Special Report

Minds Over Matters: An Examination of Mental Health in the Legal Profession

Law.com has embarked on a yearlong investigation into mental health across every sector of the legal profession. Over the course of 12 months, we will aim to shine a light on mental health, addiction, stress and well-being; destigmatize the issue; and identify methods to effectuate change.

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As firms grapple with high rates of attorney addiction, depression and suicide, many lawyers say in-house departments aren’t yet examining their own crucial role in improving the profession’s mental health culture.

Client demands for fast turnaround times, even on non-urgent matters, can leave outside counsel in constant crisis mode. That stress can lead to frayed relationships and mental health issues such as depression, addiction and anxiety, which firm lawyers are more likely to experience than corporate in-house counsel.

“We’re on this crisis level all the time because of the expectations coming from the clients,” said Dan Lukasik, the founder of Lawyers With Depression. He said “a change in the relationship” between firms and in-house clients is needed to improve law’s mental health culture.

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Caroline Spiezio

Caroline covers the intersection of tech and law for Corporate Counsel. She's based in San Francisco. Find her on Twitter @CarolineSpiezio.

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