Paul L. Caron

Saturday, October 30, 2021

20% Of Corporate Lawyers Are 'Highly Exhausted'; 68% Of Them Are Looking To Change Jobs

Gartner Survey Shows Corporate Lawyers Exhausted Since the Pandemic:

Exhausted Lawyers Frequently Experience Psychological Distress, Seek to Leave the Organization, and Slow Down Business Processes

The pandemic has taken a toll on many lawyers, as a survey of 202 corporate lawyers in July 2021 showed that 54% are exhausted to some degree, with 20% scoring as highly exhausted, according to Gartner, Inc.

“The fact that many corporate lawyers are exhausted is probably not that surprising to legal leaders after the pressures of the pandemic,” said James Crocker, senior principal, research in the Gartner Legal & Compliance practice. “But what stands out is the degree to which even moderate levels of exhaustion lead to severely negative outcomes for the individuals themselves, the legal department, and the overall business.”

Gartner evaluated exhaustion levels in 202 corporate lawyers by using a modified Bergen burnout inventory, which is a set of questions commonly used to quantify exhaustion. Of the 20% of corporate lawyers who scored as highly exhausted, 41% of them showed signs of psychological distress, 68% were looking to leave the organization, and 61% frequently delayed or killed projects in which they were involved.

The biggest changes, however, are between those who are not exhausted and those who are even moderately exhausted (see Table 1).

Table 1. Key Impacts of Lawyer Exhaustion


Not Exhausted (46%)

Moderately Exhausted (34%)

Highly Exhausted

Psychologically Distressed




Looking to Leave




Frequently Delays, Scopes Down or Kills projects




ABA Journal, 20% of Surveyed Corporate Lawyers Were Highly Exhausted, and Most In That Group Wanted to Switch Jobs

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