A recent report on lawyer wellbeing has revealed that depression and anxiety affect an overwhelming majority of lawyers, underlining the need for change in the profession and in the way lawyers work.

The Meritas Australia & New Zealand Wellness Survey has revealed that of the lawyers surveyed:

  • 68% have experienced depression, or they knew someone close to them in the workplace who had;
  • 85% had experienced anxiety, or knew someone close to them in the workplace who had.

Heavy workloads, the pressure of billable hour targets, the high‑stakes nature of the profession and a culture of presenteeism continue to be cited as key drivers of mental health issues among legal professionals.

Whilst the survey examined issues related to the wellbeing of lawyers in law firms, another recently published article by The Law Society of New South Wales titled ‘The trouble with flying solo’ revealed that isolation and work-life balance issues can present as significant mental health hazards for sole practitioners.

These and other studies underline the importance of the legal profession continuing to evolve, so as to offer new solutions and new ways of working, which address many of these long-standing issues.