Southern Africa’s Integrative Lawyers Association

“About 20% of lawyers, or one in five, are ‘walking wounded’, meaning functioning and practising law while attempting to cover up, hide, or camouflage his or her psychological distress.” ~ Professor Susan Daicoff, Lawyer, Know Thyself.

Are you interested in

  • Learning to meet your own needs to avoid burn out?
  • Discovering the parts of practising law that inspire you to continue practising?
  • Re-connecting with why you became a lawyer in the first place?
  • Finding ways to bring more of who you are to the work you do?

The Centre for Integrative Law is a consultancy that provides workshops and training in Integrative Law skills and new practice areas.  SAILA is s a response to an emerging need for a space in which lawyers, who are ready to talk about the interior experience of being a lawyer, can connect and support each other, created by the CIL, focused on building a conscious community of Integrative lawyers.


Most lawyers are not even aware of the oddity – that our law schools, law firms, law societies and legal publications, rarely if ever pay regard to what it is like to be a lawyer. What do lawyers experience, what do they feel? How do they set aside the trauma they may witness during the day, when it’s time to go home to their families at night? There may be the occasional mention of stress but aside from this, all focus is on the law and what lawyers do, and how far up the ranks they are climbing, and certainly not how they feel about it. Nor do we see stories about what lawyers do aside from legal work. Heaven forbid we should talk publicly about women lawyers who are balancing motherhood and law or male lawyers who have spent so many hours at the office they no longer no know who they are supposed to be when they do spend time at home.

Evidence is mounting to show that lawyers themselves and society as a whole are paying a high price for ignoring what it means to practise law. Global statistics for substance abuse and depression in the legal profession, are approximately double that of the non-lawyer population. There are lawyers all over South Africa seeking psychiatric treatment and believing they’re to blame for not managing their stress. Research shows that the legal profession has higher levels of VT – Vicarious Trauma, than other counselling and advisory professions. It’s been put forward that this is largely as a result of lawyers never receiving any counselling themselves. While other professions provide training in managing trauma and ongoing supervision, the legal profession, for the most part, turns a blind eye and insinuates the lawyer is to blame for not handling the job. This applies not only to lawyers who deal in the devastation of divorce and abuse cases but also to those who work in high-stakes commercial litigation.

If any of this resonates with you, please subscribe to stay in touch with us as we further develop SAILA.


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