Paul L. Caron

Monday, April 8, 2024

'We're Literally Dying': Addressing Lawyer Mental Health Needs To Start In Law School, 'We're Literally Dying': Addressing Mental Health in the Legal Profession Needs to Start in Law School:

ABA (2023)Nearly 10% of students begin law school depressed, which climbs to 40% by the time they graduate, according to data published by the Dave Nee Foundation.

These mental health problems follow students into their careers, with lawyers holding the record for being the most frequently depressed occupation in the United States, University of Iowa College of Law student Joann Mulholland wrote in a Feb. 13 article titled, “How You Can Protect Your Health from the Harms of Law School,” published by the American Bar Association.

Law students often cope with their depression and stress by abusing alcohol or drugs, and, as a result, their mental health suffers even more, Mulholland wrote. “Lawyers are ranked fifth in suicide rates by occupation. We’re literally dying.” ...

Mulholland asserted this problem isn’t one for law students to solve but is an institutional problem that law schools themselves must address. ...

Nearly half of the 2,900 respondents in ALM Intelligence’s 2023 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Survey agreed that mental health problems and substance abuse are at a crisis level in the legal industry, up from just over 41% of respondents in 2019.

In 2023, 71% of respondents reported having anxiety last year—up from just under 64% in 2019. Further, nearly 15% said they knew someone in the legal profession who committed suicide in the past two years with more than 15% admitting they had contemplated suicide. ...

96 percent of law students report significant stress compared to 70 percent of medical students and 43 percent of graduate students in all fields.

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