Caring for the whole person

Our people are our greatest asset. Their talent, work ethic and commitment to excellence make them among the most sought-after professionals in the legal industry. But, above all else, we see our colleagues as people entitled to good health and fulfillment. We believe that self-care is not self-indulgent, but rather a favor to ourselves, the Firm and the clients we so diligently serve.

What we stand for

We recognize the importance of the physical, emotional and mental wellbeing of our people, our clients and society. We support programs and initiatives that emphasize health, prevent illness, destigmatize discussions of mental health and substance misuse, and improve career satisfaction. We believe that focusing on wellbeing within our internal culture allows us to serve our clients and communities more capably and responsibly. To live out this mission, we will:


We will provide CLE-accredited presentations, internal newsletters and other educational resources on topics including mental health, nutrition, fitness, substance abuse and other wellbeing topics.



We will work with insurers to provide the most comprehensive wellbeing benefits available and deliver meaningful internal resources and support.



We will welcome conversation around behavioral health and collaborate internally and with our clients on actionable ideas that strengthen the wellbeing of our greater Kirkland community.



We will encourage personnel to use Firm-provided benefits to improve their health and wellbeing, including taking time off and prioritizing self-care and restoration.


Robin Belleau

Kirkland Director of Wellbeing

From attorney to therapist: Q&A with Director of Wellbeing Robin Belleau

Bringing her unique background to her role leading the Firm’s Wellbeing Program, Robin proactively works with attorneys to improve their physical, emotional and mental health.

How did you start your career in law?

In my third year of law school, I decided to volunteer at the public defender’s office. I really enjoyed the people aspect. As a public defender, you see firsthand how you help people. I was assigned to a felony courtroom within the juvenile court system, and they had a specialized mental health/drug court. The work in this court was unique because everyone — the judge, the prosecutor, the defense attorney, the probation officer — worked as a team to find the best therapeutic solution for the defendant.

What inspired you to change careers and become a therapist?

After my time as a public defender, I went into private practice, specializing in divorce law. I quickly got burned out and knew I needed a change. The very first day of my master’s in counseling program, the professor asked each of us what we did for a living, as most people in the program had other jobs. I told her I used to be an attorney. She laughed and said, “Well, what did they call you in court?” I had to think about it for a second and then responded, “Oh, they called me counselor.” It was quite a moment. There’s so much crossover between the two professions.

After receiving your master’s in counseling, what did you do?

I first worked for Advocate Medical Group, launching an adolescent case management program. After that I worked for the Lawyers' Assistance Program (LAP), which helps attorneys with substance abuse, addiction and mental health issues, and eventually became executive director. From there, I moved into my current role at Kirkland.

How was your own wellbeing while you were a lawyer?

I found the work fulfilling, but I also experienced stress and anxiety. When working in the juvenile court, I started to take calls from a client who was in prison. I didn’t set boundaries, and work started to bleed into other aspects of my life. There’s a term called "compassion fatigue," where you internalize a traumatic event on behalf of someone else to the point where you have no empathy left to give. That was just crushing, and I didn’t realize it was a problem until after the fact.

“I enjoy challenging people’s thinking and pushing back on them. I think that’s the attorney in me, honestly. It’s like I’m doing a trial. I’ve got the person up on the witness stand. So as a therapist, I don’t give people advice. I give people opportunities to ask questions they may not have asked before and to think differently.”

How has mental health and wellbeing evolved in the law field?

It’s evolved much like the world in general has. We’ve seen a major generational shift, with younger people now being much more open about their mental health and happiness, more willing to talk about it and more accepting of others’ struggles. Before this, people were more likely to keep negative feelings and stress inside and find not-so-healthy ways to cope.

A big shift in understanding mental health in the legal field, specifically, came in 2016 when the American Bar Association partnered with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation to study mental health and substance abuse among lawyers. The results shocked the legal world. It showed that a staggering number of attorneys had mental health or substance abuse issues. That study got a lot of press and catapulted the idea that this really is a big issue.

