Want to Become a More Effective Lawyer? Practice mindfulness, a new study suggests

  • June 14, 2019
  • Sara Robertson, Lime Horse

For lawyers looking to become more effective in the workplace, a new study suggests that the answer may be found in a practice not typically covered in law school: mindfulness. The legal profession is one in which high stress levels and high burnout rates are common. The toll that work-related anxiety takes on lawyers can lead to a loss of focus, creativity and efficiency. But a recent study conducted by the University of Western Ontario found that mindfulness training successfully helped participants become more effective, happy lawyers.

Research has shown that mental health issues are common within the legal profession. A survey by the Canadian Bar Association found that 58 per cent of lawyers reported experiencing stress/burnout, while 48 per cent experienced anxiety. A 2012 study by the University of Ottawa found that “20 per cent of the entire legal profession suffers from clinically significant levels of substance abuse, depression, anxiety or some other form of psychopathology.” These findings make it clear that mental health must be a priority within the profession, to ensure the wellbeing of lawyers and the sustainability of their legal careers.