Research: Over 90% of young lawyers are suffering from work-related stress

Almost half blame law firm partners

New research has suggested that more than 90% of young lawyers have felt under “too much emotional or mental pressure” at work in the past month.

The study is part of the Junior Lawyers Division’s (JLD) ‘Resilience and wellbeing survey report’, and is based on over 200 Legal Practice Course (LPC) students, paralegals, trainees and junior solicitors across England and Wales.

It revealed that 82% of young lawyers have “regularly” or “occasionally” felt they’ve been under “too much emotional or mental pressure” in the past month. A further 12% answered “rarely”, only 7% said “never”. More than one in four (26%) respondents described the stress as either “severe” or “extreme”.

But what’s the source of this stress? Perhaps unsurprisingly, the data showed that 65% blame their “high workload.” It would also appear law firm partners aren’t helping stress levels either, with 50% of JLD members citing “ineffective management” as a cause. Other contributing factors name-checked by respondents included lack of support, client demands, and billing targets.

And this stress seems to be having a knock-on effect. According to the study, 53% of juniors have nearly made a mistake that would not have happened if they were not overworked, while 45% revealed their family life and personal relationships have suffered.

With 74% of those questioned stating that their firm could do more to support them with their stress levels, the study showed that lawyers are turning to everything from yoga and healthy eating to drugs and alcohol to combat the pressure.

But today’s research might not come as a surprise to those working in the profession. Last year, research by virtual law firm Keystone Law revealed 67% of lawyers felt they were more stressed than those working in other professions. A whopping 80% of the 300 associates and partners surveyed cited workload as the number one source of their stress.

Struggling with stress? You can contact LawCare here.

Read the JLD report in full here:

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