Lawyer Depression Statistics

Lawyer Depression Statistics: Are Lawyers Depressed in 2023?

Lawyer Depression Statistics: Are Lawyers Depressed in 2023?

The legal profession is often associated with prestige, success, and intellectual challenges.

However, beneath the polished facade, many lawyers face a hidden battle with depression.

The high-pressure nature of the job, long working hours, relentless competition, and emotional strain can take a toll on their mental well-being. 

In this article segment, we shed light on lawyer depression statistics and explore its causes, impact, and potential solutions through statistics and research.

Key Statistics

  • Approximately 31.2% of lawyers suffer from feelings of depression
  • About 75% of lawyers work beyond their usual business hours
  • Lawyers are 3.6 times more likely to experience depression compared to the general population
  • Overcommitted lawyers have a 220% increased likelihood of experiencing suicidal thoughts
  • Around 64% of lawyers state they encounter feelings of anxiety
  • 37% of law students report experiencing mild to severe anxiety
  • Lawyers facing high-stress situations are 22 times more likely to consider suicide
  • Roughly 10.1% of lawyers struggle with alcohol-related issues

Lawyer Depression Statistics: The Mental Health Crisis in the Legal Field

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1. 31.2% of Lawyers Experience Feelings of Depression

According to a recent survey by ALM among legal professionals, a concerning trend has emerged.

Out of over 3,800 lawyers who participated in the research, a significant 31.2% admitted to experiencing feelings of depression.

This finding shows the prevalent mental health challenges faced by individuals in the legal field.

The results indicate that depression is a significant concern within the legal profession, affecting nearly one-third of the respondents.

This statistic emphasizes the need for greater awareness and support for lawyers dealing with mental health issues. 


2. 75% of Lawyers Work Beyond Their Regular Business Hours

Experiencing elevated levels of stress and enduring long working hours can significantly amplify mental fatigue and detrimentally affect an individual’s mental health and overall well-being.

This predicament is particularly relevant for legal professionals, as a study conducted in 2018, revealed that an overwhelming 75% of lawyers consistently put in extra work beyond regular business hours. 

Consequently, this demanding schedule often trespasses unto their personal lives, with 39% of lawyers acknowledging that the additional hours have a detrimental impact on their personal relationships and overall life balance.


3. Lawyers Are 3.6x More Prone to Depression Than the Average Population

According to a comprehensive study examining over 100 different professions, it was found that lawyers faced the highest risk of experiencing depression.

In fact, lawyers were 3.6 times more susceptible to depression compared to the average population. 

The study, which delved into various occupations, highlighted the alarming prevalence of depression among lawyers. 

The results suggest that the demanding nature of legal work may play a significant role in the increased likelihood of depression among lawyers.

The constant exposure to high-stakes situations, intense scrutiny, and heavy workloads can contribute to chronic stress, which can adversely affect mental well-being.

(Modern Law Practice)

4. Overcommitted Lawyers Are 220% More Likely to Have Suicidal Thoughts  


According to recent research, there is a significant correlation between work overcommitment among lawyers and an increased risk of suicidal thoughts.

The study found that lawyers who experienced high work overcommitment were 2.2 times more likely to have suicidal ideation compared to their counterparts with lower workloads. 

Similarly, lawyers with an intermediate level of work overcommitment had a 1.6 times higher risk of experiencing suicidal thoughts.

These findings highlight the detrimental impact of excessive work demands on the mental health of legal professionals.


5. 64% of Lawyers Have Reported Feeling Anxious

According to the results of ALM’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse Survey, a significant majority of lawyers are experiencing anxiety.

Out of the over 3,800 lawyers who participated in the survey, a staggering 64% admitted to feeling anxious. 

This statistic sheds light on the prevalence of mental health issues within the legal profession.

Anxiety, a common mental health condition, can manifest in various ways, affecting the overall quality of life and job performance for those experiencing it.

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6. Around 37% of Law Students Disclose Varying Degrees of Anxiety

Law school’s demanding nature, academic pressure, and competitive environment can lead to depression among students.

Factors like rigorous coursework, heavy workload, and high expectations contribute to stress.

Moreover, the stigma surrounding mental health in the legal profession deters students from seeking help.

One survey exposes some concerning statistics concerning the mental health of law students.

According to the findings:

  • 37% of law students report mild to severe anxiety
  • 25% of law students are prone to alcoholism
  • 17% of law students suffer from depression
  • 6% of law students report having suicidal thoughts for the recent year

(American Bar Association)

7. High-stress Lawyers Are 22x More Likely to Contemplate Suicide

The leading indicator of suicidal thoughts among lawyers is perceived stress, according to a recent study.

Researchers found that lawyers who reported high levels of stress were an astonishing 22 times more likely to experience suicidal thoughts compared to their counterparts with low stress. 

Even lawyers with intermediate levels of stress were found to be 5.5 times more likely to have suicidal thoughts, highlighting the significant impact of stress on their mental well-being.

These conclusions emphasize the critical need for interventions and support systems to address stress and promote mental health within the legal profession.

(California Lawyers Association)

8. A Concerning 10.1% of Lawyers Struggle with Alcohol-related Issues


According to a recent study, a significant proportion of lawyers, approximately 10.1%, admit to struggling with alcohol-related issues.

These findings emphasize a concerning trend within the legal profession, highlighting the prevalence of alcohol problems among legal professionals.

The research indicates that a substantial number of lawyers grapple with alcohol-related problems, potentially affecting their personal lives, work performance, and overall well-being.

Some lawyers may turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism for the stress they’re dealing with, leading to dependency and addiction.



Lawyer depression statistics underscore the urgency of addressing mental health concerns within the legal industry.

By acknowledging the contributing factors, fostering a supportive work environment, and implementing proactive measures, the legal community can strive to create a culture that prioritizes the mental well-being of its practitioners. 

Recognizing that the mental health of lawyers directly impacts their clients, the legal system, and society as a whole, it is imperative to take collective action to address this issue and support those in the legal profession who are struggling with depression.


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Written by Colin Tan
Colin Tan is a tech entrepreneur and business leader with extensive experience in the technology industry. He is the Co-Founder of several successful tech startups that provide innovative solutions to businesses. Colin has a passion for creating disruptive technologies that can transform industries and drive growth.