Thursday, March 8, 2012
Alcoholism, depression and suicide in the legal profession
Abnormal Use has a story with lots of links to information on a problem we discuss in class and that was the subject of a session at a recent national meeting of the ABA's Center for Professional Responsibility: the fact that the legal profession has higher than average rates of alcoholism, depression and suicide. In fact, a study by Johns Hopkins University found that among more than 100 occupations studied, lawyers were three times more likely to suffer from depression than any other profession. Also, the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse estimates that the rate of alcohol or chemical dependency among lawyers may be twice as high as that of the general population. As if this was not enough, suicide is reportedly the third leading cause of death among attorneys, after cancer and heart disease and the rate of death by suicide for lawyers is nearly six times the suicide rate for the general population. For more information and links to some of the studies that reach these conclusions go here.