Workload and disciplinary problems top table for stressed lawyers

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9 January 2015


stress

Survey: three-quarters of lawyers were suffering from stress

Workload and disciplinary problems have topped the table of reasons why lawyers contacted mental health charity LawCare last year.

Of the almost 300 callers who gave a specific reason for their unhappiness, 27% cited workload, a rise of 5% from 2013. There was also a rise of 4% to 20% in the number of callers who cited disciplinary issues.

The total number of files opened by LawCare fell last year, from 515 to 473, and there was a fall in complaints about bullying, from 19% to 15%.

The remaining causes of calls were financial problems (14%), redundancy (9%), ethical issues (8%), relationship problems and bereavement.

As in previous years, the most common problem that lawyers reported to be suffering from was stress. Three quarters complained that this was bothering them most, followed by depression (12%). A small minority admitted to alcohol problems, similar to previous years at 5%.

Two thirds of callers to LawCare were female, in keeping with previous experience. More than half (54%) were solicitors in England and Wales, 11% barristers, 7% trainee solicitors and 5% chartered legal executives.

Almost a quarter of callers said they worked in high street firms – a similar figure to last year. Litigation topped the table in terms of practice area (22%), followed by commercial work (18%), conveyancing (10%), family law and criminal law work.

The LawCare helpline is open 365 days a year on 0800 279 6888.

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