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73: Jodie Hill: How My Mental Breakdown Sparked a Movement for Healthier Law Firms

Explore Jodie Hill’s personal journey from a challenging mental breakdown to founding Thrive Law.

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Jodie’s story is a powerful testimony to how personal adversity can lead to transformative change in an industry resistant to it.

Jodie is a neuro-divergent solicitor, ED&I consultant, coach and trainer, author, and campaigner. A qualified barrister initially called to the Bar by The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple in 2010, Jodie cross-qualified to become a solicitor in 2013. Her mental breakdown in 2017, which she now describes as her “mental breakthrough”, led her to establish Thrive Law in 2018. It was the first law firm in the UK founded with wellbeing and mental health at its heart.

Jodie shares her experiences working in a high-pressure legal environment and how it led to her mental health struggles. She discusses the lack of support and understanding in the legal profession and her decision to leave her job for her well-being.

This pivotal moment inspired her to start Thrive Law, focusing on creating a psychologically safe and supportive work environment.

Key Talking Points:

  • Jodie’s background and the factors leading to her mental breakdown.
  • The challenges faced in traditional law firms regarding mental health and support.
  • The founding of Thrive Law and its mission to prioritize employee well-being.
  • Jodie’s vision of transforming legal workplace culture for the better.
  • Insights into how Thrive Law is different from conventional law firms in its approach and values.


Connect with Jodie:

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Chris Savage: Why Wistia Chose Workplace Culture Over Quick Profits

Oliver Yonchev: How the Art of Possible is Creating a Culture of Success at Flight Story

Support for Law Professionals with Mental Health and Well-being

If you’re in the UK,  LawCare is a free, independent and confidential Helpline that provides a space to talk about anything that may be worrying you. Call on 0800 279 6888.

The American Bar Association also provides a host of mental health resources, including Lawyer Assistance Programs ( or LAPs) that provide confidential services and support to judges, lawyers and law students who facing are mental health or substance use issues.–mental-health-resources/

General Support with Mental Health and Well-being

If you have been affected by any of the themes in this episode, or are currently struggling with your well-being, the following resources may be useful.

 Mind website:

If you are feeling in distress or despair, including feelings of suicide, please do consider calling the Samaritans for free on 116 123 or email

Connect with your hosts

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The Transcript

⚠️ NOTE: This is an automated transcript, so it might not always be 100% accurate!

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[00:00:00] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: A lot of them will think, well, I had to work really hard to get to that point. So hell no, you’re not having the changes. Plus I’m thinking, well, I’m equity now. So I’m not spending that money on you guys. Cause I want to get my cash out.

[00:00:15] Leanne: Hello and welcome to the award winning Truth, Lies and Workplace Culture podcast brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network, the audio destination for business professionals. My name is Leanne. I’m a business psychologist and an award winning co host.

[00:00:29] Al: My name is Al. I’m a business owner and an award winning business podcast co host.

[00:00:34] Leanne: And we are here to help you simplify the science people and create amazing workplace coaches. Happy 2024 everyone. I know we’ve said that before, but you may have gathered from our last episode. It was recorded ahead of time. So one, we didn’t die in a horrible accident. Great news. Two, happy new year again.

[00:00:52] Leanne: And three, we won some awards over the break.

[00:00:55] Al: We did. We did. We were driving. We live in Bosnia and Herzegovina near Mostar, as I think we might’ve said before. So we drove back to the UK with the dog and we went back for Christmas. We were maybe in, I think, Austria. You just, we stopped for a coffee and then you were like, Oh, we won an award.

[00:01:10] Leanne: Yeah, I did. I did. We won the. positive change podcast award categories for best psychology podcast and best co hosts family in brackets. Obviously, I’m not related, but you know what, you know what it means. That would

[00:01:26] Al: be a twist. So, yeah, so we’re really, really excited about that. And thank you so much for the people who already arranged those awards and who gave them to us, which was quite rightly.

[00:01:36] Al: The right choice. So we are back here and we’re feeling a little bit more refreshed. As I said, we went to the UK. We’re away for, I think we worked it out as away for like 17 nights and spend and slept in 14 different beds. It was a bit hectic. Then we came back and we just from new year to now, we’ve just had a quiet light week.

