Policy Press

Publishing with Purpose

Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Legal Profession

By Emma Jones, Neil Graffin, Rajvinder Samra and Mathijs Lucassen

Published

24 Sep 2020

Page count

128 pages

ISBN

978-1529210743

Dimensions

203 x 127 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

24 Sep 2020

Page count

128 pages

ISBN

978-1529210767

Dimensions

Imprint

Bristol University Press
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    Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Legal Profession

    Legal professionals are thought to have higher levels of mental health issues and lower levels of wellbeing than the general population.

    Drawing on qualitative data from new research with legal practitioners, this in-depth study of mental health and wellbeing in the UK and Republic of Ireland’s legal sector is a timely contribution to the urgent international debate on these issues.

    The authors present a comprehensive discussion of the cultural, structural and other causes of legal professionals’ compromised wellbeing. They explore the everyday demands and difficulties of the legal working environment and consider the impacts on individuals, the legal profession and wider society.

    Making comparisons with systems overseas, this is an invaluable resource that provides evidence-based suggestions for swift and effective organisational and policy-related interventions in the legal sector.

    “An important, timely and insightful contribution to a debate about wellbeing and mental health in law that is of growing importance internationally.” Richard Collier, Newcastle University

    “Essential reading for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of the factors that compromise mental health in legal professionals, and the action needed to address this.” Elizabeth Rimmer, LawCare

    “The current pandemic has brought mental health into sharp focus. This original book makes timely recommendations for change in structure, culture and practices in the UK legal profession, and uniquely includes empirical evidence in addition to sound theoretical analysis.” Caroline Strevens, University of Portsmouth

    Emma Jones is Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Sheffield. Her research interests focus on the role of emotions and wellbeing in legal education and the legal profession.

    Neil Graffin is Lecturer in Law at The Open University. His interests are within international human rights law, asylum law, as well as law and emotion.

    Rajvinder Samra is Lecturer at The Open University and a Chartered Psychologist. Her research interests focus on the factors that increase risk of human error and reduced performance in the workplace, including chronic work stress and burnout.

    Mathijs Lucassen is Senior Lecturer in Mental Health at The Open University and an honorary academic in Psychological Medicine at the University of Auckland.

    Introduction: Unhealthy Justice, Damaged Society

    Late to the Party? Legal Practice and Wellbeing

    Catch ’Em Early: Making a Lawyer

    Law as a Commodity, Individuals as Packages

    The Daily Toil: Interactional Demands and Difficulties

    The “S” Word: Stress and the Legal Profession

    Conclusion: Challenging the Status Quo: A Manifesto for Change