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Despite high stress levels, lawyers buck trend on health and wellbeing

23 June 2014

Solicitors are in better health than the general population, but nearly half go to work when they should be off sick and a worrying number are under stress. The Law Society has published research on the health and wellbeing of solicitors.

Law Society president Nicholas Fluck said:

'By its nature, law is a demanding career with high expectations from clients and a changing legal market. Many of us are drawn to the intellectual challenge of law and thrive on the high pressure excitement that the work entails.

'Lawyers do not want to let their clients down, which explains why they go to work if sick. It is humbling to see this dedication, but sometimes we need to pause and put our health first.

'Solicitors experiencing stress or other sickness at work should talk to their manager about it. If for any reason they are not comfortable having that conversation, the Law Society has a free helpline to support them.'

The main findings of the survey are:

  • Good health: 88 per cent of solicitors reported being in good health, up from 86 per cent in 2012 and seven percentage points above the national average.
  • Sick days: On average, solicitors took 6.6 days of sick leave in 2013.
  • Work ethic: 45 per cent of solicitors reported going to work when sick leave should have been taken.
  • Stress levels: Almost all (95 per cent) of solicitors said they were stressed, with 16 per cent at 'severe' or 'extreme' levels. The biggest causes were workload and client expectation.

The Law Society has a helpline for solicitors and provides support to LawCare. Solicitors needing advice can speak to:

  • Law Society Pastoral Care Helpline: 020 7320 5795
  • Solicitors Benevolent Association: 020 8675 6440
  • Solicitors Assistance Scheme: 020 7117 8811
  • LawCare: 0800 279 6888


Notes to Editors

  1. Download a summary of the research (PDF 311kb)
  2. 2,226 Practising Certificate holders were interviewed between July and September 2013.
  3. ONS data from the 2011 Census shows that 81 per cent of the working population reported being in good health.

About the Law Society of England and Wales

The Law Society is the independent professional body, established for solicitors in 1825, that works globally to support and represent its members, promoting the highest professional standards and the rule of law.

We aim to be the leading representative of the world's best legal profession, valued as a vital partner by all we serve and engage with.

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