A Stressful Profession: The Experience of Attorneys

Krystia Reed, Brian H. Bornstein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


Empirical evidence regarding high levels of attorney distress indicates that lawyers and law students suffer from depression, alcoholism and drug abuse at rates significantly higher than the general population and other professionals. This chapter begins by summarizing the research that has revealed how attorney distress is expressed through depression, alcoholism, drug abuse, burn out, and family problems. The chapter then outlines the potential factors influencing attorney distress, including personality attributes, the pressures of law school, and work pressures. The consequences of attorney stress on the lawyers themselves, their employers, and their clients are then examined. Finally, the chapter concludes with recommendations for further research and steps that the legal system can take to alleviate attorney distress. Such steps are important for both the professional and personal wellbeing of attorneys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStress, Trauma, and Wellbeing in the Legal System
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199301492
ISBN (Print)9780199829996
StatePublished - Jan 24 2013


  • Attorneys
  • Courts
  • Innovations
  • Legal system
  • Stress
  • Trauma
  • Wellbeing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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