Lawyers are high performers. Successful attorneys follow phenomenal work ethics and have a determination to succeed in the competitive, high-pressure legal industry. Unfortunately, that increased capacity also applies to rising levels of lawyers’ mental anguish. Today, nearly 70% of lawyers believe they work in a stressful professional career.
While any legal career will eventually involve some stress level, too much stress can harm anyone’s physical health. It can be manifest as mental health issues and physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle pain, and digestive problems. Significant stress can even lead to burnout, insomnia, and anxiety.
Now the question arises, why is the law profession so stressful? To help you understand, we’ve discussed the key unavoidable reasons.
Top Reasons for Stress
Every day, lawyers are subjected to various stressors. Aside from the pressure of assisting clients with important or complicated legal matters, they must also keep up with an ever-changing industry and handle heavy workloads. So, here are the top reasons that cause stress in a lawyer’s life:
1. Complicated Cases
The stakes are incredibly high when it comes to practising law. Attorneys should be professional in emotionally charged and upsetting situations, such as those encountered in criminal law, where you may be working on assault or murder cases.
Working with clients or being in the presence of individuals who have survived or are having major trauma and emotional turmoil can be gruelling on lawyers.
2. Technological Challenges
The internet has revolutionised the legal practice, and whether lawyers like it or not, they must become competent in various technology platforms. These include document review and management tools, spreadsheets, presentations, billing software and more.
Even as lawyers become more technologically savvy, the market trend toward corporatisation threatens to devour many legal jobs as technology has the potential to replace lawyers to deliver legal assistance more effectively, easily and even affordably.
3. Client Interaction
It is extremely difficult to deal with challenging client personalities while shouldering and sharing the emotional strain of your clients’ scenarios, whether working remotely or interacting face-to-face. If your client is getting a traumatising divorce, for instance, the stress of the situation can also affect you.
It is also not uncommon for clients to blame their lawyers for their negative thoughts and stress caused by their legal cases. This can add to the emotional and psychological stress that lawyers face.
4. Competitive Market
Lawyers nowadays face one of the most difficult job markets in history. Even though jobs have been reduced and salaries have plunged, law schools are not reducing enrollment. Some lawyers have been forced to accept less-than-ideal jobs or change careers entirely.
Because of a constant supply of lawyers combined with declining demand, several legal professionals are reconsidering the significance of their law degrees.
5. Legal Paradigm Shifts
The legal industry is rapidly changing, and lawyers no longer have dominance in the field. Today’s lawyers face strong competition from a variety of non-lawyer sources, ranging from legal document specialists to virtual legal services and self-help legal websites.
This is not to say that all these sources are essentially trustworthy or they can produce the same results as an educated and trained attorney. However, they exist, diverting many potential clients away from “actual” attorneys.
6. Law School Debt Is Skyrocketing
In recent decades, the cost of a law school education has risen ahead of inflation. Tuition at even mediocre law schools can exceed $40,000 per year. It is common for a law student to enter practice with a six-figure debt.
New graduates frequently don’t earn enough to pay back their law school debt in today’s competitive job market. A law degree is no longer regarded as a passport to financial stability.
Although now we know some of the reasons that cause stress in the life of a lawyer, it’s time to look at some ways to deal with it.
How to Keep the Stress Under Control
It should be no surprise being a lawyer entails dealing with stressful situations. However, that doesn’t mean you have to be stressed all the time.
Stress can have serious consequences for our physical, mental, and social health, whether it’s your workload, the emotional burden of legal work, or the pressure to keep up in a competitive market.
While these stressors will not go away, you can change how you react to them and manage your stress more healthily. The key is knowing how to deal with stress and having strategies to smooth out the peaks. With some practices, we can change the way we respond to stress by doing things like:
- Talking to experts
- Practising mindfulness
- Spending quality time with loved ones
- Setting goals
- Keep up your hobbies
- Draw boundaries
- Know your limits
These are a few ways to help you deal with stress effectively and acquire the desired success. Moreover, being a law student, you aim to ace high grades. In such a case, you can always consider taking help from law assignment writing services from leading academic professionals like Law Essays Help.
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