The Legal Culture: Chronic Stress, Mental Illness and Addiction – Law Firms, Legal Departments, and Eight Organizational Strategies to reduce Burnout and promote Engagement

https://www.ngoc.org.uk/uncategorized/future-events/doqddew There was a time the American  –  Canadian, UK, and Australian  –  dream was built on the ideal that hard work leads to success. Today, with the rise of technology, the message has become: work all the time or you will fail.[1]

The legal culture – in particular law firm culture – encourages workaholic behaviors,[2] and not surprisingly, law firms “are filled, top to bottom, with workaholics”.[3] Although most lawyers will say they “have no choice”, this workaholic culture is harmful, particularly for lawyers exposed to higher levels of stress.

Buy Valium In Usa The profession of law is demanding. Our jobs are chronically stressful and involve long hours. A lot rides on our success and behaviour, and this pressure only increases as lawyers rise in their profession in both law firms and in-house legal departments. Not surprisingly, lawyers experience higher risk of mental illness and addiction.[4] One in four lawyers suffer elevated feelings of psychological distress,[5] including depression, anxiety, and burnout:[6]

Buy Generic Diazepam 10Mg “The law firm culture encourages workaholic behaviors that lead to stress-related illnesses and dependencies, as confirmed by research demonstrating that lawyers suffer from alcoholism and illegal drug use at rates far higher than non-lawyers. Divorce rates among lawyers, especially women, also appear to be higher than divorce rates among other professionals. Although lawyers represent some of the best-paid professionals, they are disproportionately unhappy and unhealthy. The result is a profession full of burnouts and resentment.”[7]

http://www.wowogallery.com/j33crtbppwf Lawyers … working in environments with more income on average actually tend to experience more depressive symptoms, and that’s because of their higher levels of stress exposure.

https://masterfacilitator.com/4ufo4mt – Lawyers more likely to experience mental health problems the more successful they are: study[8]

Anyone Order Xanax Online To be successful, lawyers are expected to be highly present, have clear and consistent insights, maintain significant levels of energy, and stay grounded regardless of circumstances. But there’s one major problem that most lawyers don’t see coming, because they’re so busy worrying about everybody and everything else, they forget to worry about themselves. Burnout is a real, major concern for lawyers – particularly senior lawyers –  and it could compromise everything you’ve worked for.  Much as we know that stress is linked to physical issues like increased heart disease and mortality (heart attack)[9] – we also need to be aware of how hard-charging lawyer jobs affect a person’s mental health[10] and mortality (suicide, overdose)[11] as well.[12] Most counsel have a natural tenacity that forces them to work through problems; on one hand, it’s beneficial, because it allows them to keep moving despite the obstacles that come their way, but it also forces them to underestimate their own resilience. Dealing with stressful problems for too long on one’s own, or in unhealthy ways can sap a person of their motivation and energy, culminating in decreased energy, poor decision-making, loss of enjoyment, and physical symptoms.  You feel tired or stressed much more easily, you are not taking much personal time, and your friends or family have expressed concern.[13] Sadly, our profession is falling short when it comes to well-being: too many lawyers and law students experience chronic stress and high rates of depression and substance use.[14]

https://sieterevueltas.net/je10n0pwz The study reports that 21 percent of licensed, employed attorneys qualify as problem drinkers, 28 percent struggle with some level of depression and 19 percent demonstrate symptoms of anxiety. … Any way you look at it, this data is very alarming, and paints the picture of an unsustainable professional culture that’s harming too many people. … The stakes are too high for inaction.

https://www.prehistoricsoul.com/tcdsbsr4a9k – ABA, Hazeldon Betty Ford Foundation: National Study on Attorney Substance use, Mental Health concerns[15]

https://masterfacilitator.com/vlna6nj8b The impairment level among lawyers “is incompatible with a sustainable legal profession”[16] and has “a ripple effect that implicates everything from the proper and efficient functioning of the economy and government more broadly”, to legal firms and legal departments, “to the individual … citizens who depend on lawyers in the course of daily life”.[17] The legal profession’s regulators “must reflect on the relevance and importance of mental health to the ability of individuals to meet their professional responsibilities and to serve the public”.[18] The research and studies suggest that the current state of lawyers’ health may undermine “a profession dedicated to client service and dependent on the public trust”:[19]

https://www.chat-quiberon.com/2024/01/18/338onm6amz “The legal profession is already struggling. Our profession confronts a dwindling market share as the public turns to more accessible, affordable alternative legal service providers.[20] We are at a crossroads. To maintain public confidence in the profession, to meet the need for innovation in how we deliver legal services, to increase access to justice, and to reduce the level of toxicity that has allowed mental health and substance use disorders to fester among our colleagues, we have to act now. Change will require a wide-eyed and candid assessment of our members’ state of being, accompanied by courageous commitment to re-envisioning what it means to live the life of a lawyer.”

So how can we fix this – make the legal workplace better for lawyers and legal professionals? Every productivity study in every industry has come to the same conclusion: after about 40 hours in a week, the quality of your work starts to degrade.[21] Considerable evidence shows that overwork is not just neutral — it hurts us and the firms and companies we work for.[22] Change is necessary. In particular we need law firm leadership combined with healthy workplace practices and policies.[23]

Effectively addressing burnout requires an understanding of its actual causes. Despite the fact that the cause is quite often systemic,[24] frequently individual lawyers and the legal firms in which they work respond as if it were a problem solely within the individual. Too often, lawyers and legal leaders (of law firms, in-house legal departments, and the Bar generally) “neglect the organizational factors” that may be the primary drivers of lawyer burnout.[25]

https://manabernardes.com/2024/o5yprj5pnw3 Yes, “individual-based solutions are incredibly valuable” – practicing law is inherently stressful, and that will always be true. Lawyers can benefit from strategies and treatment that boost well-being and stress resilience. However, relying on these strategies to “fix” burnout is short-sighted.[26]

https://equinlab.com/2024/01/18/g7uglzvi76 Fixing the underlying system and workplace issues is a more difficult issue than providing individual-based support. However, “just as a bicycle needs both wheels to roll properly, burnout prevention requires both individual and system solutions”. Lawyers need resilience support to be at their best, and they need an appropriate workplace in which to do their best work.[27]

https://www.justoffbase.co.uk/uncategorized/oiz04r9c9up It is in the public interest that all lawyers maintain or achieve optimal mental health, but there are many components to such a vision, not all of which the individual lawyer is equipped to address. The law firm – or corporate or government legal department – as employer and “owner” of the legal working environment, is an important and appropriate organization to dedicate attention and resources to improving professional outcomes (i.e. advance the institutional elements of the vision).

https://modaypadel.com/n6wu8r0e Impairment among attorneys truly has a ripple effect … The impact on society is enormous, and has not, to date, been properly acknowledged or appreciated.

https://space1026.com/2024/01/37yvzsc0co – CBC: ‘The impact on society is enormous’: In legal profession, depression, addiction hurt clients, too[28]

There is a strong business case for the legal leadership of law firms and in-house legal departments to invest in efforts to reduce lawyer burnout and promote engagement – burnout has strong links to lawyer turnover, professional work effort, and client satisfaction and retention; and engagement is the positive antithesis of burnout and is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption in work.[29] To successfully address these issues, legal leadership and management must adopt a workplace culture that embraces well-being and de-stigmatizes mental health issues. Running a legal organization is more than simply profit, it is also about projecting an aura of competence and decency. People should be the top priority for any legal organization – right now some law firms are having trouble looking at the bigger picture and figuring out how these values fit on the corporate organizational chart.[30] Leadership is responsible for creating this culture: if the point is to get better – if that’s an important priority for the firm and its clients – it is hard to see how relying on ‘boilerplate’ or painting oneself as petty or capricious may achieve that objective? This is an opportunity to demonstrate the best part of the legal profession and its leadership – its ability to rally disparate communities together and give the tragedies associated with this issue a greater meaning.[31]

It makes sense. Law firm leadership have much to gain by admitting it needs to do a better job of addressing these issues. When it comes to mental illness and depression, rather than adopt a defensive posture placing the burden only on individual lawyers, workplace legal leaders and the legal industry must look for ways to improve the current situation from a systemic perspective.

https://mmopage.com/news/eg52lfk Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.

https://serenityspaonline.com/jovvd19v – Tom Peters[32]

https://www.ngoc.org.uk/uncategorized/future-events/96qlzka5xq The Lawyer status-health paradox

https://www.justoffbase.co.uk/uncategorized/gfgqt94p New Canadian research suggests lawyers are more likely to experience mental-health struggles the more successful they are in their field. Lawyers holding down jobs at large firms in the private sector (in particular BigLaw and larger traditional law firms), widely considered to be the most prestigious roles, were most likely to experience depressive symptoms,[33] lack of work-life balance, dissatisfaction with their choice of career, and substance abuse.[34] And that’s because of their exposure to higher levels of stress.[35]

Order Cheap Diazepam The study found that the larger the firm and the more high-paying the job, the more likely a lawyer was to have depressive symptoms.

– Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal, ‘Status-health paradox’ for lawyers: BigLaw success linked to more depression symptoms, study says[36]

https://gungrove.com/cwi176sf34 The study from the University of Toronto – The Status-Health Paradox[37] – compares two national surveys of thousands of lawyers in both Canada and the United States. Usually people with higher income have better mental health, but the study found the opposite for lawyers in the United States and Canada.[38]

https://mmopage.com/news/8uuuxiyd In both countries, researchers found a strong correlation between signs of depression and traditional markers of career success. Researchers say the findings are at odds with the trends or patterns found in the general population, where career success is typically equated with fewer mental health risks:[39]

http://www.wowogallery.com/7khy9047xd “These findings are in contrast to the fact that ‘decades of research has established that individuals positioned higher in a system of stratification report better health relative to those lower on the social hierarchy.’ …

American lawyers with high income had lower health outcomes and Canadian lawyers with high incomes had no health advantage, compared to those lower on the income scale.”

https://www.ngoc.org.uk/uncategorized/future-events/qe8lqz3519 The study linked the cause to two main stressors in the legal profession – overwork and work-life conflict – which increase with firm size.[40]  A major driver is the lack of work-life balance typical among those in positions that demand long working hours.[41] The chronic stress, depression, substance abuse, and burnout that plague private-sector, big-firm lawyers with high salaries can be attributed to the hours they work, which in turn “lead to work-life conflict”.[42]

https://therepairstore.ca/0e7j1b0x U.S. data surveyed lawyers who were called to the bar in 2000, while the Canadian lawyers in the survey began their careers about a decade later. Regardless of the fact that both groups were at different stages along their professional path, the study found the same patterns emerged. The larger the firm and the more lucrative the role, the more likely a lawyer was to experience depressive symptoms.[43]

https://equinlab.com/2024/01/18/17xlqe269z A separate U.S. study conducted last year – that surveyed over 12,000 American lawyers – found that 28% suffered from depression, 19% experienced anxiety, and 20% “screened positive for hazardous, harmful, and potentially alcohol-dependent drinking”.[44]

https://manabernardes.com/2024/ucihdm5p Study co-author Jonathan Koltai said the findings were notable for their consistency across both American and Canadian research subjects.

https://serenityspaonline.com/ntuwcxnign – Michelle McQuigge, Globe and Mail[45]

The Canadian study’s authors’ suggest that the problem doesn’t start with behaviours at the individual level, but rather in the way work is organized from the top down – “in the organizational climates that require or at least glorify extreme work hours and in those environments that provide very little opportunity for workers to balance responsibilities in their competing life domains”.[46]  It is imperative that beginning in law school, and continuing during legal practice, that self-care and dealing with stress be an important component of a lawyer’s education:[47]

“Lawyers are taught to think negatively,” says Dr. Mel Borins, a family physician and associate professor at the University of Toronto. “They are often thinking of worst-case scenarios and thinking about what can go wrong, and how to prevent this from happening. Also, lawyers are in a profession that is very combative and adversarial, which is stressful. Usually lawyers come in contact with clients who are under distress and this is very challenging to always be working in a stress-filled situation. Self support and self compassion are not part of the culture of lawyers. Lawyers are expected to be tough and hard-nosed, and when deep inside many feel vulnerable. Large firms are very competitive and self-care is rarely stressed.”

https://fireheartmusic.com/ith6s5mn45a I was so afraid the stigma of mental illness would destroy my career. Especially as a trial lawyer where you’re supposed to be strong. Certainly strong enough to fight the battles that others can’t fight for themselves.

https://www.prehistoricsoul.com/rlcgnytv – Orlando Da Silva, former President, Ontario Bar Association[48]

The 2017 Study advocates that the legal community address the mental health challenges it faces, in particular addressing and facilitating greater work-life balance by providing more flexible work arrangements.[49]

Epidemic in the Legal Profession – Stress, Anxiety and Depression[50]

Stress is a fact of life.  In small doses, stress motivates performance, helping individuals to stay focused, energetic and alert.  A component of stress is “worry”.  This is a normal and adaptive system in the body that tells us when we are in danger. This means that dealing with “worry” does not involve eliminating it, but rather appropriately managing it.[51]

Excessive worry and stress can lead to anxiety.  Long term chronic stress will negatively affect a person’s emotions, behaviours, thinking ability and physical health – adversely impacting mood, motivation, productivity and self-esteem. If not addressed and/or managed, the end result may be burnout, poor job performance, and destabilized “family relationships” and “personal life”.[52]

It is now recognized that there is an increasing crisis of stress within our modern society generally.  More and more people are suffering burnout.[53] Although lawyers are 3.6 times more likely to suffer depression than the general public, even the best non-legal jobs or professions in our society can lead to burnout. The harder one works and the more motivated one is to succeed, the easier it is to get in over one’s head.[54] The prevalence of burnout is increasing as technology further blurs the line between work and home,[55] with 54% of employed adults reporting work leaves them “overtired and overwhelmed”[56] and 70% struggling “to maintain work-life balance”.[57] And if you suspected that the workplace had gotten more stressful than it was just a few decades ago, you’re right.[58]

While the ABA report [The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change] states that the legal profession has known for decades about its issues with addiction and depression, it also claims there is some evidence that well-being problems facing the profession are worse today than in the past. One reason, according to the report, may be a rise in incivility.

– Roy Strom[59]

In this environment the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) notes that “workplace challenges can have a particularly profound impact on wellbeing. Indeed, the professional and interpersonal environment in which lawyers function appears at times to have been tailored to elicit feelings of distress!”[60]

A key finding by the CBA’s Legal Profession Assistance Program survey confirmed that “stress / burnout (94%) and anxiety (68%) are the two most prevalent issues facing lawyers” in Canada.[61]   Research shows lawyers and law students are at risk for mental health and addiction issues. But a general stigma and suck-it-up mentality often prevents them from seeking help.[62]

Depression begins with the fear of losing what you have or not getting what you want. I have experienced this myself and seen it in many other lawyers that the more successful you are, the more you stand to lose. Successful lawyers often struggle with the fear that they could lose everything with one bad decision or one bad result. They often think that they have to be successful to be happy.

– James Gray Robinson, third generation trial attorney[63]

According to a BigLaw lawyer in Toronto, “many young lawyers dislike their jobs”, and that most of her law school friends had “quit law firm life”. Lawyers “feel pressure to spend an increasing amount of their time working, leaving less time for family, friends, and all other activities that contribute to a lawyer’s sense of balance and well-being”.[64]  Legal commentators and experts indicate that time pressures, work overload and inadequate time for themselves and their families contribute to lawyer stress.[65]  Work becomes all-consuming, unhappy, and joyless – interfering with or removing all other personal interests or activities.  In particular, the excessive time committed to work can cause serious conflict between spouses and partners, and lead to the ending of this important personal relationship.

Lawyers are using lots of substances (alcohol, cocaine, opioids, etc) to prop themselves up in an incredible punishing profession, especially at BigLaw firms.[66] The number one substance abuse problem is alcohol[67] (21% of lawyers qualify as problem drinkers) [68] and number two is prescription drugs[69] (Lawyers and judges have twice the addiction rate when it comes to opioid abuse than the general population).[70] People may use alcohol or drugs because of a desire to try and reduce or ease symptoms of a mental illness: [71]

“The term self-medicating is used when substances, drugs or alcohol, are abused to mask symptoms of a mental health issue. Drugs or alcohol may seem to be a beacon in times of stress, and may actually provide temporary relief and respite from reality. Of course, this is short-lived, and self-medication will serve to make matters worse in the long-run, increasing health problems, damaging relationships, and providing a poor coping mechanism that cannot be safely sustained on a long-term basis.”

Research suggests that [lawyers] are at much higher risk of depression, anxiety and substance abuse issues than people in the broader population — and may even be more susceptible than those in other high-stress professions, such as medicine.

– CBC: ‘The impact on society is enormous’: In legal profession, depression, addiction hurt clients, too[72]

It is now recognized that there is an increasing crisis of stress within our modern society.  With technology, work is now accessible seven days a week 24 hours a day, and there is a perception that our work culture requires us to in fact be accessible.[73] Studies and surveys of the legal profession over the last three decades in the US and Canada (and relatively more recently in the UK[74] and Australia[75]) have consistently found that:

  • Stress is the norm within the legal profession, and it is getting worse not better.[76]
  • 1 in 4 lawyers suffer from elevated feelings of psychological distress.[77] A leading study reports between 21% and 36% of lawyers qualify as problem drinkers, 28% struggle with depression, and 19% demonstrate symptoms of anxiety.[78]
  • Lawyers are well paid professionals, but are disproportionately unhappy and unhealthy[79] – “and lawyers know it; many are retiring early or leaving the profession altogether”.[80]
  • Seven in ten lawyers in California said they would change careers if the opportunity arose, and if they had to do it over half would not become lawyers. Twenty-five percent of North Carolina lawyers said that, if given the choice, they would not become lawyers again, almost 50% said they hoped to leave the profession before the end of their careers, and 40 percent would not encourage their children or other qualified persons to enter the legal profession.[81]
  • Depression is a dangerous disease, and lawyers are more prone to it than members of any other profession. Lawyers are 3.6 times more likely to suffer depression than non-lawyers. Left untreated, depression can be fatal – suicide ranks among the leading causes of premature death among lawyers. Male lawyers in the US are two times more likely to commit suicide than men in the general population.[82]

It is a legal-profession secret that is finally seeing the light of day: depression, anxiety and addiction to prescription drugs are a real and urgent problem for lawyers. They are three times more likely to suffer severe depression or addiction than the general public.

– Darryl Singer, Civil and Commercial litigation lawyer, Toronto[83]

Prolonged chronic stress can lead to physical and mental illness.[84] The literature is clear:[85]

“Overwork, generally defined as consistently working more than 40 hours a week, leads to chronic stress and anxiety, substance abuse, sleep disorders, a weakened immune system, depression, weight gain, hypertension, heart disease, chronic fatigue and diabetes. Also — a consequence not to be overlooked — working too hard can kill you.”

CNN, a prominent cable news network in the US, conducted an extensive investigation on the topic in 2014 as – in their words – “prominent lawyers keep turning up dead. They came one a month in Oklahoma around 2004. South Carolina lost six lawyers within 18 months before July 2008. Kentucky has seen 15 known lawyer suicides since 2010.” The article noted that “to a large degree, it’s been trial attorneys”.[86]

The “deepest of all the psychological factors making lawyers unhappy” is that “law is becoming increasingly a win-loss game”. Law in the U.S., Canada, the UK and Australia “has similarly migrated from being a practice in which good counsel about justice and fairness was the primary goal, to being a big business in which billable hours (long hours), take-no-prisoner victories, and the bottom line are now the principle ends”.  The “adversarial process lies at the heart of the American system of law because it is thought to be the royal road to truth, but it does embody a classic win-loss game: one side’s win equals exactly the other side’s loss. Competition is at its zenith. Lawyers are trained to be aggressive, judgmental, intellectual, analytical and emotionally detached. This produces predictable emotional consequences for the legal practitioner: he or she will be depressed, anxious and angry a lot of the time”. [87]

The … studies … reveal that too many lawyers and law students experience chronic stress and high rates of depression and substance use. These findings are incompatible with a sustainable legal profession, and they raise troubling implications for many lawyers’ basic competence. This research suggests that the current state of lawyers’ health cannot support a profession dedicated to client service and dependent on the public trust.

