- Lawyers rank 4th among professions in the rate of suicide. Number one? Dentists. Go figure.
- Lawyers are 3.6 times as likely to suffer from depression as other occupational groups. Indeed, being an associate attorney, is the unhappiest job in America.
- Lawyers have higher rates of alcoholism and substance abuse, estimated to be 15-20% of the profession, compared to 9% of the population overall. Forget lawyers for a moment though. Nine percent for the overall population? That’s waaaaay higher than I would have thought.
So, in short, we lawyers are a sad, sad bunch. Some lawyers even write about how much it sucks being a lawyer. Others, just go postal (kind of – we’re lawyers and know the law – shooting someone would be very, VERY bad), quit their jobs and became urban nomads.
The question though, is why?
And the answer, I think, is quite simple. Lawyers don’t get much love. We cost too much, we’re the naysayers (e.g., you can’t do this, you can’t do that, or you shouldn’t have done this or that), and we sue people or try to put them into jail.
That’s why when you pay a lawyer a compliment it means the world to them. Really, I mean it. That’s why I stopped mid-way through discovery responses when I received an email from Bob this morning:
Sure, Bob’s a fellow lawyer and, to some, maybe that doesn’t count. Well it does in my sad, lonely, construction law blogging lawyer’s world. So thanks Bob. This post is for you!
And folks remember . . . give your lawyer a hug every once in awhile. Or even a compliment. They may appreciate it more than you know.