal knowledge, tenacious advocate. But the demands of the job go way beyond the legal. You’re also required to act as therapist, life coach, parent and best friend all rolled...

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Sober Lawyers discuss…booze and lockdown

Annmarie: Well, Jo, things have got pretty weird since our last blog haven’t they? Over a month into lockdown now due to Covid 19 and I think we’re all feeling a constant low-level anxiety. How can we cope? There’ve been reports of some people drinking more alcohol in lockdown (reports...

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Coping in the time of Corona

It’s bloody horrible at the moment isn’t it? Over the course of a week or so we’ve gone from a relatively normal existence (albeit with worries about developments in other countries) to total lockdown. And even though we had an inkling that this was coming, the reality has sent many...

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The biggest addiction you’ve never heard of

Addictions are often pretty obvious. They manifest in public, humiliating ways. There’s the classic idea of the alcoholic, the Phil Mitchell from Eastenders type, stumbling around, incoherent, hurling abuse or slumped in a corner. Or the drug addict, ill-looking, emaciated and shifty a la Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting.

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Ghosts

It’s the right time of year to be talking about ghosts. The ones I’m talking about here aren’t those that come out on Halloween though. But they can still be pretty spooky. I’m talking about people from the past re-surfacing in our lives, either by design or by chance. How...

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Law and wellbeing: are they incompatible?

Having procrastinated over the title of this article for a fair amount of time I can tell you that life in the brain of a lawyer ain’t an easy one. It’s teeming with all sorts of stuff: a ton of perfectionism, a heap of compulsive overthinking and a pretty hefty...

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Are you split? #Metoo

Last week I had the pleasure of seeing Jeanette Winterson speak on the subject of feminism and the #metoo movement. This became a broader discussion about the fact that we seem to be living in a more split and divided world than ever before with, as Winterson put it, opposing...

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Are we building bridges or are we building walls?

I had an extraordinary experience at a conference last week, witnessing a presentation that was moving, desperately sad and hopeful in equal measure. The speakers were Jo Berry and Patrick Magee. Jo’s father, Sir Anthony Berry was a Conservative MP who was killed in the Brighton bombing in 1984. Jo’s...

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Lawyers! Are your clocks making you ill?

Mindfulness is the buzz-word of recent years with everyone desperately trying to remain ‘in the present moment’. But how does that fit with the ticking clocks on the computer screen that dominate many lawyers’ lives? They’re an ever-present reminder of how long you’ve been working on each job and of...

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