Friday, January 22, 2010

High suicide rate within the legal profession

During the first week of class, I spent a little time talking about how it is easy to be unhappy with our work as lawyers if we don't enjoy what we are doing and if we don't really understand our roles as lawyers. We discussed how reports show some lawyers turn to alcohol or drugs and others seem to be depressed or withdrawn. In fact, the American Bar Association has reportedly found that suicide among lawyers occurs two to six times more than among the general population.

Unfortunately, reports of suicides are becoming more frequent. Almost a year ago, the former chair of Kilpatrick Stockton's Supreme Court and appellate advocacy practice, committed suicide in the firm's Washington, D.C., office after losing his job in a round of layoffs. In December the suicide of a Connecticut real estate lawyer was linked to a drop-off in his practice. And today, is reporting that a prominent partner in the Houston office of Baker & Hostetler has also committed suicide. Go here for the full story.

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