In honor of Wellbeing Week in Law (May 6-10, 2024), Lee Watts – Bass, Berry & Sims’ director of diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI) – authored an article for exploring challenges for underrepresented attorneys and professionals in law firms and offering practical solutions for incorporating wellbeing into DEI initiatives.

“As leaders and DEI professionals in law firms devise strategies to attract and retain women and historically marginalized attorneys, firms must integrate mental wellbeing into their DEI strategy and the broader firm strategy,” Lee said. “Neglecting wellbeing within DEI initiatives could undermine efforts to shape a positive firm culture.”

After detailing challenges to watch for specific to underrepresented groups that can impact mental wellbeing, including psychological safety, being the first and only of a specific group, and the wellbeing of DEI leaders, Lee suggested practical steps to implement to connect DEI and wellbeing efforts, including:

  • Focus on Belonging
  • Mental Health Support
  • Leadership Development and Mentoring
  • Community and Connection
  • Transparent Feedback Programs

The full article, “Forging Forward: How Wellbeing Anchors the Heart of DEI Strategy,” was published on April 29 by and is available online.