Lawyer’s Mental Health: 5 Ways To Get on the Right Track

Updated February 16, 2024
10 min read
Lawyer’s Mental Health: 5 Ways To Get on the Right Track

The conversation around mental health has become significantly more prevalent in recent years, illustrating our increased awareness of ourselves and others. However, dialogues linking mental health issues and the field of law are still relatively infrequent. Lawyers frequently help others solve problems, but their concerns and challenges should be addressed. Lawyers often choose not to acknowledge their struggles. At Lawrina, we're striving to shift this narrative by introducing mental health and law discussions during our webinars.

Why Lawyers Don’t Talk About Their Mental Health Issues

Lawyers often find it challenging to disclose their mental health issues. This reluctance stems primarily from the standards attached to their profession. Pamela Deneuve, a member of the Institute for Well-Being in Law's steering committee, understands how lawyers frequently neglect their mental well-being to pursue excellence. Despite the increasing acknowledgment of mental health among law professionals following several distressing reports, lawyers seldom avail of available resources.

"Law firms have provided resources, but lawyers need to take advantage of that. They are not approaching someone within the firm and saying, 'I am depressed' or 'I am anxious.' It's a big secret." 

Pamela DeNeuve, Lawyer & Law Firm Strategist at DeNeuve & Associates

The shame and stigma associated with lawyer mental health, along with the competitive nature and the strive for perfection imbued during law school, often deter lawyers from seeking help.

This inherent quest for perfection and reluctance to show vulnerability has led to rising mental health issues among lawyers, warranting attention and resolution. During our webinar, we explored potential solutions.

"Perfectionism is a common trait among lawyers. However, the responsibility to attend to others' needs often causes lawyers to neglect their own."

Olga V. Mack, CEO at Parley Pro, Speaker, and Women’s Advocate

4 Ways To Improve Mental Health in Law

Several small things you can do can make a massive difference in your mental health. Even though there are conversations and different resources you can use, you are responsible for using them and choosing to take care of yourself.

1. Know your stress levels

Awareness of your feelings is critical because only you can control them. 

"Having moments of anxiety is normal, [however] it is not normal when these moments become prolonged and limiting to our lives. That is when we need to see professional help. This conversation has to be normalized. Partially, it isn’t because we do not know the difference between normal worrying and when these moments become too prolonged. Most of us are not educated about that difference, and we group all stress, worrying, and anxiety into one bucket. Being educated about those differences is the first step. Some of it can be addressed by yourself, and you must seek professional help."

Olga V. Mack, CEO at Parley Pro, Speaker, and Women’s Advocate


2. Find a positive way to relax and destress

Every person needs to rest after stressful days, and there are many things you can do to help you destress. Here is only a small list of options for you to choose from. What works for you may be different from someone else:

  • Watching a favorite movie or series.

  • Have a relaxing bath with essential oils.

  • Ordering your favorite food.

  • Having dinner with loved ones.

  • Take a walk or go to the gym.

  • Even scrolling through the social media.

"One day, I walked into my office, sat down, and could not move. I couldn’t decide between checking my voicemail, email, or physical mail, preparing for upcoming hearings, or preparing the reports from the ones I just attended. I had five things to do, and I couldn’t choose the priority for some reason. I sat there for a few minutes and finally said, ‘It doesn’t matter what you pick; you must pick something to go. Nothing will be done with you sitting here. I picked something, and the minute I started to move towards that, I froze. But then I thought I had to prepare reports, and I started arguing. Next, I took some essential oils from my desk and put some of them in the diffuser, and it kicked in. This little difference helped me to keep going. Since then, I have had the oils in my toolbox."

Jolene Blackbourn, California Attorney and The Legal Learning Podcast Host

3. Don’t be afraid to ask your law firm or law school about their mental health resources

Environment plays a significant role in a lawyer's well-being, so you should pay more attention to the surrounding people. This includes the firms you work in or the schools that inform you about how to lead your law practice. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask how your firm approaches the mental health of its employees or be curious about how your professors control the competitive environment in their classrooms.

"I see more law firms providing different resources for employees, and a few law schools are starting to provide meditation in the classroom. If you are a pre-law student and mental health is important, you should put it on your list when comparing schools, especially when applying. With firms, it is something you can ask in the interview. My last firm used to hike, and it did great to release some of the tension. It is so hard sometimes to fully express what you are feeling."

Jolene Blackbourn, California Attorney and The Legal Learning Podcast Host

4. Find your support group

You should not have to handle everything you are going through by yourself. People need others to feel better and talk through their problems or concerns. Finding somebody you can be comfortable with and be sure you are not alone is essential.

"Find the people you are comfortable with, your colleagues or friends, whether professional or mentorship or friendship, and rely on them. There is no easy fix, but if you talk to people in the same position as you, you can at least bounce ideas off of each other and be compassionate towards each other."

Julian Sarafian, Former Corporate Attorney, Currently Content Creator and Mental Health Advocate


Legal professionals must prioritize their mental health, which often takes a backseat in the drive for excellence. Simple yet effective strategies such as understanding stress levels, finding relaxation methods, utilizing existing lawyer mental health resources, and forming a support network can make a significant difference.

The crux, however, lies in the individual's ability to acknowledge their struggles and actively manage their mental well-being. At Lawrina, we aim to broaden the conversation on lawyers' mental health, break stigmas, and foster a healthier legal profession.

Article by
Inna Chumachenko

Inna Chumachenko is the Content Lead at Lawrina. She is responsible for managing all the content found on the blog, guides, and other website pages. Inna has a degree in philology and a vast interest in law. In her role at Lawrina, Inna oversees the content team, establishes collaborations with writers, and curates content from various contributors.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the content for Lawrina, please feel free to contact Inna directly via email at or connect with her on LinkedIn.