Sunday, December 16, 2007

Even Lawyers Get the Blues

The Wall Street Journal has a good article about lawyers with depression, and some responsese in the profession. Sue Shellenbarger, Even Lawyers Get the Blues: Opening Up About Depression, Wall St. J., Dec. 13, 2007, at D1.

The website includes a video interview with a young litigation partner who discusses his own bout with depression and substance abuse -- and the senior partner in the firm who helped him get treatment. (Ironically, since one message is seeking work-life balance, you have to watch a Jaguar ad to get to the video. Remember, a hot car might not be worth a lifetime of 80-hour weeks.)

For more information: Lawyers with Depression, mentioned in the article.

The article also mentions a video from the State Bar of Texas, "Practicing from the Shadows: Depression and the Legal Profession." That led me to the website for the Texas Lawyers Assistance Program, which has links to lots of information about mood disorders, stress relief, substance abuse, suicide, and more.

Locally, see the list of Counseling Resources on the law school's website.

I've tried depression and I don't recommend it -- but I do recommend getting help when you need it.

An extra note (Dec. 20): The article refers to research at the University Arizona by Connie Beck and others. That article is: Connie J.A. Beck, Bruce D. Sales & G. Andrew H. Benjamin, Lawyer Distress: Alcohol-Related Problems and Other Psychological Concerns among a Sample of Practicing Lawyers, 10 J.L. & Health 1 (1995-1996), available on Hein Online (UW restricted). It reports findings from a survey of hundreds of Washington State attorneys. Andy Benjamin is an affiliate professor at the UW.

Dec. 22: Andy offers to send a copy of the article to anyone who'd like it but doesn't have access to HeinOnline. Write to him at (gahb54|at|

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