– Bree Buchanan and James Coyle (Task Force Chairs), National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being: Creating a Movement to Improve Well-Being in the Legal Profession, American Bar Association[88]

Going Forward – Solution Requires Institutional Resolution

Law firm leadership have much to gain by admitting it needs to do a better job of addressing these issues. When it comes to mental illness and depression, rather than adopt a defensive posture placing the burden only on individual lawyers, legal leaders and the legal industry should look for ways to improve the current situation from a systemic perspective. That includes a commitment to using data to track the extent of the issue and to benchmark for improvement.

It is “true that fixing the underlying system and workplace issues is a more difficult nut to crack than providing individual-based support. But just as a bicycle needs both wheels to roll properly, burnout prevention requires both individual and system solutions”. Lawyers need resilience support to be at their best, and they need an appropriate workplace in which to do their best work.[89] An appropriate strategy should target systemic and work environment issues, potential individual risk factors for becoming unwell, early detection and intervention, and relieving the impact of mental illness.[90]

We spend most of our waking hours at work ― so the workplace is a natural starting place for dealing with stress. If companies can help employees to experience less stress, it’s a win-win – the employee is healthier and happier in their own life and more successful at work.

– Dr. Andrew Shatté[91]

This is particularly important in light of the Law Society’s regulatory activities and responsibilities in respect to how mental illness and addiction issues may interact with and affect the lawyer’s professional activities.[92]

The more complicated life becomes, the harder it is to define success.[93] It is remarkable how easy it is to lose sight of the important things in life, even wearing long hours as a badge of honour – not realizing the negative consequences to health (mental and physical) and meaningful relationships (family, friends and work).

Professional burnout (depression and anxiety), is a response to stress in the workplace. It is caused by a “mismatch” between the worker and the workplace in one or more of six domains: workload, control, reward, community, fairness, and values.[94] For lawyers it generally relates to overwork (workload) and work-life conflict (control).[95]

Burnout among lawyers has significant negative consequences, including effects on the client,[96] quality of legal work, and personal costs to the individual lawyer – depression, loss or damage to personal relationships, substance use, suicide. It also affects legal firms and organizations, the legal profession as a whole, as lawyers (particularly senior lawyers, women and minorities) choose to retire early or leave legal practice for other careers.[97]

A U.S. study published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine last February found the rate of problem drinking among lawyers was between two and three times higher than among other highly educated professionals, including physicians. The study was funded by the American Bar Association and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

– CBC: ‘The impact on society is enormous’: In legal profession, depression, addiction hurt clients, too[98]

Effectively addressing burnout requires an understanding of its actual causes. Despite the fact that the cause is quite often systemic,[99] frequently individual lawyers and the legal firms in which they work respond as if it were a problem solely within the individual. Too often, lawyers and legal leaders (of law firms and the Bar generally) “neglect the organizational factors” that may be the primary drivers of lawyer burnout:[100]

“Rather than searching out systems issues, it may be tempting to think of the inherent stresses of practice, the traits, and characteristics of [lawyers], mental health issues, and the effects of the culture of [law] as being the culprits. However, the widespread nature of burnout today indicates that [lawyers] with burnout are not ‘weak links’ but rather ‘canaries in the coal mine.’”

Why the instinctive focus on individual-based solutions? It may seem easier to create wellness programs and schedule mindfulness training to reduce stress[101] than to identify and address the underlying problems in the legal profession and large law firms that fuel that stress.[102]

“Make no mistake, individual-based solutions are incredibly valuable”. Practicing law is inherently stressful, and that will always be true. All lawyers and law students can benefit from strategies that boost well-being and stress resilience. However, relying on these strategies to “fix” burnout is short-sighted. It also fans frustration among lawyers and legal professionals who are aware of the system and workplace problems that hinder their daily work.[103]

[D]epression is not a personal failure and most certainly, not a moral weakness; depression is an institutional, workplace and professionalism problem. The illness is created and reinforced by occupational hazards and shared environments … a combination of biological, workplace, professional and environmental factors.

– Megan Seto, Killing Ourselves: Depression as an Institutional, Workplace and Professionalism Problem[104]

There’s another important reason to address the system and workplace problems fueling lawyer burnout. These problems ultimately affect the law firm or legal department (operational, financial, and reputational – the ultimate asset – risk), others on the legal team, and most importantly, the client.[105] The leadership and management teams are responsible for the office and work environment, the actions of the lawyers working within their legal organizations, and the causal relationship.

Leadership of law firms and legal departments have to keep an eye on the legal and business landscape to avoid any surprises, monitor their lawyers and legal teams and effectiveness to keep the organization in solid operating condition, and lead and manage actively to keep everyone on the same page, among numerous other matters.[106]  In light of the fact that “successful lawyers are more likely to experience mental health issue”,[107] it is increasingly apparent that the law firm or legal department leadership team should – even if only from a business case analysis, and not because it is the right thing to do – provide an appropriate work environment, and take appropriate steps to prevent and/or moderate mental health and addiction issues, and any adverse consequences arising therefrom.

Leading and managing a law firm’s working environment leads to “higher-quality and more timely decision making, faster ability to respond to and recover from crisis, fewer conflicts, and lower stress levels”, which “contributes to an improved community and more engaged workforce” and reduced law firm risk.[108] Having said that, addressing the legal system and law firm workplace problems that are driving lawyer burnout is not a quick and easy task. It does take more time and effort than offering individual-level strategies. And there is no detailed guidebook on how to address these problems, because the answer varies across different BigLaw, law firm, and in-house settings. A good place to start, however, is by querying lawyers about their top workplace issues:[109]

“Leaders can use surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one interviews to gather this information — or they can shadow [lawyers, paralegals and legal assistants] and see firsthand the issues …  that are adversely affecting both [lawyers] and [clients]. Leaders can identify the most impactful problems — from the [lawyers’] perspective — and begin addressing them. Sometimes the fixes require large capital investments but quite often small, inexpensive changes … can have a big impact.”

Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.

—Jack Welch[110]

There is a strong business case for the legal leadership of law firms and in-house legal departments to invest in efforts to reduce lawyer burnout and promote engagement. Burnout has strong links to lawyer turnover, professional work effort, and client satisfaction and retention; and engagement is the positive antithesis of burnout and is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption in work. Set out below are eight organizational strategies that may be utilized by legal leadership to promote lawyer engagement within the team in which the lawyer works and the firm or organization:[111]

  • Strategy 1: Acknowledge and Assess the Problem – acknowledging the problem of burnout and demonstrating that the organization cares about the well-being of its lawyers and legal staff is a necessary first step toward making progress.
  • Strategy 2: Harness the Power of Leadership – although the importance of leadership for organizational success is obvious, its direct effect on the professional satisfaction of individual lawyers is underappreciated. Harnessing the power of effective leadership to promote individual and organizational health requires several steps. First, the right leaders must be selected. This selection should focus on identifying individuals with the ability to listen to, engage, develop, and lead lawyers. Second, these individuals must themselves be developed, prepared, and equipped for their leadership role. Third, the performance of leaders should be regularly assessed by the individuals they lead.
  • Strategy 3: Develop and Implement Targeted Interventions – although the drivers of burnout may be generally defined or understood, the specific way in which they manifest and which dimension is dominant will vary by law firm, legal department, specialty, legal team etc. Utilizing principles of participatory management and collaborative action planning, law firm or legal department leaders systematically engage with their lawyers and legal teams to identify specific factors that may be addressed to improve lawyer burnout and satisfaction (i.e. identify problem to be addressed; identify personal and environmental factors and/or behaviours to be influenced; identify and assess best practices to address problem; develop action plan; implement and monitor/evaluate process and outcomes).
  • Strategy 4: Cultivate Community at Work – lawyers deal with unique challenges (e.g., legal errors, malpractice suits) and have a professional identity and role that is distinct from other disciplines. Peer support has always been critical to helping lawyers navigate these professional challenges. This support can be formal or informal and encompasses a wide range of activities, including celebrating achievements (e.g., personal and professional milestones), supporting one another through challenging experiences (e.g., loss of a case or major client, legal errors, a malpractice suit), and sharing ideas on how to navigate the ups and downs of a career in law.
  • Strategy 5: Use Rewards and Incentives Wisely – people are motivated by appropriate rewards.
  • Strategy 6: Align Values and Strengthen Culture – it is critical for organizations to (a) be mindful of factors that influence culture, (b) assess ways to keep values fresh, and (c) periodically take stock of whether actions and values are aligned.
  • Strategy 7: Promote Flexibility and Work-Life Integration – a number of organizational policies within a law firm or legal organization (i.e. in-house legal departments in corporations or government) are linked to the drivers of burnout and can have a profound effect on lawyer well-being. Given their broad impact, the intended and unintended consequences of these policies must be thoughtfully considered and periodically re-evaluated. Two aspects particularly important to lawyer well-being are policies related to flexibility and work-life integration. For example, providing lawyers with the option to adjust professional work effort (with a commensurate reduction in compensation) allows them to tailor their work hours to meet both personal and professional obligations (i.e. to avoid or recover from burnout).
  • Strategy 8: Provide Resources to Promote Resilience and Self-care – although the primary focus for law firms and legal organizations should be to optimize the practice environment and create a healthy organizational culture, they should also provide resources that make it easier for lawyers to implement individual strategies to prevent burnout, deal with distress, and promote well-being. [Note: Unfortunately, most legal organizations – if they even deal with the issue – have made such individual offerings the centerpiece of their strategy. When individually focused offerings are not coupled with sincere efforts to address the system based issues contributing to burnout, this approach may be met with skepticism and resistance by lawyers and staff].

Where there is no vision, the people perish.

—Proverbs 29:18[112]

Deliberate, sustained, and comprehensive efforts by the law firm or in-house legal department to reduce burnout and promote engagement can make a difference. The goal is to change the conditions of work – which must include the organization’s culture (that will otherwise subtly undermine the entire exercise) – that are creating the stress. Culture is the single most powerful tool for leading change. Legal leaders that understand how to diagnose their existing culture – identifying strengths and weaknesses – are better poised to align culture with the transformation vision. Leveraging cultural strengths while mitigating the weaknesses is the foundation for positioning the organization for substantive and lasting change.[113]

Many effective interventions are relatively inexpensive, and small investments can have a large impact. But – to be successful, there will have to be a recognition there must be at minimum the implementation of more family-friendly workplace policies and actively taking measures to support lawyers work-life balance.[114] Leadership and sustained attention from the highest level of the organization are the keys to making progress – addressing the problem of lawyer burnout as a shared responsibility of individual lawyers and the law firms in which they work is critical to meet overall shared objectives of successfully and profitably representing their clients. Given the strong links to quality of representation, client satisfaction, and productivity (profitability), there is a strong business case for law firms to reduce lawyer burnout and promote lawyer engagement. Although some factors driving burnout are larger than the particular law firm, organizational-level efforts can have a profound effect on lawyer well-being. Leadership and attention from the highest level of the organization are important, even key, to making progress.[115]

While experts may disagree over the effectiveness of de-stressing strategies and services, a cottage industry has emerged to help workplaces track and mitigate employees’ stress and, at least in theory, boost performance and productivity.

