Lawyers, Take Good Care of Yourselves and Your Colleagues

DC Bar Association President Brigida Benitez quotes these alarming statistics in "Seeking Balance in a Stressful Profession." Being a lawyer is stressful. Looking for a new job is stressful, whether you've been laid off or you're just looking for new challenges. If you need help, or know someone who does, please contact your bar association. Many, like the DC Bar Association, have counselors who truly understand the unique issues and needs of attorneys. If you're a DC attorney, please contact the Lawyer Assistance Program for confidential help. LAP counselors can be reached at a private number (202-347-3131) or at

Lawyers are 3.6 times more likely to suffer from depression than nonlawyers, and the legal profession has the fourth highest suicide rate compared with other occupations, according to the latest available data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (In 1996 attorneys had the highest rate of suicide.) Lawyers also have much higher rates of alcohol and substance abuse (about 15 percent to 20 percent, compared with 9 percent for the overall population).