[00:01:54] Al: Just, we feel a lot more invigorated. We felt like we’ve taken our own advice here a little bit, you know, the whole burnout thing. And we were like, yeah, yeah. Burnout. We talked about a lot about last year, but I didn’t know about I was starting to feel a little bit burned out towards December when we were.

[00:02:04] Al: struggling to get all these episodes done. And I was just like, Oh, this bloody podcast, but back excited about it. We never really fell out of love with the podcast. I think I just got a bit burnt out a bit grumpy.

[00:02:14] Leanne: I think that’s just happens towards the end of the year, doesn’t it? And we had a really busy run up to it as well.

[00:02:19] Leanne: If you’re a regular listener, you’ll know. That last year was just a bit nuts. Um, but we are really excited. We’re very excited about the guests we’re bringing you. We’re very excited about the content that we’re going to be focusing on, on 2024. It has sparked some new ideas. You might be seeing something slightly new from us over the next few weeks.

[00:02:40] Leanne: No spoilers. Um, but yeah, keep an eye out. We will, might look all a bit. bit different in a few weeks time. Maybe

[00:02:47] Al: talking, looking at differently. I, I ate all the cheese that the UK had to offer. And so now I’m a little bit concerned that my shirt to put it on today. And I was like, has this shrunk in the wash?

[00:02:55] Al: No, no, I’m just, I’ve got, I’ve done the opposite of shrinking. So if you are looking at this and I’m worried about how tight this is not, not, not meant to be this tight. Anyway, moving on. very much. Luckily, it’s just from the boobs upwards for me. You don’t want to see my cheese belly. Anyway, so we are back here.

[00:03:13] Al: So we’re back with another founder story, but this one is a little bit

[00:03:17] Leanne: different. Yeah. So at the mad world summit in October, I’ll sat down with a pretty extraordinary woman who is revolutionizing the legal industry. She’s got 32, 000 followers on LinkedIn, Instagram. She’s a regular on TV and radio. She has her own YouTube channel.

[00:03:37] Leanne: And back in 2018, she quit her job and launched a brand new type of law firm where she obsesses about workplace, culture, health. and wellbeing. Our guest today is the fabulous Jodie Hill from Thrive Law.

[00:03:52] Al: Yeah, the interview I did with Jodie was so interesting. And despite her being like a genuine bona fide celebrity, she’s really down to earth and just really honest.

[00:04:00] Al: I mean, she, she told me she started from very humble beginnings as a, and this is her self confessed working class family, and then bucked the trend in her family by following the traditional path of law. So she became a barrister, which I think is those people who stand in courtrooms with their, with their, fingers behind their waistcoats going, I put it to you, sir.

[00:04:17] Al: And then a solicitor, which is a bit more of the, the people behind the paperwork and, and, and lawsuits and all that kind of thing. And she ended up working for a sizable company. Sorry for my really weird translations. I was just thinking for our, um, for our American listeners, I think they call them slightly different like attorneys and there might be a slight difference there.

[00:04:33] Al: So if you know the actual difference, then drop on LinkedIn and let us know. So at this point, she’s working for this great company. She’s got everything. You’d think she’d had it all. But here’s Jo to explain why that certainly was not the case.

[00:04:44] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: When I became a solicitor, I was probably working for a couple of years, maybe three or four years, and had a mental breakdown.

[00:04:51] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: And the workplace that I was in really wasn’t as supportive as perhaps one would hope, to put it politely. And also just trying to manage, you know, a mental health condition in a high achieving environment, in perfectionism and all of the traits that lawyers tend to have. Um, you know, I have PTSD, anxiety, I was struggling with insomnia.

[00:05:14] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: And, you know, balancing all of that with everything, with all your targets was, was impossible. So I actually left my job, um, I had nothing to go to, but I just took the view that the environment wasn’t conducive to a recovery for me. And I was in a really, really dark place.

[00:05:30] Leanne: Certainly in the UK, and I think in many other countries around the world as well, the legal industry and profession has a few major problems.

[00:05:39] Leanne: I mean, first of all, it is quite archaic. The structure is old fashioned and it’s often led by white, middle class, straight, boomer, raged owners. They’re usually called partners in a law firm and they’re of the opinion, well, we’ve always done it this way. So why change now? Secondly, when it comes to high pressure and target driven law work, like litigation, you know, often the culture can have a lot of toxic traits that hypercompetitive or rather cutthroat long working hours are part of the deal.

