Balancing the Scales—the Need for Self-Care in the Legal Field

Even though Love Your Lawyer Day is not until November 3 (yes, it’s real), I’ll put it out there now: I love working with lawyers. And specifically working with them to build their business development plans and create strategies to grow their practices.

I’m certain that my clients must think I am channeling my inner therapist, as well, because we talk a lot about mindset, attitude, time (or lack thereof) and the many commitments that pull them away from business development activities. Inevitabily, all these factors lead to a discussion about stress and well-being.

In the high-stakes, fast-paced world of law, lawyers are often subjected to enormous stress levels, prolonged work hours and expectations of constant high performance. They carry the weight of their clients’ problems, and frequently navigate through complex and emotionally charged situations. These challenges, if not managed effectively, can lead to burnout, anxiety, depression and a host of other mental health issues.

In fact, according to ALM’s 2020 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Survey, 31.2% of more than 3,800 attorney respondents feel they are depressed. Lawyers are roughly three times more likely to suffer from depression than the average U.S. adult.

Recently, I had the privilege of hearing integral coach and psychotherapist Faith Geiger, LMSW, speak about the need for self-care in all professions, but especially in the legal profession. Faith is a Human Potentialist and founder of TULLA, and advises companies about workplace culture and human transformation to help their employees flourish mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically and financially (yes, these are all connected!). I asked her to take a deeper dive with me into the need for self-care in a very stressful industry.

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