Ontario Bar Association Wins International Award for Providing Lawyers with Skills to Manage their Mental Health

  • May 29, 2015

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Bar Association (OBA), representing more than 16,000 lawyers working in the province, has won an international award for its efforts to provide education and training to lawyers that encourage personal and professional well-being.

The OBA’s Mindful Lawyer CPD Series is a six-module program that allows lawyers to indulge in guilt-free time away from their demanding work lives to reconnect with essential time management, relaxation, and emotional intelligence skills.

The Series has been given an Award of Outstanding Achievement in the “Programs” category from the Association For Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA).

“I am thrilled at this acknowledgement,” says OBA President Orlando Da Silva.  “When the OBA set out to address mental health in the profession last summer, we knew we were undertaking important work, but we never expected to have such a tremendous response from lawyers not just across Ontario, but nationally and internationally too.”

With high-profile, dynamic speakers who have done international research on lawyers’ happiness and mental health, the OBA’s Mindful Lawyer CPD Series has quickly become one of the OBA’s most popular educational programs for 2015.

It has also received extremely positive reviews from its participants, with more than 90% of attendees giving the program a favourable rating.

The first program ran on February 6, 2015 and there is one remaining program scheduled for June 11, 2015. All of the programs have been free to OBA members and have cost only a nominal charge for non-members. Condensed, archived versions of each session are available at no cost to OBA members on the organization’s website at oba.org/openingremarks/MindfulLawyer.

The whole program is intended to be as accessible as possible to lawyers who want to develop skills in effectively balancing their personal and professional lives.  Each of the programs offer one hour of professionalism credits to lawyers’ CPD portfolios.

“As a young lawyer trying to balance my career aspirations with the pursuit of happiness, the OBA’s Mindful Lawyer programming has helped inform a more positive career outlook for me,” says OBA member Catie Fenn, an associate with Brown & Burnes in Toronto.

“I was first impressed by the roster of speakers, but from the sessions I have since learned that happiness can have a place in the profession. Lawyers value authenticity, connectedness and community, and that is exactly what the OBA’s Mindful Lawyer CPD Series has provided.”

The OBA’s Mindful Lawyer CPD Series is a part of the OBA’s overarching campaign to promote openness about mental health among lawyers called Opening Remarks. For more information about Opening Remarks, visit oba.org/OpeningRemarks.

The ACLEA’s awards program recognizes and celebrates the contributions of professional member organizations.  The award will be presented at the ACLEA’s next Business Meeting in Chicago, IL on August 4, 2015.


Established in 1907, the OBA is the largest voluntary legal association in Ontario and represents over 16,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students. The OBA provides continuing professional development and advocates for improvements to the law in the interests of the profession and public.

For more information:

Amy Clark, OBA Media Relations and Communications Manager

416-869-1047 x 364 or aclark@oba.org