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May 15th, 2023

HPU Law Associate Dean Prioritizes Law Student and Lawyer Well-Being

On April 14, 2023, Natt Gantt, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at High Point University School of Law, served as a speaker on the Lawyer Wellness panel at the 2023 Young Lawyers Bench-Bar Conference sponsored by the Virginia State Bar. Along with Associate Dean Gantt, the panel featured Senior Justice William C. Mims of the Supreme Court of Virginia and Judge Vivian Henderson of the Virginia Beach General District Court. The panel was moderated by Kristen Mynes, an associate in the Charlottesville office of McGuireWoods LLP.

The panelists participated in a lively discussion on many themes relating to lawyer wellness including how lawyers can prioritize their time to attend to their personal well-being, what kind of activities and breaks lawyers can build into their day, how to talk to supervisors about wellness concerns, how to create a culture of wellness at your institution, and what resources are available to young lawyers seeking to prioritize wellness and attain a healthy work/life balance. After the panel, Kristen thanked the panelists for “your candidness in speaking on these important topics, and your continued support of those of us embarking on our careers. Hearing from talented and driven lawyers like yourselves is critical for us [young lawyers].”

Associate Dean Gantt expressed with those involved how fun it was to participate in the panel. Afterwards, he shared,

“Being able to encourage law students and young lawyers is a passion of mine, and working with such esteemed jurists as Senior Justice Mims and Judge Henderson was simply a treat. Their heart for young attorneys was readily apparent, and I hope we were able to inspire the attendees to appreciate how prioritizing their personal well-being is fundamental to truly flourishing in the legal profession.”

Associate Dean Gantt is a national leader in the lawyer well-being movement. He currently serves on the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) Advisory Commission. CoLAP is only ABA entity expressly charged with adopting initiatives relating to lawyer well-being. Gantt chairs CoLAP’s Well-Being Committee, which oversees the ABA Well-Being Pledge, which as of the date of this writing is signed by 210 legal employers from across the nation and is a motivating force in enhancing well-being in the profession. Gantt also serves as member of the Institute for Well-Being in Law’s Research and Scholarship Committee and served as a subcommittee chair on the Virginia State Bar President’s Special Committee on Lawyer Well-Being, which drafted the 2019 report titled The Occupational Risks of the Practice of Law.

High Point University School of Law is adopting holistic approach to legal education that will develop students’ analytical thinking, practical skills, and professional identity. A core component of professional identity is personal well-being, and High Point Law will create a community that fosters students’ sense of purpose and meaning as they learn to be lawyer-leaders who will serve the common good and make the world a better place.