How Is Biglaw *Really* Doing On Mental Health Issues?


After years — hell, generations — of ignoring mental health issues in Biglaw, it looks like the industry has finally turned a corner. It’s not like they’ve solved the problem, far from it, but it’s at least a part of the conversation now.

There’s been a proliferation of programs and pledges all designed to encourage lawyers to take care of themselves and their mental health issues. Given the stigma mental health has long had in the legal industry, these are all great steps headed in the right direction.

But we have to wonder, while firms are certainly saying the right things about mental health, what’s it really like on the inside. We recently had a tipster come forward with stories of a Biglaw firm that says they care about mental health, but on the ground fall far short of such lofty goals:

One [Biglaw firm] in particular that signed onto the ABAs pledge to do better in [mental heath] and has moved forward with an initiative (that of course is well marketed all over the legal periodicals), yet still keeps on at least 1 partner who verbally abuses staff and attorneys on a routine basis. Attrition under this person is common as a result of burn out anxiety stress inability to balance work life etc. No surprise, the partner particularly targets and polarizes women. The most senior levels of the firm know of this issue yet do nothing.

So take our poll, and let us know — how are Biglaw firms really doing when it comes to mental health?

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headshotKathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, and host of The Jabot podcast. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).





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