[00:06:11] Leanne: We’ve all seen Harvey Specter on Suits. Not exactly the kind of boss who you’d sit down and ask if you’re okay. God damn it is often the Just do your job! Is the phrase that is used most often. Great drinking game, drink responsibly kids. But TV is exaggerated, right? It’s not really like that. Well, according to some research from the Law Society’s Junior Lawyers Division, More than 90 percent of junior lawyers say they feel stressed and under pressure at work with more than a quarter describing stress levels as severe or extreme.

[00:06:46] Leanne: In these hyper competitive environments, partners or leaders of these law firms will often tolerate What are called toxic superstars like Harvey, because they contribute enormous fees to the firm. This means that in many, many cases, creating a workplace culture that supports individual needs and performance and wellbeing is pretty far down the priority list.

[00:07:09] Al: And this is unfortunately very common in the industry. So after Jodie left, she had a problem. If she started a job with another firm, was anything really going to change?

[00:07:18] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: Well, actually, all I knew how to do was be a lawyer. So I was like, well, I’m going to have to be a lawyer somewhere, but I was applying to firms and I was just thinking, this is all a load of shit.

[00:07:25] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: Like I can’t work for any of these firms because I’m going to go exactly where I was six months ago. So, I took the view that, um, you know, in a moment of madness, that’s what you do after you’ve had a breakdown, set my own law firm up. So, I did that and a year, it was probably about a year after the breakdown, but I did it with the view of, I wanted to create a psychologically safe place for me to be, quite selfishly, but also to create something that I suppose would attract clients that would share those values from an employment law perspective.

[00:07:55] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: So we’re working with people who care about people and also staff, you know, people that share those values and aren’t going to push me to the point of breakdown again. So, you know, you’ve got that supportive environment and creating that culture. So, so yeah, so Thrive was born five years ago and we’ve got a team of about 20 people across the UK

[00:08:12] Leanne: now.

[00:08:12] Leanne: This is the story of almost any founder, I think. Get experience in the industry, notice what could be done differently, and start your own business, your own company with those values in mind. But in Geraldine’s case, she really did have a lot

[00:08:27] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: working against her. So when I set the firm up, I was 29 and a female with tattoos, and from a very working class family.

[00:08:35] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: So, you know, nobody in my family’s got any connections with law. And. There was a lot of kickback, like, Oh, she’s just on social media and TV all the time. She’s not really doing any law. And since then we’ve been featured by the Law Society, the SRA, ACAS, um, literally the highest level for employment law.

[00:08:53] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: And I just think that, you know, I could have, I suppose at that point I could have. taken too many hits because I just had the breakdown, but I was just like, well, I haven’t got anything to lose here. I know what I’m saying makes sense because I’ve actually been the person who had the breakdown, so I know this makes sense.

[00:09:08] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: Um, and I suppose going through that process was like, well, I’ve got nothing to lose, so I’m going to crack on. I’m going to do, I’m going to do me, stay in my lane. And actually, it’s just built momentum over the years. So, we’re still a small company. We’ve still only got 20. 20 people working for us, but having that level of impact across the UK when it’s such a small company is just that for me is just, um, I’m really proud of that.

[00:09:30] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: I was really lucky that I got to go to a, I got a scholarship to go to a boarding school because my family lived abroad. Um, and I moved schools three times in three countries in one year. And my parents took the view that that was really disruptive when I was in senior school. So I managed to get a scholarship.

[00:09:45] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: to go to a boarding school near York. And that just opened my eyes to things that I just didn’t know existed. Um, and yeah, I mean, they’re not, in fact, nobody even in my school did law. Nobody did. It was just me in my year. And I’m actually going to be a barrister as well. That’s what I wanted. That’s the most traditional route.

[00:10:03] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: I was like, yeah, I’ll get them wigs and gowns. That sounds great. I think, yeah, I mean, obviously I cross qualified, became a solicitor in the end, but that whole process, I wouldn’t have changed any of it because I learned so much on each part of that journey. And I really respect each part of that journey, even though parts of it were really difficult, as in like the breakdown, for example.

[00:10:22] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: But if I hadn’t had that breakdown, I would never have said, I would never have gone and left a firm and set up on my own. Hell no. But when you’ve lost everything, you have nothing to lose. One

[00:10:32] Al: of the foundations that Jodie insisted on when she started Thrive Law was to do things a little bit differently.

