Lawyers handle the toughest issues business and society face. And while there is a lot of satisfaction to be gained by the practice of law, the legal profession is a stressful one. Lawyers are expected to work long hours, practice at a 24/7, “always on” pace, and provide immediate answers to their business clients about the most complex issues, all while maintaining a high degree of client service and professionalism.
The result is a lot of stress, and burnout has become an increasing concern in the legal profession. The pandemic, in particular, heightened the risk of burnout for in-house lawyers. Corporate leaders sought the advice of their in-house counsel for most decisions, big or small, and lawyers were tasked with responding to a wide-variety of urgent (and often novel) requests, whether legal-related or not. In addition, Bloomberg Law Workload & Hours surveys from 2021-2022 found lawyer burnout rates ranging from 47-52%, the highest rates they have found since conducting the study. And the Great Resignation is far from over. Business Insider reports that, “despite recent layoffs at high-profile companies and fears of a global recession, about 61% of American workers are thinking about quitting in 2023.”