Many people are feeling stressed out and burnt out because of the pandemic. Many people believe lawyers live in perpetual stress and burnout land. I can neither confirm nor deny this rumor. But I have seen several peers over my eight years in practice begin their careers in the law just to end them. I’ve had tough conversations with these people, who I consider friends, and heard and shared lamentations about whether the reasons they began walking this career path will ever come to bear.
This article is prompted by one such conversation I recently had with a peer. Although I was glad to listen, I want to do more than listen. To the extent that I have learned anything during my time practicing law, and to the extent that I have counseled patients on ways to relieve stress and deal with angst, grief, and depression during life-changing events in my former career as a social worker, I write to new attorneys to offer some advice on managing these feelings—take it or leave it. That being said, I am not a licensed therapist and, of course, an article is no substitute for therapy. I am merely sharing anecdotes from my experience that I hope you find useful.