[00:10:37] Al: But in the UK, law firms are regulated by something called the Law Society, Leanne mentioned it a little earlier. So there can be strict guidelines that you have to follow. Plus, law is not exactly the most progressive of industries. But Jodie’s been campaigning for a better culture in law firms, and it seems to be finally

[00:10:53] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: working.

[00:10:54] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: Well, interestingly, the SRA have just published, um, some new principles that, basically put well being and anti discrimination principles within our regulatory requirements. It’s actually only just come out. I’m speaking at a conference next week about it. Um, but when I set up, it was very much, um, I suppose it was, it was a nice to have.

[00:11:15] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: It was definitely not the, the priority in a lot of firms. And to be fair, I don’t think it is a priority for a lot of firms still, because you can. Um, in the models that they have, they make more money by making people work more hours because people are paid by the hour. So what I wanted to do was create something that was different in the sense of the way that we charge, the hours that we work, where we work, how we work, what we wear.

[00:11:38] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: Every single thing for me was about showing up as our true self and going, actually, this is who we are and what we want to do and how we want to do it. And just trying new things, integrating tech, looking at different pricing models. telling our staff they can work from different countries, you know, just thinking about how can we be more, how can we be more innovative with the way that we work and then educating our clients to do the same thing.

[00:12:01] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: So kind of passing on that knowledge. Let’s talk

[00:12:03] Leanne: about making money for a second. I think some people might think. I mean, I say some people, not you, dear listener, because you know Rose and you know the deal. But I think some people might think that you can’t have a great culture and also make money or make a bank as the kids say, you know, profit and purpose on often things that are considered.

[00:12:26] Leanne: One of the same litigators. So the lawyers who we usually see on the TV, suing someone or fighting for compensation can bring in huge amounts of money for law firms. And the worst kept secret in traditional law firms is that they love to bill you for every minute. They spend on your case. So this is generally why a lot of junior partners will put up with bullying or harassment, discrimination, toxic coaches, and 80 hour work week, because one day they’ll become the partner and they’ll be rewarded with a big fat check every year.

[00:13:02] Leanne: And the cycle of abuse and trauma continues. So I wanted to know how Jodie was doing things differently, but still managing to create a profitable business.

[00:13:13] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: Ultimately there are different types of lawyers and a lot of the ones that really want to win tend to be litigators. So we do litigation but we do it in a different way.

[00:13:21] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: So often what happens is you’ll have litigators who are, you know, I absolutely need to win. I’ll do anything to win. Whereas lawyers actually do. Yes, of course you want to win for your client, but you do have a duty of care to your client to act in their best interests as well, which might include trying to settle rather than winning.

[00:13:37] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: So again, it’s that mindset of, you know, taking a step back and doing what’s what, what the best thing is for the individual, but at Thrive for us. It’s really about attracting people whose values are aligned with ours. In fact,

[00:13:49] Leanne: Jodie’s employees don’t get bonuses in the usual way.

[00:13:52] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: We have behaviours that are aligned with our values, which the team have all agreed.

[00:13:57] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: And we mark each other every month on a 360 review on a scale of one to four. And you cannot get a bonus at Thrive unless you score a three or above. And the reason for that is I don’t care if you bill a million pounds. If you’re not a team player and you don’t have all of those values and behaviors at a consistently high level, then I don’t want that toxic biller.

[00:14:18] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: They can leave. And so there’s a, for me, there’s real power in that from a team perspective, because what we’re doing is breeding positive behaviors rather than going, well, you know, you can just be a dick and pay and bill loads of money and you can do what you want because they get that a lot in the big firms because they go, Oh, well, you know, he can just come in whenever he wants because he brings all the clients in.

[00:14:38] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: So, For me, that was really important to create that culture. I had to lead by example and actually that, you know, put those things in place and get the team involved in that and bought in into the whole process of understanding why it’s important to have those behaviors and what those behaviors actually are that we agree they are.

[00:14:55] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: So

[00:14:55] Al: just for a quick second Leah, Jodie mentioned 360 reviews there, 360 degrees I’m guessing. Can you give us the 90 second summary of what a 360 review is for anyone who’s not heard

[00:15:05] Leanne: of this before? Yes, set the timer Al. Okay, right start. A 360 review is a type of performance evaluation method or tool.

