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Instant Insights / Big Law’s Mental Health Problem Hits Crisis Level

Following a ground-breaking study two years ago, we know that the mental health and substance abuse problems are higher in the legal profession than elsewhere. In this Instant Insights, we take a close look at the severity of the issue in Big Law and what firms are doing to address it.

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The topic of mental health and substance abuse in the legal industry is getting some much-needed light. A quick search of recent media activity on the topic indicates there is a growing conversation and movement to recognize that both mental health and substance abuse are prevalent in the legal industry. More importantly, that there is a need to be open on these topics, offer support for those in need and work towards bettering the working environment, which is often referred to as “toxic”. However, in an industry where the professional staff are still often referred to as “non-lawyers” or simply “staff”, it should not be a surprise that the professional staff are often left out of this growing movement, nor should it be that they have fewer resources available to them from the law firms when it comes to mental health and substance abuse.

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Erin Hichman

Erin is a senior analyst with ALM Legal Intelligence. Her experience includes covering legal technology and trends, mental health, diversity, and speaking at industry events. She has extensive experience researching IT, technology and related services. Prior to joining the Legal Intelligence team, Erin was a senior analyst with ALM Consulting Intelligence, where she led IT Consulting research, covering topics such as cybersecurity, cloud and analytics. In addition, Erin has experience as an analyst with Technology Business Research, covering IT and consulting firms; and with Deloitte as a consultant focusing on IT process improvement and business analysis projects to increase efficiency. Erin holds both a BS in Industrial Engineering and MS in Industrial Engineering with a concentration in Integrated Technology Management from Cal Poly, SLO.

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