Young lawyers more prone to mental health, substance abuse issues

Hiring an attorney in California involves a significant investment, so when you do so, you probably want to select someone who has considerable experience in the specific area of law in which you need assistance. While younger lawyers may have less experience than their older colleagues, a 2016 study also reveals that younger attorneys are also more likely than older ones to struggle with mental health or substance abuse issues. At Lange Law Corporation, we recognize that when attorneys have mental illnesses or substance abuse issues, it can have a direct and negative impact on your case, and we have helped many people who had inadequate legal representation take steps to pursue recourse.

According to the ABA Journal, the study, conducted by the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs in conjunction with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, revealed that mental health and substance abuse issues are more prevalent among attorneys than initially believed. It also indicated that mental health issues and alcohol abuse were more common among attorneys than those in other fields and that these types of issues were also more prevalent among lawyers than the rest of the general population.

Furthermore, study results revealed that, contrary to earlier findings, it is not older attorneys, but younger ones, who face an elevated risk of developing such issues. So, just how common are mental health and alcohol abuse issues among attorneys? Nearly 30 percent of the attorneys surveyed reported that they had experienced depression, while another 23 percent reported having high levels of stress.

More than 36 percent of those surveyed, meanwhile, admitted that their abuse of alcohol had become a problem, while nearly 20 percent of those who participated in the study acknowledged experiencing high levels of anxiety. When attorneys struggle with mental illnesses or substance abuse problems, it may affect their ability to provide sufficient representation. You can learn more about legal malpractice on our webpage.