Dr. Avnish Jolly, 22nd September, 2008 :According to latest Australian study has shown that profession of a lawyer can be stressful; moreover psychological stress starts building when lawyers are law students. After the study researchers found out that law student are more stressful as compared to medical or other general students at the university. The study was conducted by the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI), New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The results of this study echoed the findings of the study by the national depression initiative in 2007. This study demonstrated that lawyers reported higher levels of depression and substance misuse as compared to other professionals. Professor Ian Hickie, BMRI, said that law students attributed part of their distress to study pressures. Legal professionals also said they were under pressure at work.
Researchers collected data from 2,400 lawyers and 741 law students from 13 law schools in Australia. Analysis of data showed that 40 per cent of law students suffer from depression. Researchers found out that law students didn’t posses much knowledge about depression. Moreover these students were found reluctant in seeking professional help. They believe that they would face discrimination in the work place as a result of being recognised as a person with depression. The study showed that third of solicitors and one-in-five barristers at law suffer psychological distress associated with disability.
Professor Ian Hickie emphasized that the willingness of the law schools, the Law Society and bar associations to support the study and go on to consider ways to greatly improve the situation was welcome and urgently needed.