Sources of Stress in Legal Practice

  1. There are several sources of stress in legal practice.
  2. As mentioned earlier, stress is not necessarily a bad thing. Pressure from clients, Senior Partners and within themselves push lawyers to aim for excellence and perform well.
  3. What lawyers need to look out for is excessive stress. The excessive stress may come from the following sources:
  • Clients who demand top performance and legal service from their lawyers 24/7;
  • Overly heavy case load due to the need to meet unrealistic billing targets;
  • Exacting judges;
  • Anxiety or fear of failing clients, losing those clients and losing income and one's good reputation;
  • Demanding or unreasonable senior partners who are only concerned about the bottom line;
  • Difficult colleagues who are uncooperative or who deliberately sabotage cases;
  • Stiff competition within and outside of law firm;
  • Tight deadlines for contentious / non-contentious work, with little room for adjustments;
  • Reduced resources to complete more work, especially in an economic recession.