27 May 2021

Has anyone wondered what state the mental health of lawyers is in?


The pandemic has affected all professions and law firms have had to change the way they work, taking into account some solutions that reduce stress and feelings of loneliness

Law is a profession that generates a lot of stress and anxiety, and these elements, together with many other circumstances, can trigger aggravated mental fatigue or even a nervous breakdown.

The pandemic has undoubtedly affected all professionals. Firms have had to change the way they work and organise their employees. But have they looked at the mental health of their lawyers?

Regardless of how countries have been setting up regulations in their legal frameworks to stop the spread of the pandemic, millions of workers have been confined to their homes. Isolation and feelings of loneliness often trigger stress if they occur over a long period of time.  

The lack of human connection between legal professionals, increasing workloads, the difficult economic situation and the fear of a new pandemic wave are also bad for the mental health of many lawyers. Are there solutions to reduce stress?

One solution is empathy. Managers, like other employees, have suffered the ravages of the pandemic. The virus has affected all strata of society and all hierarchies. This fact serves as a good starting point for managers to act with empathy and to understand their employees more than ever before. This means maintaining constant communication between management and employees, in order to discover their needs and fears and to adapt flexible working practices in the interests of job performance and health and safety.

At the same time, several mental health experts confirm that our consumption of screens and technology has increased exponentially with the advent of the pandemic, which is a considerable mental drain. It is therefore recommended to take technology breaks during the working day and also just before going to bed.

Another tool used is online consultations with psychologists. More lawyers are treating their mental health problems through psychology and it does not have to be a fact that discredits their professionalism or integrity, so it is urgent that legal institutions and organisations, as well as law firms and other companies in the legal sector, normalise mental health care and even organise talks to raise awareness among all their employees. 

Mental health is a problem, in the shadows, that haunts a significant proportion of lawyers.

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