– Could Your Job Help You Be Less Stressed[116]

It is important to note that no strategy should be touted as a cure-all. The fact remains that the practice of law can be brutal – many young associates are not equipped for what they find when they enter the profession, and senior lawyers are crumbling after years of chronic, unremitting and high levels of stress and work load demands. Changing the culture of the profession can go a long way toward curbing the epidemic of lawyer anxiety and depression.[117]

In the end, if the culture of the firm or organization refuses to change and despite best efforts by the individual lawyer the depression or anxiety continues – lawyers need to understand that they’re not trapped, and that changes are possible. Alternative steps may including moving to a smaller firm, starting your own practice, teaching, working in-house, or even changing professions.[118]

The solution always starts with understanding that you have a choice – and that must start with lawyers asking themselves: ‘What do I really want?’[119]

In the population we know … that groups that are better off in terms of income are also better off in terms of mental health. But if you zoom in to this specific subgroup of lawyers, that pattern is reversed. People working in environments with more income on average actually tend to experience more depressive symptoms, and that’s because of their higher levels of stress exposure.

– Jonathan Koltai, study co-author[120]

Buy Xanax In Uk Conclusion

Setting aside just doing the right thing, there is a strong business case for the legal leadership of law firms and in-house legal departments to invest in efforts to reduce lawyer burnout (i.e. and associated costs of turnover, absenteeism, disability leave, counseling, medical costs, accidents, malpractice suits, reputational risk, relationship management and client retention, etc.) and promote engagement. The current situation “is incompatible with a sustainable legal profession”[121] and has “a ripple effect” across the traditional legal firm and legal in-house legal departments (i.e. dollar impact on a firm’s business) that has implications across society. Ultimately, if not addressed appropriately, it will require that the legal profession’s regulators take action “on the relevance and importance of mental health to the ability of individuals to meet their professional responsibilities and to serve the public”.[122] In addition, the legal profession is already struggling as it confronts a dwindling market share as the public turns to more accessible, affordable alternative legal service providers.[123]

The law firm is at a crossroads – to maintain client and public confidence and meet the need for innovation in how legal services are traditionally delivered – it has to act now.[124]  The 21st century legal leader must have the ability to make the most out of every situation. They must be courageous and not afraid to challenge the status quo and push the boundaries to make things better.[125] It is these type of qualities the best leaders will exhibit to enable the full potential of their legal teams and lawyers.

Law firms and legal departments will find that trust and integrity are the bedrock principles that foster sustainable legal organizations with engaged lawyers. Trust demands accountability by leadership in its relationship with lawyer partners, associates and/or employees. If accountability is ignored, then the fabric of trust will be stretched. Legal leaders generally only have one chance to ensure trust – once broken, it is nearly impossible to restore.

Lawyers are generally excellent orators … These skills do not translate to mastery when communicating with staff, associates, and peers within the firm. Unnecessary friction and misunderstandings are commonplace. These lackluster communication skills lead to high attrition, little or no engagement which drains productivity, enthusiasm and … profits within the firm.

– Pamela DeNeuve[126]

It is up to legal leaders in law firms and legal departments to create a culture of empathy and compassion, treating both lawyers and staff thoughtfully, professionally, and in a collegial manner. Most legal workplace cultures are different, but three “cardinal virtues” for law firm culture — core cultural values that law firms can and should prioritize and incentivize — are: (a) consideration for clients; (b) respect for colleagues; and (c) care for oneself.[127] The firm culture will make a significant difference in a lawyer’s mental health and enjoyment of the law.[128]

Addressing lawyer wellness and mental illness and addiction issues is both challenging and complex. Any solution will be a long-term process that will evolve. It is likely beyond the scope of any single person, employer or partnership, organization (ABA or CBA), or even the legal profession’s regulators, to address all the complexities of wellness, mental illness and addiction issues. Programs driving cultural and behavioural change across the legal profession require a profession-wide approach. However, successful efforts will be more likely when law firms or legal departments – the places in which lawyers work day in and day out – focus on those areas in which they are able to make a difference.[129]

Given that a law firm or legal department and individual lawyers cannot fully address all the issues, multi-layered efforts must exist across a number of other groups (law societies; legal organizations and associations; law schools; judges; and government) to address gaps, assist in providing information on appropriate sources for assistance and continue a broader conversation addressing mental health and addictions in the legal professions.[130]

In this context, legal leaders, the legal profession and its regulators must play a valuable role in facilitating such dialogue and solutions – in particular systemic solutions.

 

Eric Sigurdson

 

https://gungrove.com/qer5phm7k https://mmopage.com/news/dizbn2emi Endnotes:

[1] Julie Bort, Melinda Gates: Corporate America must stop demanding we all be workaholics, Business Insider, September 27, 2017 (also published at World Economic Forum / weforum.org, on September 28, 2017). Also see, Melinda Gates, We’re sending our daughters into a workplace designed for our dads, Linkedin, September 27, 2017. Also see, Eric Sigurdson, Epidemic in the Legal Profession (Part I) – Stress, Anxiety and Depression, Sigurdson Post, August 8, 2016 (“With technology, work can become accessible 24/7.  To recharge yourself physically and mentally, ensure you unplug from the office when you are at home on evenings and weekends, and most importantly when on vacation.  Beware the barrenness of a busy life.”); Eric Sigurdson, Epidemic in the Legal Profession (Part II) – Coping with Stress and Anxiety: stress management and the ‘mindful lawyer’, Sigurdson Post, August 17, 2016 (“there is an increasing crisis of stress within our modern society.  With technology, work is now accessible seven days a week 24 hours a day, and there is a perception that our work culture requires us to in fact be accessible.”).

[2] Susan Smith Blakely, New Approaches to the Practice of Law, JD.org, July 1, 2016; Susan Smith Blakely, Is Work-Life Balance a Hopeless Goal in the Legal Profession?, Law.com, June 22, 2016. Also see, Sarah Green Carmichael, The Research is Clear: Long Hours Backfire for People and for Companies, Harvard Business Review, August 19, 2015.

[3] Erin Geiger Smith, Scientifically Proven: Lawyer = Workaholic = Narcissist, Business Insider, March 22, 2010.

[4] Aidan Macnab, High-pressure law jobs linked to depression, Canadian Lawyer, October 26, 2017. Also see, Melodi Alopaeus, The Ethics of 24/7 Lawyering, Slaw, April 9, 2013.

[5] C. Stuart Mauney, The Lawyers’ Epidemic: Depression, Suicide and Substance Abuse, January 2012. Also see: Patrick Krill, Ryan Johnson, and Linda Albert, The Prevalence of Substance Use and Other Mental Health Concerns Among American Attorneys, 10 Journal of Addiction Medicine 46, February 2016; ABA, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation release first National Study on Attorney Substance Use, Mental Health Concerns, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, February 3, 2016; Will McDowell (Chair), Mental Health Strategy Task Force: Final Report to Convocation, Law Society of Upper Canada, April 28, 2016; Bree Buchanan and James Coyle (Task Force Chairs), National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being: Creating a Movement to Improve Well-Being in the Legal Profession, American Bar Association, August 14, 2017; American Bar Association, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, The Report of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, August 2017. Also see, Laura Helm, Mental Health and the Legal Profession: A Preventative Strategy – Final Report, Law Institute of Victoria (Australia), September 11, 2014.

[6] Lawyers and Stress, CBA National Magazine, June 2013. Also see: Patrick Krill, Ryan Johnson, and Linda Albert, The Prevalence of Substance Use and Other Mental Health Concerns Among American Attorneys, 10 Journal of Addiction Medicine 46, February 2016; ABA, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation release first National Study on Attorney Substance Use, Mental Health Concerns, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, February 3, 2016; Will McDowell (Chair), Mental Health Strategy Task Force: Final Report to Convocation, Law Society of Upper Canada, April 28, 2016; Bree Buchanan and James Coyle (Task Force Chairs), National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being: Creating a Movement to Improve Well-Being in the Legal Profession, American Bar Association, August 14, 2017; American Bar Association, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, The Report of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, August 2017. Also see, Laura Helm, Mental Health and the Legal Profession: A Preventative Strategy – Final Report, Law Institute of Victoria (Australia), September 11, 2014 (“almost a third of solicitors and one in five barristers surveyed suffered from clinical depression.”).

[7] Susan Smith Blakely, New Approaches to the Practice of Law, JD.org, July 1, 2016.

[8] Michelle McQuigge, Lawyers more likely to experience mental health problems the more successful they are: study, Globe and Mail (The Canadian Press), October 22, 2017.

[9] Elizabeth Raymer, GC Stephen Sigurdson is remembered as ‘a wonderful guy’, Canadian Lawyer, November 24, 2016 (“Members of Ontario’s legal community have been grieving the loss of Stephen Sigurdson, Manulife general counsel … died last Wednesday in Toronto following a cardiac arrest in October, he was 56”.); Elie Mystal, In Re The Passing of a Skadden Associate, Above the Law, June 30, 2011 (“corporate associate, Lisa Johnston, died … apparent heart attack … she was 32 … pulling 100-hour weeks and was under intense pressure”); Sue Palmer, Lawyer Survives Severe Heart Attack after mistaking symptoms for 24 hour flu bug, Independent.co.uk, March 13, 2017 (also reported in Washington Post, March 7, 2016); Proskauer Rose General Counsel Dies of Heart Attack, Law.com, June 24, 2010 (“Steven C. Krane, the general counsel of Proskauer Rose and a former New York State Bar president … died Tuesday of a heart attack at age 53”); HT Correspondent, Lawyer suffers heart attack while arguing case at Punjab & Haryana high court, dies, Hindustan Times, May 4, 2017; Ana Ley, Lawyer died of heart attack, My San Antonio.com, October 10, 2012 (“lawyer Barbara Huges died of a heart attack at her downtown office … 51 … just finished a meeting”).

