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

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25

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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25 Comments

Anonymous

Drugs and alcohol are way cooler than yoga and healthy eating.

(27)(2)

Eat clen, tren hard

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(5)(3)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(3)(3)

Person with common sense

Hardly surprising.

The capitalistic neo-liberal agenda reinforces ruthless competition, worship of short-term material gratification and an ensuing callous apathy towards personal physical and mental health.

Until we undergo a cataclysmic shift in how we approach our lives, the problem will only get worse.

(37)(6)

Anonymous

Please elaborate. What kind of work do you do?

(4)(1)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Alright, Russell Brand. Chill out.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

‘Some sort of gypsy Russell Brand’

Haha Inbetweeners. Always cracks me up.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Isn’t every job stressful to some extent or other? I mean, isn’t life itself stressful at times?

(6)(5)

Anonymous

Right. So ‘life itself is stressful’ and ‘all jobs are stressful’ – therefore the fact that 90% of lawyers are stressed doesn’t matter?

(4)(2)

Anonymous

Yes, 90% of circa 200 out of 70,000 members. 0.2% isn’t exactly representative.

(2)(6)

Trumpenkrieg

Do you even understand statistics you muppet?

(3)(2)

Anonymous

And yet many would be complaining that the career is either not fulfilling enough or boring without those pressures. Many lawyers seem to thrive off of it/enjoy the pressure in the short term.

(12)(4)

K&E 2PQE

waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

(10)(2)

Anonymous

Real talk, how bad is life at K&E actually for a trainee/NQ?

(0)(0)

K&E 2PQE

You don’t have one. You are an expensive slave.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Water is wet…

(7)(0)

Anonymous

In other news, pigs still can’t fly and the sky is indeed blue (not often in England I grant you).

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Who knew paper pushing was so stressful

(2)(2)

Anonymous

Year end in less than 3 weeks.

Stresssssssssssss. Bill. Bill. Bill.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

I suffered emotional abuse phrased kindly. It made me make mistakes and doubt my potential. I fear this is what could happen in a future I am disciplined in academically..

How can this work?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Agreed. I was bullied by my supervisor for a decent chunk of my previous stint, left me doubting everything and feeling pretty awful. I’m not sure that it’s exclusive to the legal profession though – I’m sure other similar areas have their fair share of malicious prats as well.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Every firm has a few people who take pride in being difficult and tyrannical to those below them. An attitude of “well I had to suffer Lord Arseburger when I was a junior so now it’s my turn holding the whip” is pervasive.

Changing this is in everyone’s interest, but as a rule law firms are appallingly managed. The best that one can do is refuse to take the abuse and either choose (as best as you are able) to do the vast majority of work for people who’ll treat you with respect. Even if that means leaving.

You don’t have to put up with it. Despite Brexit, the job market is still fairly buoyant, so if you’re someone who is suffering under oppressive management, polish your CV and start looking at options.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

Slightly more lawyers + slightly less pay = happy lawyers.

£100k+ NQs is just silly and getting the bone is the logical consequence of such sillyness.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Think you’re being hit hard at a law firm, try life (what life) as an M&A analyst in a US BB investment bank…

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.