The Mental Health Institute of Legal Professions (ISMA) is an independent organization devoted to the legal professionals’ and law students’ well-being.
The aims of ISMA are built around three phases:
1st. The ‘radiography’ of legal professionals and law students.
2nd. The fostering legal professionals’ and law students’ well-being.
3rd. The verification and certification system.
Phase 1: The ‘radiography’ of legal professionals and law students.
In this phase, the aims of ISMA are the following:
1st. To ascertain legal professionals’ and law students’ state of mental health through surveys and interviews which will be drafted by the Scientific Committee. The official materials of ISMA will have the following names:
- Legal Professionals Well-Being Survey
- Law Students Well-Being Survey
Both surveys will be drafted by professionals of psychology and psychiatry. Taking as a reference the official tests (example: Goldberg Test GHQ-28), the Scientific Committee will include the specialties of each collective above-mentioned in other complementary materials.
2nd. To identify which are the psychosocial risk factors associated with legal professions and legal studies.
Phase 2: The fostering legal professionals’ and law students’ well-being.
3rd. To recommend the adoption of certain organizational policies within law firms, judicial administration, and law schools to improve the well-being of these collectives.
The Well-Being Committee, which is composed of different legal stakeholders, will be the competent body to prepare the Annual Well-Being Plan.
4th. To fight against stigma and discriminatory practices suffered by legal professionals and law students because of mental health problems through awareness campaigns and specific programs.
5th. To encourage help-seeking behaviors when some lawyer or law student needs it.
6th. To foster the feminine leadership within the legal professions and to break the “glass ceiling” through the establishment of strategic alliances with associations of female lawyers.
7th. To propose the inclusion of mental health contents in university programs (Law Degree and LL.M. for the Access to the Bar Association) to Law Schools and legal training centers, as well as in the courses organized by bar associations and law students’ associations.
8th. To establish strategic alliances and collaboration agreements with law schools, legal training centers, law firms, bar associations, companies, public administrations, law students’ associations, and mental health organizations, both national and international.
9th. To inform about the studies, investigations, and works carried out in other countries concerning legal professionals’ and law students’ mental health.
Phase 3: Incorporation of a verification process.
10th. To verify the fulfillment of the organizational policies recommended by the Well-Being Committee by those organizations voluntarily subjected to ISMA’s control. The fulfillment of such policies will be duly acknowledged by the ISMA, using any certification.