[00:15:14] Leanne: Traditionally, performance reviews Pretty one dimensional, typically involving rating yourself, how you think you’re performing at work and being rated and reviewed by your direct supervisor or your line manager. The issue with this is that as humans, we can be a bit rubbish at being objective. A lot of the time we have blind spots, blind spots around our own performance and the performance of others.

[00:15:37] Leanne: So traditional performance reviews can be a bit limited and potentially biased. In contrast, 360 performance review will seek feedback from, uh, from the individual on their performance and then from their direct supervisor or their line manager. And their own direct reports and their peers and their key stakeholders and their customers.

[00:15:57] Leanne: The point is to give a more holistic and balanced view of performance and gaining insights into how our behaviors perceived by others can lead to improved self awareness. If we are aware of our faults, we can effectively develop our own capability and adopt behaviors that positively impact and influence our colleagues.

[00:16:15] Leanne: I’ll stop the timer.

[00:16:16] Al: Bing, that was 91 seconds. Very well done. God damn it. Just do your job, Leanne. Do your goddamn job. You did very well there. So all this sounds lovely, but is there a business case? Why did law firms do it the old way anyway? Do clients care how their law

[00:16:32] Leanne: firm is

[00:16:32] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: run? I think the old school way of, of, I mean, don’t get me wrong.

[00:16:36] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: We still, we still have clients who want our, want things on hourly rate and we’ve still got that ability, but we don’t have the billable hours process of monitoring our staff. So yeah, I think, I think the ability to be able to just contact your lawyer direct on WhatsApp, the ability to, you know, just have a conversation and Get to know the people that you’re working with is for me, it’s all about making it like a personal service.

[00:17:00] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: Like we are all humans in this. It’s not, we’re not robots. We’re not people that you can just shout at. And I’ve had that in previous firms where I’ve been asked to, you know, go sack that pregnant woman, go and tell that person who’s got mental health problem. Let’s get rid of them because that’s the, that’s the values of that organization.

[00:17:16] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: And that’s, that’s how they, that’s how they treat their people. We don’t have clients who ask us to do that. Because they wouldn’t ask us, because they know that’s not what we stand for. And that’s what I really love about the ta I suppose, me being this brutal about how these things are important, has meant that we do attract people who we want to work with, which is really

[00:17:34] Leanne: nice.

[00:17:34] Leanne: Clearly, Geordie is building a firm where culture and well being is a priority. So what can other law firms do to replicate this kind of success? So

[00:17:43] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: I think the easiest one is flexibility around hours and location because if people are struggling, whether it’s mental or physical health, giving anybody flexibility on the days when they’re struggling more is obviously going to help them.

[00:17:55] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: So, and it’s just so easy to do, like just trust your staff. trust that they’ll get on with their work and allow that flexibility. So as I said before, we, you know, our staff can work from anywhere, but obviously there’s an air of communication. Like we, we don’t just do what we want and don’t talk to anybody, but there’s, there is that trust.

[00:18:12] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: So if we know we’re not going to be available, we’re logging off early. We let everybody know. And so. I kind of embedding that into your culture is a really, really helpful way to give adjustments to everybody without it being this formal process of, oh, you know, you have to apply here and you have to see a manager and you have to get a doctor’s note.

[00:18:28] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: It just allows for everybody to be their best

[00:18:30] Al: self. So what Jodie’s describing there Is the idea of reasonable adjustments. Now, unfortunately, it’s become somewhat of a buzzword recently, but actually it’s about being just a decent leader and genuinely caring about the wellbeing of your team. Jody touched on the idea of working from anywhere, that hybrid or remote.

[00:18:48] Al: Now there can’t be too many law firms who embrace remote working as much as. Jody does. So I asked her what a remote first law firm actually looks like.

[00:18:57] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: Well, you probably won’t see many people in our office because we work smart. Um, so a lot of people work remotely. Um, we work when and where we want. So we’re not, people work different days, different hours, depending on what they’re contracted to.

[00:19:09] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: But Even if you’re contracted nine till five, Monday to Friday, you can work whatever hours you want, provided your work gets done. So, we have policies around, you know, people can work abroad for a month, and, you know, one of our team’s just gone to India for a month to an Indian festival, and worked remotely for half of it, and half of it has gone to visit family.

