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RDJ takes lead on changing culture in law firms
Jamie Olden of RDJ

07 Jun 2024 / wellbeing Print

RDJ takes lead on changing culture in law firms

RDJ LLP is leading the way in building a culture that puts people at the heart of business.

The leading firm, with flagship offices in Cork, Dublin, and Galway, is partnering with the Law Society and business psychologists SEVEN as part of a new initiative ‘Culture First: Well within the Law’.  


This pilot programme, anticipated to be the first of many such partnerships, is coordinated by Law Society Psychological Services.  

Antoinette Moriarty, head of Law Society Psychological Services, said that Culture First had been developed in response to growing concerns about significant cultural challenges and low wellbeing levels across the entire legal profession.  

While culture change is possible, it requires a long-term strategy to create the conditions for psychological wellbeing and a truly inclusive and high-performing culture.  

“We are delighted to partner with such a dynamic, open, and progressive firm as RDJ for the first of what we hope will be many such partnerships,” Moriarty said.

Open conversations

Running over five months, the RDJ programme, titled ‘Well within the Law’, has involved a series of open conversations about culture within the firm, as well surveying all employees about how to optimise mental health and wellbeing, while remaining a highly effective law firm, with the inevitable periods of stress which that involves.  

RDJ has said that it is widely recognised that there are unique stressors and wellbeing challenges that often come with working in a law firm.  

The goal is to better understand employee strengths, key mental-wellbeing issues, and the role that culture plays, and to create a meaningful action plan that enables positive change. 

The Law Society plans to roll the programme out to additional law firms in Ireland later this year. 

Steering group

Culture First | Well within the Law is being led by a steering group at RDJ that includes managing partner Jamie Olden, people and culture director Fionnuala Power, and partners Brendan Cunningham, Louise Smith, Louise Boughton, and Imelda Tierney. 

Jamie Olden said: “My core aim is for people to work hard, be rewarded, and enjoy work. I don’t believe we will ever get to a stage where working in a firm like RDJ does not have stressful times.  

“What we need, however, is to ensure we identify areas where support is needed, that people are not working at a level where burnout takes place, and that clients are well served by this firm. This programme will hopefully go some way to supporting us as we continue to seek to improve.” 

Fionnuala Power added that the stress and challenges that came with working in the legal industry could not disappear entirely, but the firm wanted to ensure a culture of openness on wellbeing and enhanced psychological safety. 

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