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The legal profession and wellbeing

Life in the law can be challenging and sometimes things can get on top of you. At LawCare we have been providing emotional support to legal professionals for over 20 years through our free, confidential support service. We have listened to thousands of people in the legal community tell us about the stress, anxiety and depression they are experiencing which is often caused or exacerbated by a difficult working environment.

How to tell there is a problem
Sometimes it can be hard to tell there is a problem. Stress tends to build incrementally and you may have got so used to working at a certain pace or feeling a certain way that you don’t realise you need help. Some lawyers are existing in a near constant state of chronic stress, which can lead to burn out. As one caller told us “It just feels like everything is too much at the moment. Like everything is falling apart. I can’t sleep and I’m having panic attacks.” It’s important to note that stress is unlikely to just go away on its own -you must seek help and make changes to address it.

Here are some things to watch out for:

  • Irritability
  • Lethargy, sleep problems
  • Panic attacks 
  • Nausea 
  • Aches and pains
  • Poor concentration, memory and motivation
  • Withdrawal – cancelling plans, loss of interest
  • Deterioration in relationships
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Inability to switch off 

How LawCare can help

If you’re struggling the most important thing is to talk about how you are feeling – you’d be surprised how much better you will feel from just offloading. 

For some it’s not as easy as talking to a friend or family member. At LawCare we offer a free and confidential emotional support service, a safe place to talk without judgement, with calls, webchats and emails answered by trained staff and volunteers who have first-hand experience of working in the law.  We understand life in the law and all it’s challenges - this is what makes our support service unique, you will be talking to a one of your peers in the profession.  

Most legal professionals find that one or two conversations  with our support service are enough to help them move forward and have clarity about what to do next. We will often signpost callers to various organisations who can help with particular issues, assist with accessing further support or suggest next steps such as how to broach a conversation with your manager for example. We also have a network of 100 trained volunteer peer supporters, who offer emotional support by telephone over a period of weeks or months

 A lawyer recently said to us “I was feeling very bad and you helped me.  Law Care has already made me feel less alone."

You can call LawCare’s confidential helpline on 0800 279 6888, email support@lawcare.org.uk  or access webchat and other resources at www.lawcare.org.uk  

LawCare also offer workplace training on mental health and wellbeing, which can be delivered online, and a free online course in emotional competency at fitforlaw.org.uk

Take part in LawCare’s ground-breaking research study Life in the Law and help find out how legal practice and workplace culture affect wellbeing

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My six page word doc of notes is a testament to how insightful and significant the event was! Thank you #TCH19.

Amy Priest, Wellbeing, Diversity & Inclusion – Mental Health Lead, Experian