[00:19:27] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: So, really, what the difference you’ll notice is it’s very casual. Um, everyone’s really down to earth. It might not be anyone in the office if you turned up. You’d have to book an appointment. Um, and actually It’s just a, it’s just a really relaxed atmosphere and I think when I’ve worked in other firms and I’ve worked in big and small firms, there’s a real tenseness when you go in and everybody’s got their head down and it’s, it’s like, I don’t know, it’s almost like they’re, because they’re on the clock, they don’t want to look up and there isn’t, there isn’t that at Thrive, which is really nice.

[00:19:58] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: And as a quick aside,

[00:19:59] Al: regular listeners will know I’m very bullish on AI. Unsurprisingly, Jodie feels

[00:20:03] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: the same. What I would really like to see is we are, we are integrating AI into the service delivery, trying to, you know, not necessarily do more work and work more hours. It’s more about how can we be more profitable so the team don’t have to work as many hours and how can we Make their life easier and also our customer’s lives easier in terms of accessing our support.

[00:20:27] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: So really looking at how we can integrate tech into the business. So

[00:20:29] Leanne: if you’ve heard any of the episodes we’ve done before, you’ll know that I am pretty passionate about helping leaders create great places to work, but that does require a change of mindset at the highest of levels at senior leaders with business owners, with boards, and that can be hard.

[00:20:46] Leanne: I want to know what Jodie thought was a reason that more law firms aren’t doing this.

[00:20:51] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: So, I think part of it is to change culture and to change the processes that these big firms have got in place is, is going to take forever, you know, and you’ve also got the fact that there’s just me, I’m the only director and shareholder, I can make quick decisions.

[00:21:07] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: I make decisions based on what’s right for me and my team. So we’re agile, we’re able to make those. those decisions. And I’m ADHD, so I’m quite impulsive. So I can do that. Whereas if you’ve got a partnership model, you’ve got 100 partners and 100 countries, you know, getting those changes, it’s just, it’s nigh on impossible.

[00:21:23] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: Plus a lot of them will think, well, I had to work really hard to get to that point. So Hell no, you’re not having the changes. Plus, I’m thinking, well, I’m equity now, so I’m not spending that money on you guys because I want to get my cash out. So there is this mindset of, you know, until these people at the top leave those organizations, I just don’t see a lot of them genuinely changing.

[00:21:43] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: for the better. There’s still practices like billable hours in place in so many firms and it’s just not conducive to positive mental health.

[00:21:50] Al: So the boomers are to blame again. I’m half joking, but there are actual, there are actual boomers of boomer age. And then there are people of my generation. And all our mentors and former bosses were boomers.

[00:22:02] Al: So that means we run the risk of thinking that this kind of, and I’m going to use the word fluffiness for, uh, because I’ve just trigger warning, but this means we’ve run the risk of thinking this kind of fluffiness is just for the young folks. So Jody really surprised me when she explained that her firm isn’t full of TikTok kids who just are demanding a better workplace.

[00:22:20] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: It’s a bit of a mixture. Um, so we’ve got probably about 50 percent over the age of 30. Um, and 50 percent under. So yeah, it’s a bit of a mixture, to be honest. Um, but I’d say as well, we’ve got people who’ve come and joined us from big firms, got quite a lot of people that are older than me. So I’m 35, got people that are way into their 40s and early 50s who, who have worked at the big firms and come as consultants, for example.

[00:22:44] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: So we’ve got a mixture of self employed and employed people depending on how they want to work. And so that gives us the breadth and the depth of experience from you. You know, well, all across the country. And that’s why we’ve got people in London, in Exeter and Devon, up in Leeds and Yorkshire.

[00:22:59] Leanne: Bravo, Gerardie.

[00:23:01] Leanne: What an incredible woman. You really are an inspiration. I’d expect Gerardie to want to keep all this a secret, but that could not be further from the truth. I

[00:23:11] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: would absolutely love others to follow what we’re doing, and that’s why I’ve been working, um, well, not just with the government, but with other organizations helping them do what we do.

[00:23:20] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: So I’ve worked with other law firms. In fact, when some of the really big law firms go, knock, knock, knock, please, can you tell us how you did that? That’s kind of a pinch me moment because you’re thinking, well, actually, they’re actually listening to me. They’re seeing that it’s valuable to invest in their people, whether they affect the change.

