Feeling Stressed? How Lawyers Can Avoid Burnout

Everyone knows that lawyers have a stressful profession. It is astounding how many attorneys leave the profession. The ABA did a longitudinal study that was published last year that showed that about 24% of attorneys that passed the bar in 2000 were not practicing by 2012. Many attorneys argue that the main reason why they left their profession boiled down to stress. The stress does not start when they begin practice, often it starts in law school. A study done at Yale Law School showed that 70% of law students struggled with some type of mental health issue.

There are a few things lawyers can do to make their jobs a little less stressful. Take a look at these simple tips that can help alleviate stress from work.

1. Delegate Your Work Where You Can

Lawyers tend to be known as perfectionists. This makes them good at their jobs. This means that they tend to be highly detail-oriented, but it also means that they want to handle everything. Lawyers tend to work on tasks they could pass on to someone else. Take a look at your schedule. Do you often find yourself doing things that someone else in your office could be doing? Whether it is doing research that an associate or paralegal could be doing or hiring a court stenographer that your assistant could be doing, find ways of delegating your work. Making sure that your assistant finds a court-approved reporter could make your (and his or her) job even easier.

2. Spend Some Time Daily in Silence

Whether you want to do a guided meditation or just sit in a quiet place and be silent for a few minutes, this dedicated alone time can help you relax and gather your thoughts. You spend your day running around with a million tasks that you need to manage. Just taking 15 minutes a day to calm your mind can make a huge difference.

3. Take Care of Yourself

Excessive stress from work can interfere with your ability to perform in your job, manage your personal life, and can adversely impact your health. Make sure that you are doing everything necessary to be your healthiest self. Watch what you are eating, don’t skip meals, and don’t forget to exercise. Exercising is also helpful to reduce stress and improve heart health.

4. Make Connections

A study published in 2012 found that face to face conversations can be a helpful resource when you are stressed. Find other attorneys or colleagues that you connect with. Having someone to talk to and relate with helps you process your thoughts and manage your stress. Whatever you do, don’t let being overwhelmed keep you isolated from others.

Everything, from the long hours of researching to handling a courtroom, can be stressful for even the best lawyers. If you ever notice that the stress is becoming too much, take some time for yourself. Don’t let stress kill the career that you have worked so hard to earn.