[10] Eric Sigurdson, Epidemic in the Legal Profession (Part I) – Stress, Anxiety and Depression, Sigurdson Post, August 8, 2016; Eric Sigurdson, Epidemic in the Legal Profession (Part II) – Coping with Stress and Anxiety: stress management and the ‘mindful lawyer’, Sigurdson Post, August 17, 2016.

[11] Eiline Zimmerman, The Lawyer, the Addict, New York Times, July 15, 2017; Rosa Flores and Rose Marie Arce, Why are Lawyers Killing themselves?, CNN, January 20, 2014; Monika Gonzalez Mesa, Mental Illness Becomes Major Issue in Legal Community: death by suicide of prominent Miami trial attorney, Daily Business Review, June 9, 2017; Roy Strum, Bad Drugs or Big Law Stress? Jury to Decide in Reed Smith Partner’s Suicide, The American Lawyer, March 19, 2017; Stuart Mauney, The Lawyers’ Epidemic: Depression, Suicide, and Substance Abuse, Abnormal Use.com, March 8, 2012; Brian Glaser, Barnes Foundation General Counsel Found Dead, Corporate Counsel (law.com), April 18, 2012; Staci Zaretsky, Big Bank’s Associate GC Found Dead in Apparent Suicide, Above the Law.com, October 28, 2014.

[12] Melissa Healy, For those in posh jobs, depression may be harder to treat, September 21, 2016 (“People with highly demanding jobs are subject to a lot of stress, and when they break down with depression, it may be particularly difficult to cope with demands they were previously managing to satisfy”); Jan Bruce, What You Didn’t Know: Leaders Are More Stressed Than Everyone Else, Forbes, December 9, 2016:

“It makes sense: Our jobs are stressful and involve long hours, and chronic stress has been linked to depression. A lot rides on our success and behavior. Plus, while lower-level employees might benefit from a workplace culture that embraces well-being and de-stigmatizes mental health issues, those of us who lead are actually responsible for creating that culture. When you’re mired in depression, it’s hard to have that perspective” – and, “according to new research, depression is also harder to shake when you’re at the top”.

[13] Note: Have a medical check-up if you see yourself in this description, and take care of yourself.

[14] Bree Buchanan and James Coyle (Task Force Chairs), National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being: Creating a Movement to Improve Well-Being in the Legal Profession, American Bar Association, August 14, 2017; American Bar Association, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, The Report of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, August 2017.

[15] ABA, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation release first National Study on Attorney Substance Use, Mental Health Concerns, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, February 3, 2016. Also see,  Patrick Krill, Ryan Johnson, and Linda Albert, The Prevalence of Substance Use and Other Mental Health Concerns Among American Attorneys, 10 Journal of Addiction Medicine 46, February 2016.

[16] Bree Buchanan and James Coyle (Task Force Chairs), National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being: Creating a Movement to Improve Well-Being in the Legal Profession, American Bar Association, August 14, 2017; American Bar Association, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, The Report of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, August 2017.

[17] Nicole Ireland, ‘The impact on society is enormous’: In legal profession, depression, addiction hurt clients, too, CBC, November 26, 2016. Also see, for example: Diane Shannon, Fix the system to address physician burnout, KevinMD.com, October 31, 2017; Patrick Krill, Ryan Johnson, and Linda Albert, The Prevalence of Substance Use and Other Mental Health Concerns Among American Attorneys, 10 Journal of Addiction Medicine 46, February 2016.

[18] Will McDowell (Chair), Mental Health Strategy Task Force: Final Report to Convocation, Law Society of Upper Canada, April 28, 2016.

[19] Bree Buchanan and James Coyle (Task Force Chairs), National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being: Creating a Movement to Improve Well-Being in the Legal Profession, American Bar Association, August 14, 2017; American Bar Association, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, The Report of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, August 2017.

[20] See, Eric Sigurdson, Alternative Business Structures, Competition, and Legal Services Delivery: The Case for ABSs v. The Legal Profession’s Monopoly in North America, Sigurdson Post, November 7, 2017.

[21] Debra Cassens Weiss, Why Lawyers Should Work No More Than 40 Hours a Week, ABA Journal, August 11, 2010; Sarah Green Carmichael, The Research is Clear: Long Hours Backfire for People and for Companies, Harvard Business Review, August 19, 2015:

“There’s a large body of research that suggests that regardless of our reasons for working long hours, overwork does not help us. For starters, it doesn’t seem to result in more output. …

Considerable evidence shows that overwork is not just neutral — it hurts us and the companies we work for. … overwork and the resulting stress can lead to all sorts of health problems, including impaired sleep, depression, heavy drinking, diabetes, impaired memory, and heart disease. …

If your job relies on interpersonal communication, making judgment calls, reading other people’s faces, or managing your own emotional reactions — pretty much all things that the modern office requires — I have more bad news. Researchers have found that overwork (and its accompanying stress and exhaustion) can make all of these things more difficult. …

The research on the performance-destroying effects of sleeplessness alone should make everyone see the folly of the all-nighter.

Work too hard and you also lose sight of the bigger picture. Research has suggested that as we burn out, we have a greater tendency to get lost in the weeds.

In sum, the story of overwork is literally a story of diminishing returns: keep overworking, and you’ll progressively work more stupidly on tasks that are increasingly meaningless.”

[22] Sarah Green Carmichael, The Research is Clear: Long Hours Backfire for People and for Companies, Harvard Business Review, August 19, 2015.

[23] Laura Helm, Mental Health and the Legal Profession: A Preventative Strategy – Final Report, Law Institute of Victoria (Australia), September 11, 2014. For example:

“Encouraging legal employers to:

  • Adopt preventative strategies that aim to ensure that working as a lawyer has a health enhancing impact; and
  • Implement policies and practices to prevent and manage mental illness arising in the workplace.”

[24] John Matias, High-Status Lawyers More Likely to Experience Depression, Family Lawyer Magazine.com, November 9, 2017 – The 2017 Study advocates that the legal community address the mental health challenges it faces, in particular addressing and facilitating greater work-life balance by providing more flexible work arrangements; Jonathan Koltai, Scott Schieman,and Ronit Dinovitzer, The Status-Health Paradox: Organizational Context, Stress Exposure, and Well-being in the Legal Profession, March 2017 [article accepted for publication in the Journal of Health of Social Behaviour].

[25] See for example: Diane Shannon, Fix the system to address physician burnout, KevinMD.com, October 31, 2017.

[26] See for example: Diane Shannon, Fix the system to address physician burnout, KevinMD.com, October 31, 2017.

[27] See: Diane Shannon, Fix the system to address physician burnout, KevinMD.com, October 31, 2017.

[28] Nicole Ireland, ‘The impact on society is enormous’: In legal profession, depression, addiction hurt clients, too, CBC, November 26, 2016. Also see, Patrick Krill, Ryan Johnson, and Linda Albert, The Prevalence of Substance Use and Other Mental Health Concerns Among American Attorneys, 10 Journal of Addiction Medicine 46, February 2016.

[29] See, for example: Tait D. Shanafelt, MD, and John H. Noseworthy, MD, CEO, Executive Leadership and Physician and Well-being: Nine Organizational Strategies to Promote Engagement and Reduce Burnout, Mayo Clinic, 2016 (2016 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research).

[30] Sarah Green Carmichael, The Research is Clear: Long Hours Backfire for People and for Companies, Harvard Business Review, August 19, 2015:

“There’s a large body of research that suggests that regardless of our reasons for working long hours, overwork does not help us.  … Considerable evidence shows that overwork is not just neutral — it hurts us and the companies we work for. … overwork and the resulting stress can lead to all sorts of health problems, including impaired sleep, depression, heavy drinking, diabetes, impaired memory, and heart disease. … If your job relies on interpersonal communication, making judgment calls, reading other people’s faces, or managing your own emotional reactions n pretty much all things that the modern office requires — I have more bad news. Researchers have found that overwork (and its accompanying stress and exhaustion) can make all of these things more difficult. …

Work too hard and you also lose sight of the bigger picture. Research has suggested that as we burn out, we have a greater tendency to get lost in the weeds. In sum, the story of overwork is literally a story of diminishing returns ….”

Are law firms waking up to the perils of mental health problems among their lawyers? Do legal employers take into account lawyer mental health and burnout that may have a causal connection to their jobs and work environment? – see for discussion only: Kelly McCarthy, Prosecutor fired after fight with Uber driver makes emotional statement: ‘I was wrong’, ABC News, November 14, 2017?

[31] With thanks to Cathal Kelly and his related thoughts on the Toronto Blue Jay leadership team (Somehow, the Blue Jays have extended their losing streak beyond the baseball season, Globe and Mail, November 17, 2017).

[32] Kevin Kruse, 100 Best Quotes on Leadership, Forbes, October 16, 2012.

[33] Michelle McQuigge, Lawyers more likely to experience mental health problems the more successful they are: study, Globe and Mail (The Canadian Press), October 22, 2017.

[34] John Matias, High-Status Lawyers More Likely to Experience Depression, Family Lawyer Magazine.com, November 9, 2017.

[35] Michelle McQuigge, Lawyers more likely to experience mental health problems the more successful they are: study, Globe and Mail (The Canadian Press), October 22, 2017; ; Jonathan Koltai, Scott Schieman,and Ronit Dinovitzer, The Status-Health Paradox: Organizational Context, Stress Exposure, and Well-being in the Legal Profession, March 2017 [article accepted for publication in the Journal of Health of Social Behaviour].

[36] Debra Cassens Weiss, ‘Status-health paradox’ for lawyers: BigLaw success linked to more depression symptoms, study says, ABA Journal, October 24, 2017.

[37] Jonathan Koltai, Scott Schieman,and Ronit Dinovitzer, The Status-Health Paradox: Organizational Context, Stress Exposure, and Well-being in the Legal Profession, March 2017 [article accepted for publication in the Journal of Health of Social Behaviour].

[38] Debra Cassens Weiss, ‘Status-health paradox’ for lawyers: BigLaw success linked to more depression symptoms, study says, ABA Journal, October 24, 2017.

