Why we do it

The initiation of the initiative “Lawyer Wellbeing – The Silent Pandemic” by the Liquid Legal Institute stems from the imperative to address the escalating mental health crisis within the legal industry. Even before the onset of the Covid-19 crisis, the legal profession was grappling with a silent epidemic of mental health challenges. The intricacies of this crisis are multifaceted, encompassing factors such as work stress intensified by the billable hours model, workplace loneliness, and competitiveness, financial pressures especially affecting young lawyers burdened with student debt, anxieties induced by digital transformation, and the psychological impact of perfectionist personalities and pessimistic mindsets. Despite mounting evidence pointing to lawyers’ struggles with mental health, the topic remains shrouded in taboo within the industry. Recognizing this critical gap, the LLI embarked on a mission to destigmatize mental health issues through a Call for Action, spearheaded by Dr. Roger Strathausen. The initiative invited members of the legal industry to openly share their thoughts in a survey, with the ultimate goal of fostering a collective effort to enhance lawyer wellbeing.

Roger Strathausen

Vario Legal GmbH

How we do it

The initiative adopts a proactive approach to destigmatize mental health issues within the legal profession. The process began with an open invitation to members of the legal industry to contribute their perspectives through a survey. Professionals from diverse roles, including lawyers, legal project managers, and those involved in legal operations, shared their insights, contributing to a nuanced understanding of the challenges faced by individuals within the legal landscape.

The initiative aims to unravel the complexities surrounding mental health in the legal industry and foster an open dialogue that can pave the way for solutions and support mechanisms. By shedding light on the silent pandemic of mental health challenges among lawyers, the LLI endeavors to instigate meaningful change and elevate the discourse around lawyer wellbeing within the legal community.

Some of the survey results

And what did our survey reveal? Above all, our respondents agreed that:

  1. Mental health among lawyers is a socially relevant topic that deserves greater attention (88% agreed)
  2. Billing by the hour generates stress (100% agreed)
  3. Traditional hierarchies in the profession aggravate pressure and stress (88% agreed)
  4. Mental health issues among lawyers have a negative impact on business performance (100% agreed)

In addition, almost all respondents agreed that mental health issues are still stigmatized in the legal industry – significantly, people do not want to admit that they are affected.

For a full breakdown of the results, including more insights and the methodology used, see our Survey Findings below. In conclusion, lawyer wellbeing remains a crucial issue and the LLI will therefore be conducting further work in this area. 

More about Lawyer-Wellbeing (in GER)

LAWYER WELL-BEING: Von „Bist du verrückt?“ zum „Corporate Health Award – Sonderpreis Legal“ in vier Akten.

Fazit I

Durch ihre Tätigkeiten und die an sie gerichtete Erwartungshaltung sind Jurist:innen psychischen Gesundheitsrisiken ausgesetzt.

Fazit II

Lawyer Well-being ist ein ernstzunehmendes Thema, und die bisherigen Ergebnisse erlauben kein Schönreden. Die Tabuisierung muss aufhören.

Fazit III

Wir schaffen positive Anreize, sodass sich Unternehmen mit dem Thema auseinandersetzen können. Der Sonderpreis „Legal“ als Corporate Health Award und die Schaffund eines Siegels für Rechtsabteilungen sind Beiträge des LLIs und seiner Partner die hierauf einzahlen.

Fazit IV

Die Bemühungen in dem Bereich dürfen nicht enden. Wir müssen gemeinsam daran weiterarbeiten, auch in Zukunft lebenswerte und artgerechte Arbeitsbedingungen am Rechtsmarkt vorzufinden.

Liquid Legal Summit 2024

Current issues such as decreasing enrollments, a lack of essential skills, inefficient processes, and digital disparities in justice indicate a deep-rooted crisis. Accelerated by AI developments, these problems particularly impact copyright and regulatory aspects of the legal sector. These topics will be discussed at the Liquid Legal Summit on July 4 at the Kameha Grand Hotel in Bonn, focusing on joint efforts to tackle these challenges.