This article was written by Chris Engel, Clark Quinn Moses Scott Grahn LLP. If you would like to write or submit an article for the Young Lawyers Division, please contact Kim Ferguson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The feature article of the January 25, 2017 edition of The Indiana Lawyer highlighted the unhealthy mental state among law students and young lawyers due to the stresses and expectations of law school and the first years of practice.
The article cited a recent study by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation that “found that law students and attorneys under the age of 30 are among those likeliest to suffer from anxiety, depression and other mental health issues and, by extension, to choose to cope with those issues in unhealthy ways.” In particular, the study cited that:
- 61.1% of respondents reported dealing with anxiety;
- 45.7% of respondents reported suffering from depression; and
- 20.6% of respondents answered alcohol-related questions that scored at a level of problematic drinking.
The above statistics are concerning, but unfortunately are not surprising given the numerous studies showing lawyers suffer from mental health and substance abuse issues at a higher rate than the general population.
Being a young attorney is stressful, so it is important to engage in healthy coping mechanisms, such as exercise, meditation and social support. The YLD Executive Board encourages all YLD members to attend YLD events, which are a great way to engage with and receive social support from other young attorneys.