[39] Aidan Macnab, High-pressure law jobs linked to depression, Canadian Lawyer, October 26, 2017; Michelle McQuigge, Lawyers more likely to experience mental health problems the more successful they are: study, Globe and Mail (The Canadian Press), October 22, 2017.

[40] Debra Cassens Weiss, ‘Status-health paradox’ for lawyers: BigLaw success linked to more depression symptoms, study says, ABA Journal, October 24, 2017; Success affects high-flying lawyers’ well-being, survey finds, New Zealand Law Society.org, October 26, 2017; Jonathan Koltai, Scott Schieman,and Ronit Dinovitzer, The Status-Health Paradox: Organizational Context, Stress Exposure, and Well-being in the Legal Profession, March 2017 [article accepted for publication in the Journal of Health of Social Behaviour].

[41] Michelle McQuigge, Lawyers more likely to experience mental health problems the more successful they are: study, Globe and Mail (The Canadian Press), October 22, 2017.

[42] Aidan Macnab, High-pressure law jobs linked to depression, Canadian Lawyer, October 26, 2017; Jonathan Koltai, Scott Schieman,and Ronit Dinovitzer, The Status-Health Paradox: Organizational Context, Stress Exposure, and Well-being in the Legal Profession, March 2017 [article accepted for publication in the Journal of Health of Social Behaviour].

[43] Michelle McQuigge, Lawyers more likely to experience mental health problems the more successful they are: study, Globe and Mail (The Canadian Press), October 22, 2017.

[44] Aidan Macnab, High-pressure law jobs linked to depression, Canadian Lawyer, October 26, 2017. See, Patrick Krill, Ryan Johnson, and Linda Albert, The Prevalence of Substance Use and Other Mental Health Concerns Among American Attorneys, 10 Journal of Addiction Medicine 46, February 2016; ABA, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation release first National Study on Attorney Substance Use, Mental Health Concerns, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, February 3, 2016.

[45] Michelle McQuigge, Lawyers more likely to experience mental health problems the more successful they are: study, Globe and Mail (The Canadian Press), October 22, 2017.

[46] Aidan Macnab, High-pressure law jobs linked to depression, Canadian Lawyer, October 26, 2017.

[47] John Matias, High-Status Lawyers More Likely to Experience Depression, Family Lawyer Magazine.com, November 9, 2017.

[48] Michelle McQuigge, Lawyers more likely to experience mental health problems the more successful they are: study, Globe and Mail (The Canadian Press), October 22, 2017.

[49] John Matias, High-Status Lawyers More Likely to Experience Depression, Family Lawyer Magazine.com, November 9, 2017; Jonathan Koltai, Scott Schieman,and Ronit Dinovitzer, The Status-Health Paradox: Organizational Context, Stress Exposure, and Well-being in the Legal Profession, March 2017 [article accepted for publication in the Journal of Health of Social Behaviour].

[50] See, Epidemic in the Legal Profession (Part I)  –  Stress, Anxiety and Depression, Sigurdson Post, August 9, 2016; Eric Sigurdson, Epidemic in the Legal Profession (Part II) – Coping with Stress and Anxiety: stress management and the ‘mindful lawyer’, Sigurdson Post, August 17, 2016.

[51] Understanding the Stress Response: Chronic activation of this survival mechanism impairs health, Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School, March 18, 2016; Owen Kelly, “Coping with Stress and Avoiding Burnout: Techniques for Lawyers”, CBA, October 13, 2009; Self-Help Strategies for General Anxiety Disorder, Anxiety BC; Ohio State University, Anxiety and Stress Disorders Clinic.

[52] Leslie Beck, RD, Improving Your Performance: Managing Stress with Nutrition, CBA’s The Mindful Lawyer Series Module 6;  Macda Riaz, The Healthy Lawyer: Stress Management, Ms. JD.

[53] Richard Carlton-Crabtree, World Mental Health Day: The Modern Struggle for Peace of Mind, Independent.co.uk., October 10, 2017; Carolyn Gregoire, The American Workplace is Broken: Here’s How We Can start Fixing It, Huffington Post, November 22, 2016; Heather Menzies, No Time: Stress and the Crisis of Modern Life, Douglas & McIntyre, 2011; Gregg Henriques, What is Causing the College Student Mental Health Crisis?, Psychology Today, February 21, 2014; Mental Health Issues – Facts and Figures, Workplace Strategies for Mental Health.com (“Nearly half (47%) of working Canadians ‘agree’ (15% strongly/32% somewhat) that their ‘work and place of work is the most stressful part of their day and life”; “More than one-quarter of Canadian employees perceive work-related stress to be high. … there remains a substantial proportion of employees who are highly stressed most of their working days.”); Mental Health in the Workplace, Canadian Mental Health Association, August 29, 2017.

[54] Mark Abadi, 6 American work habits other countries avoid at all costs, Business insider, November 17, 2017 – (1) “work crazy long hours”; (2) “hardly ever go on vacation”; (3) “barely take any family leave”; (4) “eat at their desk”; (5) “seldom take breaks during the day”; (6) “send emails after work hours”;

[55] Travis Bradberry, 10 signs you’re burning out and how to stop it, The Ladders, August 17, 2017:

“New research from the American Psychological Association and the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago reported the following:

  • 48% of Americans experienced increased stress over the past 5 years
  • 31% of employed adults have difficulty managing their work and family responsibilities
  • 53% say work leaves them “overtired and overwhelmed.”

Also see, David Robson, More and more people are suffering ‘burnout’, BBC.com, July 22, 2016; Alexandra Sifferlin, Burnout in the Hospital: Why Doctors are Set up for Stress, Time, July 21, 2014; Carol Casella, The High Price of Burnout among Doctors, The Wall Street Journal, June 9, 2014; Lucette Lagnado, Training Doctors to Manage their Feelings: To reduce physician burnout, The Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2016; Travis Bradberry, Ten signs you’re burning out (and how to stop it), The Globe and Mail, May 21, 2016.

[56] Travis Bradberry, 10 signs you’re burning out and how to stop it, The Ladders, August 17, 2017.

[57] Carolyn Gregoire, The American Workplace is Broken: Here’s How We Can start Fixing It, Huffington Post, November 22, 2016.

[58] Carolyn Gregoire, The American Workplace is Broken: Here’s How We Can start Fixing It, Huffington Post, November 22, 2016.

[59] Roy Strom, ABA Report Promotes Changes to Treat Addiction, Depression, Law.com, August 14, 2017. Also see, Bree Buchanan and James Coyle (Task Force Chairs), National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being: Creating a Movement to Improve Well-Being in the Legal Profession, American Bar Association, August 14, 2017; American Bar Association, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, The Report of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, August 2017.

[60] Owen Kelly, “Coping with Stress and Avoiding Burnout: Techniques for Lawyers”, CBA, October 13, 2009.

[61] Lawyers and Stress, CBA National Magazine, June 2013.

[62] Nicole Ireland, ‘The impact on society is enormous’: In legal profession, depression, addiction hurt clients, too, CBC, November 26, 2016.

[63] John Matias, High-Status Lawyers More Likely to Experience Depression, Family Lawyer Magazine.com, November 9, 2017.

[64] Allison Speigel, Why so many young lawyers dislike their jobs, The Globe and Mail, June 8, 2016.

[65] Rick B. Allen, Lawyers: Are We A Profession in Distress, The Nebraska Lawyer, October 1998; Owen Kelly, Coping with Stress and Avoiding Burnout: Techniques for Lawyers, CBA Practicelink, October 13, 2009.

[66] Renwei Chung, In A Punishing Profession, Too Many Lawyers Are Paying The Ultimate Price, Above the Law, July 21, 2017; Brian Cuban, The Addicted Lawyer: Tales of the Bar, Booze, Blow, and Redemption, Post Hill Press, 2017:

[67] 2014 Comprehensive Survey of Lawyer Assistance Programs, ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, americanbar.org. Also see, Eiline Zimmerman, The Lawyer, the Addict, New York Times, July 15, 2017.

[68] Patrick Krill, Ryan Johnson, and Linda Albert, The Prevalence of Substance Use and Other Mental Health Concerns Among American Attorneys, 10 Journal of Addiction Medicine 46, February 2016; ABA, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation release first National Study on Attorney Substance Use, Mental Health Concerns, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, February 3, 2016.

[69] 2014 Comprehensive Survey of Lawyer Assistance Programs, ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, americanbar.org. Also see, Eiline Zimmerman, The Lawyer, the Addict, New York Times, July 15, 2017.

[70] Renwei Chung, In A Punishing Profession, Too Many Lawyers Are Paying The Ultimate Price, Above the Law, July 21, 2017; Mental Illness and lawyers: Moving from stigma to solutions, LawPro (practicepro.ca), September 1, 2013 (“Mental illnesses require treatment, yet some people attempt to alleviate their symptoms through self-medication with alcohol or prescription and non-prescription drugs. This may temporarily provide relief, but it ultimately compounds the problem.”); Will McDowell (Chair), Mental Health Strategy Task Force: Final Report to Convocation, Law Society of Upper Canada, April 28, 2016.

[71] Are You Self-Medicating?, American Addiction Centers, americanaddictioncenters.org.

[72] Nicole Ireland, ‘The impact on society is enormous’: In legal profession, depression, addiction hurt clients, too, CBC, November 26, 2016.

[73] See for example: Mark Abadi, 6 American work habits other countries avoid at all costs, Business insider, November 17, 2017 – (1) “work crazy long hours”; (2) “hardly ever go on vacation”; (3) “barely take any family leave”; (4) “tend to eat at their desk”; (5) “seldom take breaks during the day”; (6) “send emails after work hours”.

[74] Karen Jackson, Stress and the legal profession, Law Society.org.uk, May 19, 2016 (A 2012 survey of the law profession by LawCare revealed that more than 50 per cent of the profession felt stressed and that 19 per cent were suffering from clinical depression”); Elizabeth Rimmer, LawCare: a helping hand, Law Society.org.uk, July 7, 2016:

“Our experience at LawCare is borne out by a significant body of published international research, which shows that solicitors have higher rates of anxiety and stress compared to people in other professions. The American Bar Association recently published a study about the mental health and wellbeing of over 12,000 solicitors and judges. The study found high levels of depression (28 per cent), anxiety (19 per cent) and stress (23 per cent).”

