Lawyer Wellness

Survey finds decline in lawyer well-being, particularly for early-career respondents

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Nearly half of lawyers responding to a Bloomberg Law survey said their well-being declined over the first quarter of this year—and the problem was even worse for junior lawyers.

Two-thirds of junior and midlevel attorneys reported a decline in well-being, while only 41% of senior associates reported such a decline, according to the second Attorney Workload & Hours Survey, conducted in April and May by Bloomberg Law.

The publication has a report on the quarterly results here. Bloomberg surveyed lawyers who work at law firms and in-house legal departments who were on its contact lists and received responses from 614 people.

Lawyers whose well-being declined reported personal issues at higher rates than those whose well-being improved. Those with worsening well-being reported issues in personal relationships, physical health issues and depression twice as often. And four-fifths of those whose well-being worsened reported disrupted sleep and anxiety.

Lawyers with billable hours reported working an average of 53 hours per week—the same number as the first Bloomberg Law survey of 1,554 lawyers that focused on their experiences in 2020. But the respondents said they experienced burnout an average of 50% of the time in the first quarter, up from a 40% average for 2020.

Nearly three-fifths of the survey participants reported an overall job satisfaction score of 7 or higher, on a scale of 0 to 10 with 10 being most satisfied. But when asked about job satisfaction in the last quarter, only 44% rated satisfaction a 7 or higher.

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