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Recent 2016 Study

Prevalence of Mental Health & Alcohol Problems in Lawyers – Landmark ABA Study

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The first nationwide empirical study in 25 years confirms lawyers have significant drug or alcohol problems or mental health problems, more so than other professionals or the general population. And lawyers are not seeking the help they need, for the wrong reasons. Researchers hope this data will promote change within the profession.

Companion Article and Analysis to ABA Landmark Study

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This article summarizes and captures some of the highlights and most notable statistics from the empirical study conducted by the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Addiction Medicine in February 2016. The actual research article is to the left, and below is a companion article more suitable for distribution at CLE events or Bar functions.

Older Research 1991-2004

Howerton Research (3-23-04)

Overview

“…The legal profession, like all other cultures, functions a bit like a huge campfire around which people tell stories deep into the night. Whether the stories are humorous, outrageous, poignant, or distressing, together they capture the tone and texture of what it feels like to practice law today…”
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Howerton Research (3-23-04)

Abstract

“…Since the mid-1980’s, studies indicate that lawyers are experiencing depression in numbers which exceed that of the normal population. Such circumstances have an impact on lawyers’ professional responsibilities and their important relationships. This study sought to observe depression by examining…”
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Howerton Research (3-23-04)

Chapter 1

“…The legal profession, over many years, has developed a complexity of traditions which have given it distinction. Steven Keeva, a senior editor of the American Bar Association Journal, described the practice of law as follows…”
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Howerton Research (3-23-04)

Chapter 5

“…The purpose of this study was to examine variables previously reported to have some relationship to depression in lawyers (e.g., alcohol abuse and perceived stress) and to add new variables (e.g., attributional style and work addiction) which had not been examined in the literature…”
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Quality of Life 1991 Summary

“…The Quality of Life Task Force of the North Carolina Bar Association (“NCBA”) was formed under the direction of President Larry McDevitt in July 1989 against a backdrop of national media and professional surveys indicating a severe level of dissatisfaction with law practice among some attorneys…”
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2003 State of the Profession and Quality of Life Survey

North Carolina CHief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism State of the Profession and Quality of Life Survey.
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A Preliminary Summary of Date Collected in the Work-Life Balance Survey of North Carolina Young Lawyers 2004

“…One of the most difficult issues facing the legal profession today is the attrition of young lawyers. As the economic pressures associates with success and advancement in the legal marketplace have taken on new definitions and measures, young lawyers have chosen to change legal employers, or leave the practice of law altogether…”
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2005 State of the Profession and Quality of Life Survey

North Carolina Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism State of the Profession and Quality of Life Survey. Random Sample Report.
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