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7 Ways to Reduce Stress as a Lawyer

7 Ways to Reduce Stress as a Lawyer

Stress is inevitable as a lawyer. Lawyers handle sensitive, crucial cases, and are on the clock 24/7. Unfortunately, over two-thirds of lawyers are suffering from mental health issues. Furthermore, the pandemic has really pushed lawyers to their limits without any breaks. With the pressure lawyers constantly have on them, and the constant stressful work they are bombarded with, it is crucial to take care of mental health and lower stress levels. This will allow you to enjoy life in and out of the law firm.  Continue to read this article to learn about why the role of a lawyer is so stressful, how it affects lawyers and 7 ways you can reduce your stress levels as a lawyer.

What is Stress?

Stress is the mental or emotional strain an individual experiences from pressured and demanding circumstances. Everyone responds to stress differently. While some people are able to brush it off, others suffer and oftentimes don’t know how to deal with it. Those working in the legal industry normally feel the pressure from work and struggle with high-stress levels.  There are many situations that can heighten the stress levels of lawyers. They may be overloaded with cases, challenged with the problem of increasing clientele, struggling with a case, or possibly even running into issues with their law firm’s employees. Regardless of the cause, stress negatively impacts every aspect of life. For example, lawyers may feel easily agitated which can affect their home life and the way in which they treat colleagues and clients. Furthermore, it could lead to unhealthy habits such as smoking tobacco or excessive alcohol consumption. 

 Why Do Lawyers Experience High-Stress Levels?

Lawyers experience high-stress levels because of the amount of pressure and responsibility put on them. They are expected to win every case they take on, and many cases have serious consequences if they do not win. Crucial responsibilities lead to a large amount of stress. 

6 Ways to Reduce Stress as a Lawyer

Most lawyers are aware of the stressors that come along with being a lawyer, however, it doesn’t mean they should be living with high-stress levels every day. High-stress levels can lead to mental health issues and health complications.  It is important to recognize stress symptoms, find ways to reduce stress and acknowledge when it is time to take a break. Here is how to reduce stress as a lawyer. 

1. Understand You Are Not Alone

Almost every lawyer struggles with stress at some point in their legal career. Each day lawyers are faced with challenges and stressful situations. It is more common than one may think. Even the most intelligent, skilled, lawyers feel increasingly stressed. Because of this, many legal professionals may feel they are not fit for the job. Stress can leave you feeling this way and it is important to understand you are not alone, and high-stress levels do not necessarily mean you are unfit for the job.  It is important to be open about how you are feeling with those in a similar work environment as you. If you feel comfortable, discuss your worries with a coworker. This may clear the waters with them if there has been a shift in your mood or the way you have been presenting yourself. Co-workers understand the stressful situations you deal with day to day and may be able to provide insightful feedback and calm your nerves. Additionally, you can reach out to colleagues, and friends who work in the legal industry and see if they are willing to talk. You may be surprised to find out they also need a friend to talk to and are experiencing the same exact thing. 

2. Invest in Therapy Services

Many people do not believe in therapy sessions, but they can be very helpful and offer calming, stress relief methods. While talking to coworkers and colleagues can be helpful because they are aware of the work pressures you have, discussing your thoughts, feelings, and stressors with a professional therapist allows you to open up to someone about things you don’t feel comfortable discussing with someone you personally know. It is easier to chat with someone you know will not judge you than with someone who professionally knows you. Additionally, many therapists offer stress relief recommendations and methods that can help reduce the stress you are in.

3. Put Yourself in a Supportive Work Environment

If the law firm you work with has largely contributed to your stress, it is time to find a new one. Working for a law firm where your values don’t match will lead to further issues and increased stress levels. You must seek out a law firm that has similar values and work ethics. Do not change who you are as a person or as a lawyer to keep a job at a law firm because this will contribute to your stress instead of reducing it.  It is important to find a law firm that will support you and understand that the job is stressful. It may be helpful to discover what triggers stress for you while working in the legal industry. Understanding your stress tolerance and what will best help you cope with stress will allow you to efficiently work with the right team. What type of law firm will best support you while stressed? Find a law firm that will leave you feeling motivated and empowered. During the interview process, ask the firm what they expect from their employees and how they handle intense stressful situations. On the other hand, if you own your own law firm, it is important to also consider the feelings and stressors of your employees. Even if you are not feeling stressed, employees might be stressed, and they might be good at hiding it. Send out surveys that allow participants to answer anonymously, have regular check-ins and meetings, and ensure you provide a welcoming environment so workers feel comfortable to discuss the stressors they are feeling. Discuss things that need to change to reduce stress in the law firm business. 4. Create Processes For Your Law Firm Lawyers start their day aware of the long list of things they need to do. Many lawyers are stressed because of the overwhelming amount of large, important tasks that need to be completed. This can become very stressful, however, there is a way to fix this and significantly reduce the stress that comes along with it. That is, creating processes for your law firm to run smoothly.  Implementing processes keeps the law firm united, and provides the entire team with what needs to be done, and how to do it. Furthermore, law firms can implement automation processes to make their daily tasks quicker and easier. For example, reduce the time and stress that is spent on the billing process and allow automation software to do it for you.

5. Hire Paralegals, Assistants, and Marketing Professionals

Sometimes, law firm businesses try to limit the number of outside resources they hire. However, this can be causing more stress, and can affect the business of your law firm. Instead of managing and handling everything all by yourself, consider hiring paralegals, assistants, and marketing professionals. Investing in paralegals or office assistants will allow you to focus closely on your clients while they take care of daily small tasks.  Additionally, it may be beneficial to hire a legal marketing team to take care of your marketing efforts for you. Every legal professional understands how important it is to keep up with marketing strategies, such as pay-per-click ads and search engine optimization (SEO.)

6. Hire a Legal Mentor

A legal mentor is a well-experienced lawyer that offers valuable advice, to another legal professional. Discuss your goals, worries, and cases as a lawyer and receive feedback from someone who has been through it all. Legal mentors can offer advice, feedback, insight, and tips on how you can lower your stress levels. 

7. Invest in Your Health

Stress can largely affect your health. It is important to also invest in your own health. Consider purchasing a gym membership, looking into fitness classes, or even waking up 15 minutes early for a short walk before work. Exercise has been proven to act as a stress reliever. Any type of movement is better than no movement, and planning some type of physical activity in your day gives you something to look forward to and allows you to step away from work and focus on yourself. Additionally, it is important to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Lawyers often forget to eat or quickly grab food from a fast food restaurant. This can increase stress levels and lead to further health complications. Ensure you are eating enough food in one day and pick healthier food options.


Lawyers need to understand that stress is a part of the job and is common in the legal industry. However, it is important to take the necessary actions to manage and relieve stress.  Learn how to recognize your stress levels, understand when you are stressed, and what can help relieve the stress you are experiencing. Are you overloaded with work in the office? Hire an assistant. Are you falling behind on your marketing efforts? Hire a legal digital marketing agency. Are you overwhelmed after a long day in court? Go for a long walk. Finding ways to cope with stress is crucial if you work in the legal industry.  As previously discussed, here are 7 ways to reduce stress as a lawyer:
  • Understand you are not alone
  • Invest in therapy services
  • Put yourself in a supportive work environment
  • Create effective processes for your law firm
  • Hire paralegals, assistants, and marketing professionals
  • Hire a legal mentor
  • Invest in your health

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