[00:23:35] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: remains to be seen because it takes time, but at the moment as well, I’m also working with the government on changing the law and one of the things that I really do think we need to do is update the Health and Safety Act on the basis of, you know, we’ve got all of this supportive legislation on this side for physical health when it comes to secondary legislation, but there’s nothing when it comes to well being and mental health other than there’s a duty of care.

[00:23:59] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: That’s What I’ve been looking at is creating a similar, similar way to how physical health is assessed through risk assessments, which have recommendations for how you would then support your team with mental health and well being. And that’s something I know the bill’s being read again in November that we’re working on to try and affect that positive change.

[00:24:18] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: And I’m just going to draw down all my experience from the firm and the work that we’ve been doing to try and create a framework that will be free for everybody to use so that they can do this as well. Because it is, it isn’t as difficult as everybody’s saying, I think people are just very resistant to change.

[00:24:34] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: In

[00:24:34] Al: fact, and you can properly see the natural ADHD entrepreneur coming out through here in Jodie. Jodie has developed an entirely new income stream from this, and that should be an inspiration to you too. Cause if you get this right, people in your industry will actually pay you to help implement the changes in their own business.

[00:24:52] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: And yeah, and just continue to grow and attract people that share those values. Um, I’m doing a lot of work in the neurodiversity space as well. And I’d like to see the firm leading more with that. What we have seen over the last two years is the amount of training requests that we get. I mean, it’s about 50 percent of our business now.

[00:25:10] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: So that part of the business is just flying. Obviously, the legal stuff is growing at the same rate, is growing at a very steady rate. But this has just come from. you know, obviously speaking at lots of places and people just seeing, well actually, if we follow these steps, it’s going to have the positive impact.

[00:25:26] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: So lots of people go, Oh, well, you’re a lawyer. Don’t you want to wait for it to go wrong? And you can just pick up all the, because that’s where lawyers make their money, isn’t it? But actually it’s not because we’ve got the knowledge of how we could prevent that. So before

[00:25:50] Leanne: we wrap up, I wanted to revisit the period in Jodie’s life when she knew things weren’t right.

[00:25:57] Leanne: What are some of the signs that you’re struggling as a leader or that your workplace needs to change?

[00:26:03] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: really unfortunate in that I wasn’t self aware enough. So one of the things that I would recommend everybody does is start to journal and try to be more aware of their emotions, their behaviours and reflecting on, like, things that are happening in their life.

[00:26:15] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: And even if it’s just a minute a day, that will help you to start to see patterns. And I wish I’d known this before because I got to a point where I nearly wasn’t here. So, you know, knowing that now I’m quite strict with my self care, my journalling and the way that I communicate. And I still have therapy now, still have it because I actually really enjoy therapy because I’m learning lots about myself still.

[00:26:37] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: But in terms of the behaviors and the signs, usually it’s a change in behavior. So if you’re a really extroverted person and then you start withdrawing, for example, um, the other way around might be a really introverted and you start like blurting things out, but also feeling more tired, less sociable, that type of thing.

[00:26:54] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: Um, And I just found that I was getting really agitated really easily. Everything was annoying me. I was really demotivated. And I got to the point where I didn’t want to leave the house. And I was never, I’ve always been, I’ve always been someone that’s quite outgoing and, you know, will crack on with anything.

[00:27:10] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: Even if I’ve got flu, I don’t have a sick day, I crack on, you know. It’s not, never a problem. But I think that part, that actually was part of the problem because I wasn’t listening to the signs. Take the breaks when you need them, like we all need the breaks and I have a rule now I go somewhere every month now.

[00:27:26] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: And, and people are like, that’s really extra. And I’m like, well, it’s not really extra. It’s that’s how I, that’s how I stay alive. That’s how I thrive. Because if I, and it’s only, it might only be a weekend here or something, but getting out of my routine and making sure that I’ve got that time to reflect is just so important.

[00:27:41] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: And

[00:27:41] Al: to anyone who’s listening who are thinking, but I love work. I’m absolutely fine. Thank you very much. Jodie has a message for you.

[00:27:49] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: I’m an absolute workaholic. I know that I am. I’m ADHD. I’m, I’m definitely. on that spectrum of I could work every single day because I just love what I do, which sounds really sad, but it’s true.