Angus Lyon, A Lawyer’s Guide to Wellbeing and Managing Stress, Ark Group UK, 2015.

[75] Laura Helm, Mental Health and the Legal Profession: A Preventative Strategy – Final Report, Law Institute of Victoria (Australia), September 11, 2014 – “Since 2007, there has been growing awareness in the Australian legal profession that lawyers are more likely than the general population to experience depression and anxiety.”

[76] Stress pushing lawyers towards clinical depression and other mental illnesses, says survey, Legal Futures.

[77] C. Stuart Mauney, The Lawyers’ Epidemic: Depression, Suicide and Substance Abuse, January 2012.

[78] Patrick Krill, Ryan Johnson, and Linda Albert, The Prevalence of Substance Use and Other Mental Health Concerns Among American Attorneys, 10 Journal of Addiction Medicine 46, February 2016; ABA, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation release first National Study on Attorney Substance Use, Mental Health Concerns, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, February 3, 2016; Will McDowell (Chair), Mental Health Strategy Task Force: Final Report to Convocation, Law Society of Upper Canada, April 28, 2016; Bree Buchanan and James Coyle (Task Force Chairs), National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being: Creating a Movement to Improve Well-Being in the Legal Profession, American Bar Association, August 14, 2017; American Bar Association, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, The Report of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, August 2017. Also see, Laura Helm, Mental Health and the Legal Profession: A Preventative Strategy – Final Report, Law Institute of Victoria (Australia), September 11, 2014 (“almost a third of solicitors and one in five barristers surveyed suffered from clinical depression.”).

[79] Laura Helm, Mental Health and the Legal Profession: A Preventative Strategy – Final Report, Law Institute of Victoria (Australia), September 11, 2014.

[80] Martin E. P. Seligman, Why are Lawyers so Unhappy?, Cardozo Law Review, Vol. 23, November 2001.

[81] Tyger Latham, The Depressed Lawyer, Psychology Today; Patrick Schiltz, On Being a Happy, Healthy and Ethical Member of an Unhappy, Unhealthy, and Unethical Profession, Vanderbilt Law Review.

[82] Will McDowell (Chair), Mental Health Strategy Task Force: Final Report to Convocation, Law Society of Upper Canada, April 28, 2016; C. Stuart Mauney, The Lawyers’ Epidemic: Depression, Suicide and Substance Abuse, January 2012; Kevin Dooley and Evan Schaeffer, Depression in the Legal Profession: Lawyers are the most likely to be Depressed, Law Vibe; Tyger Latham, The Depressed Lawyer, Psychology Today, May 2, 2011; Rosa Flores and Rose Marie Arce, Why are Lawyers Killing themselves?, CNN, January 20, 2014; CBA launches national Mental Health and Wellness in the Legal Profession initiative in partnership with the Mood Disorders Society of Canada, Sept. 29, 2015, CBA.org. Also see, Laura Helm, Mental Health and the Legal Profession: A Preventative Strategy – Final Report, Law Institute of Victoria (Australia), September 11, 2014; Patrick Krill, Ryan Johnson, and Linda Albert, The Prevalence of Substance Use and Other Mental Health Concerns Among American Attorneys, 10 Journal of Addiction Medicine 46, February 2016; ABA, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation release first National Study on Attorney Substance Use, Mental Health Concerns, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, February 3, 2016; Will McDowell (Chair), Mental Health Strategy Task Force: Final Report to Convocation, Law Society of Upper Canada, April 28, 2016; Bree Buchanan and James Coyle (Task Force Chairs), National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being: Creating a Movement to Improve Well-Being in the Legal Profession, American Bar Association, August 14, 2017; American Bar Association, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, The Report of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, August 2017; Elizabeth Rimmer, LawCare: a helping hand, Law Society.org.uk, July 7, 2016 (“Our experience at LawCare is borne out by a significant body of published international research, which shows that solicitors have higher rates of anxiety and stress compared to people in other professions”).

[83] Darryl Singer, Opinion: A lawyer’s secret: Addiction, anxiety and depression, Globe and Mail, February 18, 2017

[84] Owen Kelly, “Coping with Stress and Avoiding Burnout: Techniques for Lawyers”, CBA, October 13, 2009.

[85] Philip Slayton, Too busy to work, Canadian Lawyer, July 31, 2017.

[86] Rosa Flores and Rose Marie Arce, Why are Lawyers Killing themselves?, CNN, January 20, 2014.

[87] Martin E. P. Seligman, Why are Lawyers so Unhappy?, Cardozo Law Review, Vol. 23, November 2001; Patrick Schiltz, On Being a Happy, Healthy and Ethical Member of an Unhappy, Unhealthy, and Unethical Profession, Vanderbilt Law Review, Vol. 52.

[88] Bree Buchanan and James Coyle (Task Force Chairs), National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being: Creating a Movement to Improve Well-Being in the Legal Profession, American Bar Association, August 14, 2017; American Bar Association, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, The Report of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, August 2017.

[89] See: Diane Shannon, Fix the system to address physician burnout, KevinMD.com, October 31, 2017.

[90] See: Laura Helm, Mental Health and the Legal Profession: A Preventative Strategy – Final Report, Law Institute Victoria (Australia), September 11, 2014; Tait D. Shanafelt, MD, and John H. Noseworthy, MD, CEO, Executive Leadership and Physician and Well-being: Nine Organizational Strategies to Promote Engagement and Reduce Burnout, Mayo Clinic, 2016 (2016 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research). Also see, Will McDowell (Chair), Mental Health Strategy Task Force: Final Report to Convocation, Law Society of Upper Canada, April 28, 2016.

[91] Krithika Varagur, Could Your Job Help You be Less Stressed, Huffington Post, July 27, 2016.

[92] Will McDowell (Chair), Mental Health Strategy Task Force: Final Report to Convocation, Law Society of Upper Canada, April 28, 2016.

[93] Shana Lebowitz, Ask yourself 4 questions to figure out if you’re successful, Business Insider, May 26, 2017.

[94] See: Diane Shannon, Fix the system to address physician burnout, KevinMD.com, October 31, 2017.

[95] Jonathan Koltai, Scott Schieman,and Ronit Dinovitzer, The Status-Health Paradox: Organizational Context, Stress Exposure, and Well-being in the Legal Profession, March 2017 [article accepted for publication in the Journal of Health of Social Behaviour].

[96] LawPro, How unhealthy lawyers affect client service, Avoid a Claim.com, January, 2017 (Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company, Ontario, Canada -malpractice insurance carrier for Ontario lawyers ). Also see, Ilina Rejeva, Who Are Your Best Clients and What Can They Do for Your Law Firm?, Legaltrek.com, February 3, 2015.

[97] See: Diane Shannon, Fix the system to address physician burnout, KevinMD.com, October 31, 2017.

[98] Nicole Ireland, ‘The impact on society is enormous’: In legal profession, depression, addiction hurt clients, too, CBC, November 26, 2016.

[99] John Matias, High-Status Lawyers More Likely to Experience Depression, Family Lawyer Magazine.com, November 9, 2017 – The 2017 Study advocates that the legal community address the mental health challenges it faces, in particular addressing and facilitating greater work-life balance by providing more flexible work arrangements; Jonathan Koltai, Scott Schieman,and Ronit Dinovitzer, The Status-Health Paradox: Organizational Context, Stress Exposure, and Well-being in the Legal Profession, March 2017 [article accepted for publication in the Journal of Health of Social Behaviour].

[100] See: Diane Shannon, Fix the system to address physician burnout, KevinMD.com, October 31, 2017.

[101] Buy 10Mg Valium Uk See, Canadian Bar Association’s The Mindful Lawyer Series – Module 1 to 12, OBA.org, February 2015 to June 2017 (1. Re-setting Your Priorities: How Can You Be a Happier Lawyer? February 2015; 2. Mental Illness and the Legal Profession: Finding and Providing Support, February 2015; 3. Managing Stress, Thriving at Work and Achieving a Healthy and Balanced Lifestyle, March 2015; 4. Returning to Work after a Mental Health Leave: Re-entry Support, April 2015; 5. Support Networks for Lawyers Who Work Alone, May 2015; 6. Improving Your Performance: Managing Stress with Nutrition, June 2015; 7. Implement a Restorative Action Plan, February 2016; 8. Response Under Pressure, April 2016; 9. Avoid Burnout: Train for Resilience, June 2016; 10. Technology and its Distractions: Reducing Digital Overload, February 2017; 11. Thriving in a Competitive Work Environment: Resilience Training for Lawyers, April 2017; 12. Dealing with Difficult Personalities, June 2017). See my earlier articles: Eric Sigurdson, Epidemic in the Legal Profession (Part 1) – Stress Anxiety and Depression, Sigurdson Post, August 9, 2016; Eric Sigurdson, Epidemic in the Legal Profession (Part II) – Coping with Stress and Anxiety: stress management and the ‘mindful lawyer’, Sigurdson Post, August 17, 2016. https://modaypadel.com/2mil7557we Also see, for example: CBA launches national Mental Health and Wellness in the Legal Profession initiative in partnership with the Mood Disorders Society of Canada, Sept. 29, 2015; Angus Lyon, A Lawyer’s Guide to Wellbeing and Managing Stress, Ark Group UK, 2015; CBA.org; Elizabeth Rimmer, LawCare: a helping hand, Law Society.org.uk, July 7, 2016; Dr. Heather Fiske, Psychologist, Guidelines for Legal Practioners with Suicidal Colleagues, CBA, www.cba.org/wellness; www.cba.org/Publications-Resources/CBA-Practice-Link/Work-Life-Balance/Health-Wellness/Coping-with-Stress-and-Avoiding-Burnout-Techniques; Owen Kelly, “Coping with Stress and Avoiding Burnout: Techniques for Lawyers”, CBA, October 13, 2009; Leslie Gordon, How Lawyers can avoid burnout and debilitating anxiety, ABA Journal, July 2015; Harvey Schachter, Meditate your way to better productivity, Globe and Mail, November 19, 2015;  Julie Corliss, Mindfulness meditation may ease anxiety, mental stress, Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School, January 15, 2016; George Hofmann, Using Mindfulness to Treat Anxiety Disorders, World of Psychology, PsychCentral.com, January 28, 2013; Therese J. Borchard, 5 Tips for Living with Uncertainty, World of Psychology, PsychCentral.com, March 5, 2013; Macda Riaz, The Healthy Lawyer: Stress Management, Ms. JD; also see, Amiram Elwork, Stress Management for Lawyers: How to Increase Personal and Professional Satisfaction in the Law, 3d ed., January 2007; Pamela DeNeuve, Attorneys: 12 Guidelines for Lawyers to Manage Stress, Linkedin, November 13, 2015.

