A survey by the Junior Lawyers Division of the Law Society of England and Wales has found that over 93% of respondents had suffered with stress in the month before completing the survey, with 26% saying they were severely or extremely stressed.
The Resilience and wellbeing survey report summarises the results of the February 2017 online survey. This received 214 responses from JLD members. The JLD has over 70,000 members, and the report says the findings are indicative of the JLD membership rather than representative.
The survey results showed that key stress factors for responding junior lawyers are high workload, lack of support, client demands/expectations and ineffective management. A high 73% of respondents said their firm could do more to support stress at work.
When asked what firms could do to support their junior lawyers, respondents favoured training (both for management and junior lawyers), increased visibility of internal policies, support/counselling, increased levels of supervision, and better management.
When asked how often in the last month they had felt unable to cope as a result of stress, 15.5% of respondents said "regularly", with 39.1% saying "occasionally". There was a noticeable difference between male and female respondents.
How often in the last month have you felt unable to cope as a result of stress?
What do you consider to be the cause of the stress at work you experience?
|Lack of support||48.4%|
|Lack of control||39.0%|
|Lack of resources||30.2%|
|Billable hours targets||26.4%|
In the last month, have you experienced any of the below situations as a result of work-related stress?
|Nearly made a mistake that would not have happened otherwise||53.1%|
|Considered taking time off but did not||51.9%|
|Experienced problems with family life or relationships||44.9%|
|Looked for another job||43.0%|
|Made a mistake that would not have happened otherwise||36.7%|
|Took time off||13.2%|
Following release of the survey results, the JLD released a statement saying that law firms should provide better training and support to managers and trainee solicitors to reduce high stress levels amongst newly qualified solicitors.