The Importance of Role Modeling for Lawyer Mental Health

Lawyer Mental Health

Lawyer mental health has been a topic we’ve covered for some time, and it is an area that all lawyers in all roles must think about. Most lawyers have had significant difficulties dealing with the stress and strain of the practice of law at least for part of their career. Some have had to endure it for much longer. If you’re struggling with the practice of law, certain maintenance exercises can help. When things get to be too much, talk to someone you trust and get professional help when needed. Attorney well-being is in decline, and alcohol issues often exacerbate lawyer mental health issues. Prioritize yourself, no matter how hard you think that will be. If you don’t, you will not be in a position to help your family, friends or colleagues, and you may end up in a spiral that is incredibly hard to pull yourself out of.

“In 2016, while practicing law as a mid-level corporate associate at a massive international law firm, I tried to end my life by leaning in front of an oncoming train with the intention of falling to my death. A stranger grabbed my arm and stopped me. When I got home, I told my partner what had happened, and we agreed that I needed to make some changes not just to improve my ability to practice law, but to survive. Two years later, I shared this story for the first time in a public forum at a plenary session of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Steering Committee on Lawyer Well-Being….I told my story because I knew people needed to hear it….even more importantly, I told my story because at least a few people in the audience probably needed to hear it to know that it was ok to talk about what they were experiencing, and to hear the message I’ve shouted in nearly every presentation I’ve given since that day: If you are struggling with your mental health or well-being, the best thing you can do is tell someone, and the only way more lawyers will feel comfortable telling others what they are going through is if they see those in leadership positions doing the same.”

Source: Leading by Example: The Importance of Role Modeling for Lawyer Mental Health | ABA Law Practice Today