[102] See, Bree Buchanan and James Coyle (Task Force Chairs), National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being: Creating a Movement to Improve Well-Being in the Legal Profession, American Bar Association, August 14, 2017; American Bar Association, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, The Report of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, August 2017 Laura Helm, Mental Health and the Legal Profession: A Preventative Strategy – Final Report, Law Institute of Victoria (Australia), September 11, 2014. Also see, Will McDowell (Chair), Mental Health Strategy Task Force: Final Report to Convocation, Law Society of Upper Canada, April 28, 2016.

[103] See: Diane Shannon, Fix the system to address physician burnout, KevinMD.com, October 31, 2017.

[104] Megan Seto, Killing Ourselves: Depression as an Institutional, Workplace and Professionalism Problem, 2 Western Journal of Legal Studies 5, 2012.

[105] LawPro, How unhealthy lawyers affect client service, Avoid a Claim.com, January, 2017 (Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company, Ontario, Canada -malpractice insurance carrier for Ontario lawyers ); Malcolm Mercer, A Systematic Approach to Law Firm Risk Management, Slaw, April 30, 2012 / Malcolm Mercer, Risk Management: A Systematic Approach for Law Firms, 36 ABA Law Practice 46, AmericanBar.org, July/August 2010; Douglas Richmond, Law Firm Partners as Their Brothers’ Keepers, 96 Kentucky Law Journal 231, 2007-2008. Also see, Ilina Rejeva, Who Are Your Best Clients and What Can They Do for Your Law Firm?, Legaltrek.com, February 3, 2015.

[106] Malcolm Mercer, A Systematic Approach to Law Firm Risk Management, Slaw, April 30, 2012 / Malcolm Mercer, Risk Management: A Systematic Approach for Law Firms, 36 ABA Law Practice 46, AmericanBar.org, July/August 2010; Douglas Richmond, Law Firm Partners as Their Brothers’ Keepers, 96 Kentucky Law Journal 231, 2007-2008.

[107] Canadian Press, Successful lawyers more likely to experience mental health problems, Toronto study finds, CBC news, October 22, 2017; Jonathan Koltai, Scott Schieman,and Ronit Dinovitzer, The Status-Health Paradox: Organizational Context, Stress Exposure, and Well-being in the Legal Profession, March 2017 [article accepted for publication in the Journal of Health of Social Behaviour].

[108] David B. Cunningham, Chapter 1: An overview of law firm risk management, Risk Management for Law Firms: From Policy to Practice, Anna Shaw editor, 2011. Also see, Malcolm Mercer, A Systematic Approach to Law Firm Risk Management, Slaw, April 30, 2012;

[109] See: Diane Shannon, Fix the system to address physician burnout, KevinMD.com, October 31, 2017.

[110] Kevin Kruse, 100 Best Quotes on Leadership, Forbes, October 16, 2012.

[111] See: Tait D. Shanafelt, MD, and John H. Noseworthy, MD, CEO, Executive Leadership and Physician and Well-being: Nine Organizational Strategies to Promote Engagement and Reduce Burnout, Mayo Clinic, 2016 (2016 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research); Bree Buchanan and James Coyle (Task Force Chairs), National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being: Creating a Movement to Improve Well-Being in the Legal Profession, American Bar Association, August 14, 2017; ABA, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, The Report of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, August 2017; Laura Helm, Mental Health and the Legal Profession: A Preventative Strategy – Final Report, Law Institute of Victoria (Australia), September 11, 2014:

“The LIV’s [Law Institute of Victoria] research focused on health and wellbeing initiatives in the legal professions in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and the UK, reflecting their shared common law heritage, and the medical professions in Australia, Canada, USA and the UK. Medical profession programs were examined because of the many similarities between regulation of the legal and medical professions…, with the issue of fitness to practise being key to the similarities between the legal and medical professions in terms of regulation and managing mental health and substance abuse problems.”

Also see, Will McDowell (Chair), Mental Health Strategy Task Force: Final Report to Convocation, Law Society of Upper Canada, April 28, 2016; Donald Stone, The Disabled Lawyers Have Arrived; Have They Been Welcomed with Open Arms into the Profession – An Empirical Study of the Disabled Lawyers, 27 Law & Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice 93, 2009; Joan Bibelhausen (Executive Director, Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers), Help for Attorneys in Crisis: Dealing with Lawyer Addiction and Impairment, LCL (mncl.org), 2016.

[112] Kevin Kruse, 100 Best Quotes on Leadership, Forbes, October 16, 2012.

[113] Brent Gleeson, How Leaders Inspire Change in the 21st Century, Inc.com, November 14, 2017.

[114] Laura Helm, Mental Health and the Legal Profession: A Preventative Strategy – Final Report, Law Institute of Victoria (Australia), September 11, 2014. For example:

“Encouraging legal employers to:

  • Adopt preventative strategies that aim to ensure that working as a lawyer has a health enhancing impact; and
  • Implement policies and practices to prevent and manage mental illness arising in the workplace.”

Bree Buchanan and James Coyle (Task Force Chairs), National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being: Creating a Movement to Improve Well-Being in the Legal Profession, American Bar Association, August 14, 2017; American Bar Association, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, The Report of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, August 2017:

“RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LEGAL EMPLOYERS / p. 31

#24. Establish Organizational Infrastructure to Promote Well-Being.

24.1 Form a Lawyer Well-Being Committee.

24.2 Assess Lawyers’ Well-Being.

#25. Establish Policies and Practices to Support Lawyer Well-Being.

25.1 Monitor for Signs of Work Addiction and Poor Self-Care.

25.2 Actively Combat Social Isolation and Encourage Interconnectivity.

#26. Provide Training and Education on Well-Being, Including During New Lawyer Orientation.

26.1 Emphasize a Service-Centered Mission.

26.2 Create Standards, Align Incentives, and Give Feedback.”

[115] See: Tait D. Shanafelt, MD, and John H. Noseworthy, MD, CEO, Executive Leadership and Physician and Well-being: Nine Organizational Strategies to Promote Engagement and Reduce Burnout, Mayo Clinic, 2016 (2016 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research).

[116] Krithika Varagur, Could Your Job Help You be Less Stressed, Huffington Post, July 27, 2016.

[117] Leslie A. Gordon, Stressed Out: How to Avoid Burnout and Debilitating Anxiety, ABA Journal, July 2015.

[118] Leslie A. Gordon, Stressed Out: How to Avoid Burnout and Debilitating Anxiety, ABA Journal, July 2015.

[119] Leslie A. Gordon, Stressed Out: How to Avoid Burnout and Debilitating Anxiety, ABA Journal, July 2015.

[120] Michelle McQuigge, Lawyers more likely to experience mental health problems the more successful they are: study, Globe and Mail (The Canadian Press), October 22, 2017.

[121] Bree Buchanan and James Coyle (Task Force Chairs), National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being: Creating a Movement to Improve Well-Being in the Legal Profession, American Bar Association, August 14, 2017; American Bar Association, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, The Report of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, August 2017.

[122] Will McDowell (Chair), Mental Health Strategy Task Force: Final Report to Convocation, Law Society of Upper Canada, April 28, 2016.

[123] See, Eric Sigurdson, Alternative Business Structures, Competition, and Legal Services Delivery: The Case for ABSs v. The Legal Profession’s Monopoly in North America, Sigurdson Post, November 7, 2017.

[124] Bree Buchanan and James Coyle (Task Force Chairs), National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being: Creating a Movement to Improve Well-Being in the Legal Profession, American Bar Association, August 14, 2017; American Bar Association, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, The Report of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, August 2017.

[125] Glenn Llopis, Leadership is about Enabling the Full Potential in Others, Forbes, July 29, 2014.

[126] Pamela DeNeuve, Linkedin, November 13, 2017.

[127] See, for example, Jordan Furlong, The Four Cardinal Virtues of Law Firm Culture, Edge.ai, Summer 2016 [excerpt from Law Is A Buyer’s Market: Building a Client-First Law Firm, published in 2017]. Jordan Furlong, Law is a Buyer’s Market: Building a Client-First Law Firm, L21 Press, 2017.

[128] See, for example, Robert Bircher (program coordinator), Finding a Law Firm Culture that Works, Lawyers Assistance Program of British Columbia; Harrison Barnes, The Importance of Culture in Organizations, hb.org, October 5, 2017 (also see: Harrison Barnes, Firm Culture Matters Most, Findlaw.com (BCG Attorney Search) / Harrison Barnes, A Firm’s Culture is What Matters Most, Bloomberg Law, August 23, 2011); SSQ Recruiting, UK & US Law Firms – the Pros and Cons, The Legal 500 Jobs.com, November 9, 2017; Romain Heriaud, Lawyers, why you should consider Australia (It’s not about the beaches, it’s about the work culture), Linkedin, November 7, 2017; Laura Paddison, Magic circle v US biglaw: Are differences between US and UK law firms perception or reality?, The Guardian, December 10, 2012.

[129] Laura Helm, Mental Health and the Legal Profession: A Preventative Strategy – Final Report, Law Institute of Victoria (Australia), September 11, 2014; Will McDowell (Chair), Mental Health Strategy Task Force: Final Report to Convocation, Law Society of Upper Canada, April 28, 2016; Bree Buchanan and James Coyle (Task Force Chairs), National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being: Creating a Movement to Improve Well-Being in the Legal Profession, American Bar Association, August 14, 2017; American Bar Association, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, The Report of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, August 2017.

[130] Laura Helm, Mental Health and the Legal Profession: A Preventative Strategy – Final Report, Law Institute of Victoria (Australia), September 11, 2014; Will McDowell (Chair), Mental Health Strategy Task Force: Final Report to Convocation, Law Society of Upper Canada, April 28, 2016; Bree Buchanan and James Coyle (Task Force Chairs), National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being: Creating a Movement to Improve Well-Being in the Legal Profession, American Bar Association, August 14, 2017; American Bar Association, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, The Report of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, August 2017.