Walking the Well-Being Walk, published in Legal Management Magazine, Annual Issue2022-07-26T23:07:52+00:00
07.26.2022 // NEWS, Press Releases, Publications
Walking the Well-Being Walk, published in Legal Management Magazine, Annual Issue

In an article published on 7/25, our Managing Partner, Jim Prichard, and Chief Operating Officer, Heather Oden, are quoted in the cover story regarding the firm’s approach to mental health, wellness, and the shifting work dynamics. The legal profession has long seen alarming rates of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse and currently sits at a crossroads in a post-COVID pandemic world. The prioritization of mental health and wellness cannot afford to be overlooked if firms want to have a healthy and productive team.

“If there is a positive that came out of COVID, the past two years increased our focus on mental health,” says Heather. “It was important to us to implement actionable tactics to create an environment that promotes sustained well-being.”

This increased focus on mental health has seen many law firms across the United States make more significant commitments toward health and wellness. The firm worked with LRS Architects to redesign their Portland, Oregon headquarters to be a more inclusive, equitable, and collaborative work environment with an additional change to close the office during Thanksgiving week and other holidays to encourage people to step away from work.

“With the help of our people, we recognized and identified the need for a revised work environment that centers around both productivity and our mental and physical health,” says Jim. “We instituted a new task force to focus on planning initiatives such as on-demand mental health support, flextime, regular employee check-ins and fitness memberships.”

Trends in law firm well-being initiatives center around personalized offerings, respites, rejection of the 24/7 mentality, resilience training, establishing well—being policies, and building a culture of trust.

“My advice is to create a company culture where talking about wellness and mental health is commonplace,” says Heather. “Create opportunities where employees can give open and honest feedback and let that feed decision-making.”

To read the story in full, click here.


Ball Janik LLP was founded in 1982 with six lawyers and a four-person support staff in Portland, Oregon. Since our firm’s inception, we have expanded our capabilities, our professionals, and geographic footprint. What started as a firm focused in real property and land use (known then as Ball Janik & Novack), has grown to include the insights of a team of 30-plus attorneys, with a combined six centuries of experience, and capabilities including Real Estate and Land Use, Construction Defect, Commercial Litigation, Insurance Recovery, Construction and Design, Employment, Finance and Corporate, Public Agencies and Schools, and Community Associations. With offices in Florida and Oregon, our regional growth has earned us a national reputation for upholding the rights of our clients.

Ball Janik LLP has been recognized by Chambers USA, U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers®, The Best Lawyers in America©, and Corporate International. Ball Janik LLP’s success and integrity have repeatedly made it one of “Oregon’s Most Admired Professional Firms,” according to the Portland Business Journal’s survey results of CEOs throughout the region.

Heather J. Oden
Oregon , Portland
James C. Prichard
Orlando, Florida
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