What makes you unique in the industry?

Kirkland has been ahead of its time on the wellbeing front. We’ve seen many firms develop wellbeing-focused positions in recent years, but I’m the only one, to my knowledge, who’s both a licensed therapist and attorney. This is helpful because I really understand how the attorney brain works since I have one. The pessimistic and skeptical mindset we develop as attorneys helps us deeply examine issues, and our perfectionism drives us to do remarkable work. But this mindset also comes with a bit of stress. So the fact that I understand what it’s like to think and feel that way goes a long way toward establishing trust and a connection with attorneys.

“We are considered the problem-solvers of society. If you have an issue, who do you call? You call an attorney. We’re not good at asking for help for ourselves because we’re so used to helping others.”

Why do you do the work you do? Why did you come back to the legal industry?

In my early days as a therapist, I thought, “I’m going to change people right away. I’m going to get them on the right path.” I’ve since learned that that’s not how it works. Wellbeing is not something that happens overnight. It’s also not something you achieve and then move on from. It’s something you have to work on your entire life. I enjoy planting that first seed and getting attorneys in the habit of practicing self-care. Some will come back to me years later and say, “Wow, what you said that day really made a difference.” That’s been really meaningful to me.


in charitable contributions to health and wellness organizations and COVID-19 relief efforts


donations to health and wellness organizations and COVID-19 relief efforts

Programs for healthier, happier employees

Supporting healthy lifestyles

Personal behavioral health support

Committed to a healthier society

Programs for healthier, happier employees

Over the years, the Kirkland Wellbeing Program has organized diverse programming and events to support the physical, mental and emotional health of our personnel and their families. These sessions have covered:

  • Practicing yoga, breathing and meditation
  • Managing stress and anxiety
  • Recognizing and combating burnout
  • Integrating physical and mental health
  • Learning about healthy eating habits and nutrition
  • Fostering professionalism
  • Supporting colleagues through difficult times
  • Finding balance as professional women
  • Becoming a resilient leader
  • Helping your children with transitions

The Firm also provides subscriptions to mobile apps that provide in-the-moment, 24/7 support.

Supporting healthy lifestyles

The mind-body connection is critical for health and wellbeing. Our extensive programming around food and nutrition is some of our most popular. From foundational elements like how to decipher food labels to meal planning to the best foods for brain health, we help our people understand the connection between nutrition, resilience and health.

We also encourage physical fitness, which decreases health risks including cardiovascular disease, helps manage weight, and reduces stress and anxiety. Many of our office locations offer free or discounted access to fitness facilities or provide discounts on local gym memberships. Our teams also engage in fun group fitness activities like the annual STEPtember fitness and fundraising challenge benefiting cerebral palsy research; various sports leagues; and many organized races like the Impetus Triathlon, the JPMorgan Corporate Challenge and the American Heart Association’s Lawyers Have Heart Run/Walk.

Personal behavioral health support

Kirkland attorneys and staff can contact our director of wellbeing for a confidential one-on-one consultation about any behavioral health issue they’re facing. These conversations help uncover what the person is experiencing and lead to a recommended course of action.

Attorneys and staff can also receive coaching about how to support colleagues in a non-judgmental, productive way.

Committed to a healthier society

Supporting health and wellbeing goes beyond our internal Wellbeing Program. It’s woven into the fabric of our Firm, inspiring our work and financial giving.

In 2021, the Firm and our attorneys gave more than $1 million to health- and wellness-related organizations. These included organizations that research cures for disease (Melanoma Research Alliance, the American Heart Association, Susan G. Komen and more); local hospitals and health foundations (Chinatown Health Clinic Foundation, Lurie Children’s Foundation, Boston Children’s Hospital League and more); behavioral health and treatment centers; and organizations that seek equal access to healthcare. We’re proud to devote time and energy to creating not only a healthier Kirkland community, but also a healthier world.

Making health a priority