Stress is a killer, but for lawyers it’s become an unprecdented problem according to a report in The Lawyer website based on a UK Lawyer 2B survey.
The finding that many young lawyers are buckling under current stress levels comes despite firms’ efforts to introduce programmes to improve the mental health and wellbeing of their staff.
The survey found that working long hours and stress levels were not necessarily linked, although having too much work was a key cause of stress for many respondents. Many said their firm was poor at supporting them, with US firms being the least supportive of work-life balance (2 June 2014).
The survey, conducted in April, examined working hours; the factors that contribute most to stress; the policies that firms have in place to counter stress; and lawyers’ perceptions of how committed their employers are to work-life balance.
Among the key findings of the survey were that:
only 17 per cent of lawyers are aware of stress-management initiatives run by their firm
US firms in London do least to encourage work-life balance
but at all levels of seniority, magic circle lawyers work the longest hours