90 Percent of Lawyers Have Suffered Stress And Burn Out

| General

90 Percent of Lawyers Have Suffered Stress And Burn Out

On 20th May 2022 the well-respected polling giant YouGov released its report through the company Legatics on the experience of lawyers working on the ground in the legal profession. The report did not make for happy reading for the higher ranks of the legal profession.

Our Survey Said…

In compiling the report YouGov went into full-on Family Fortunes (or Family Feud depending upon your point of view) mode. It carried out surveys on in excess of more than one hundred legal professionals practicing in the industry. It uncovered numerous troubling issues which are currently affecting the modern industry. In Family Fortunes style, the survey said:

  • the most pressing issue which was having an impact upon the legal profession to deal with at this moment in time is mental health.
  • the legal profession needs to be doing more work to support the needs of legal professionals who are working within the industry.
  • better measures need to be implemented which are targeted at recognizing the impact the work is having on the:
  • wellbeing and
  • health of legal professionals at all levels.

The newly released report made revelations. Far from the majority of lawyers enjoying the jobs they are carrying out, just shy of a massive sixty-six percent of legal professionals perceived the role they are carrying out daily has a detrimental effect on their wellbeing and health from a physical and mental health perspective.

Firms Are Doing Enough To Support Lawyers

The perception in the media is that mental health is being tackled at all levels and is being eradicated. However, as indicated by the survey fewer than a quarter of legal professionals feel that their needs are being met from a health and well-being perspective especially when the work is leaving them with feelings of burned out and stressed.

The report further found that more than fifty percent of respondents wanted their employers to put more measures in place to support their health and wellbeing needs.

Why Are Lawyers So Stressed Out?

The survey again in Family Fortunes mode sought to explore what factors are contributing to the immense levels of stress affecting legal professionals working daily in the sector. The survey boiled the problems down to two issues. These are:

  • lack of recognition for the work being carried out by the individual lawyer and
  • the numerous pressures exerted by a large workload.

What Factors Are Contributing to Burnout?

Anthony Seale from Legatics commented that the combination of factors including:

  • mental health issues
  • overtime
  • lack of work-life balance and
  • the feeling of no support from the upper echelons of the firm

all contributed to this feeling of stress. The impact of the stress can result in legal professionals being burned out and a select few feeling that they have no reasonable suitable alternative but to exit the legal profession and explore other options in terms of a career.

Lessons Learned?

Lucy Shurwood from Pinsent Masons Solicitors commented on the culture change which has taken root in the legal profession. She said the era of firms and legal professionals putting up with the situation where they are burned out and stressed are the norms is at an end. She advised firms in:

  • private practice
  • in-house and
  • individual legal professionals themselves

to take responsibility for implementing steps to assist them to meet their mental health and well-being.

The Legists Content Team


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[1] Legatics – YouGov – What’s behind Law’s Great Resignation - FINAL_YouGov_Legatics_Report_Master_p4.pdf (hubspotusercontent-na1.net)

[2] Hyde, John – One in four lawyers suffers daily stress – Law Society Gazette – 20th May 2022 - One in four lawyers suffers daily stress | News | Law Gazette

[3] Why Lawyers Are Stressed and 4 Stress Management Tips – The National Law Review - 21 May 2022 - 4 Stress Management Tips for Lawyers (natlawreview.com)

[4] Civil Litigation Brief – Update on Useful Links on Stress, Lawyers and Law – Tips For a Less Stressful Life and Practice – 3 April 2022 - UPDATE ON USEFUL LINKS ON STRESS, LAWYERS AND LAW: TIPS FOR A LESS STRESSFUL LIFE AND PRACTICE – Civil Litigation Brief

[5] Moshes, Y – How Layers Can Avoid Burnout and Debilitating Anxiety – 22 February 2018 – 14 July 2020 - (1) New Message! (mosheslaw.com)

[6] Jones, R – The Fresh Perspective on Overcoming Stress In The Legal Profession – 1st March 2018 – Business News Wales - A Fresh Perspective on Overcoming Stress In The Legal Profession (businessnewswales.com)



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