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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S Matthew Fawcett, general counsel with NetApp. Photo: Jason Doiy
Several general counsel and other in-house leaders are pushing back on attorneys’ allegations that corporate law departments may play a larger role in the industry’s mental health crisis than they may be willing to admit or even examine.

The response follows the most recent piece in Law.com’s “Minds Over Matters” yearlong series: an article titled “Constantly on Call” that states that “client demands for fast turnaround times, even on non-urgent matters, can leave outside counsel in constant crisis mode” and that “many lawyers said legal department leaders often don’t think about the impact they’re having on outside counsel’s mental health, or they don’t care—clients pay a high rate for quick responses on all matters.”

The rebuttal was prompted by NetApp Inc. GC Matt Fawcett, who in a LinkedIn post Wednesday, said he “take[s] issue” with the “labeling” of  in-house counsel as a reason for the high levels of addiction, depression and suicide that have plagued all sectors of the legal industry in recent years.

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Kristen Rasmussen

Kristen Rasmussen is an Atlanta-based reporter who covers corporate law departments and in-house attorneys.

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