[00:28:00] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: And the reality is if you’re in that mindset, you, you know, you could, I could end up in burnout really quickly. And so I appreciate the personality type that I am. I’m always up and down, but I do have these, these times blocked out. So whether it’s to go to a spiral or yoga or surf, I’ve just got back off a surf and yoga retreat.

[00:28:18] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: And I, I know that if I’ve got these things booked in my diary and blocked out, Then I’m going to avoid that burnout. because I know that I’ve got that time. So that works for me. Someone else you tell them to surf, they might be like, that’s going to make me have a panic attack. So it’s about finding what’s right for you.

[00:28:35] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: And actually last year, I actually made my own journal and sell it on Amazon because I found that all the journals I was using, I was getting like three or four weeks in and I was getting bored. So. I just mixed it up so it’s like a one pager and it’s different questions, different areas to focus on. And that for me, obviously it helped, helped me.

[00:28:52] Jodie Hill, Thrive Law: And then I’ve given that to my staff and then they were like, you should just sell this. So yeah, so I’ve, so I now sell those on Amazon and actually that’s a really great way for me to continue to share that message. So there

[00:29:03] Al: you have it. If you are a law firm and you know your workplace has to change, then you can contact Jodie using the links in the show notes.

[00:29:11] Al: If you’re interested in Jodie’s journal, we’ll link to that too. And we’ll also pop on all of her social media accounts where you can go and see some amazing stuff that she’s posting across the

[00:29:19] Leanne: socials. Yeah, really is an incredible entrepreneur, business owner, leader to follow and an awesome business to follow as well.

[00:29:27] Leanne: Definitely do check it out. If there are any law professionals listening who maybe feel their mental health is being impacted by a toxic work environment, there is help available. If you are in the UK, law care is a free. Independent and confidential helpline that provides a space to talk about anything that may be worrying you.

[00:29:47] Leanne: You can call them on oh (800) 279-6888. The American Bar Association to our friends over the pond also provide a host of mental health resources, including lawyer assistance programs or laps. They provide confidential services and support to judges, lawyers, and law students who are facing mental health or substance abuse issues.

[00:30:08] Leanne: We will leave a link in the share notes.

[00:30:10] Al: So I think that’s the end of another founder episode. Well, it is the end of another founder episode, but honestly, if you’re interested at all in workplace culture, even if it’s not law, go check out Jodi. She is just forced to be reckoned with. She’s so passionate about everything and so honest.

[00:30:26] Al: Definitely go and subscribe to her. Um, I, we, we would say who we got next week, but we want to keep it a secret. Um, which actually means we haven’t decided between two people whether we’ve got insider to insider trick. There’s also another insider secret is that, um, I can’t, I don’t think I remember how to edit these.

[00:30:42] Al: So, uh, if you’re watching this and there’s, there’s a bit of a rough edit, it’s probably because I’ve forgotten exactly how we edit this. There are people

[00:30:46] Leanne: watching this.

[00:30:47] Al: What? Well, there’s 19 people on YouTube. Watch the last one.

[00:30:54] Al: Let’s hope that in 2025, we’ll have a few more than just a few hundred watches on our videos. But anyway, if you are listening to this and you haven’t subscribed, click subscribe, do us a favor. Um, and also just tell anyone who you think might be interested in as we we’re on episode what 73 now, I think, are we?

[00:31:10] Leanne: I have no idea. I’d barely know what day it is.

[00:31:14] Al: And hopefully, hopefully, you know by now that what we’re trying to do here is just bring you some amazing guests. We have got some incredible people coming up soon, but again, can’t tell you about that because of trade secrets and other reasons. Anything else to add, Lee?

[00:31:27] Leanne: No, all I’d add, get in touch. You know where we are, your fans on the LinkedIn, the Instagram, you will find us on the talk as well. Um, get in touch if there is something that you want us to. To be discussing on truth and lies. Let us know. We will pick up the topic and we will find some expert guests for you.

[00:31:43] Leanne: Let us know. It’s always nice to hear from listeners, um, and know what is going to, going to help you on your journey to being awesome leader that creates awesome workplaces. So let us know this is your podcast too.

[00:31:54] Al: Yeah. So thank you for listening. And we will see you next week. Bye. Bye. Bye.

[00:32:07] Leanne: So before we wrap up I wanted to revisit the period. Oh god, it’s a bit upbeat. I’m sorry

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