**Editor’s note: This is the first part in a two-part series about stress levels in the legal profession, particularly at midsize and smaller law firms. The first part will examine causes of stress, and look for comparisons, if any, between Big Law and midsize and smaller firms.**

Nicholas Duston recalls of his years as a Big Law associate in New York making it a point to ride the subway from Queens to Midtown Manhattan each day with his wife, an attorney herself, so that the couple would have a few minutes to talk that day.

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