You’ve already been at the office Eleven hours. The senior partner you’re employed with is on your case about a research memo you haven’t even had a chance to begin. That difficult client who insists on calling several times a week to complain about everything under the sun is at it again. oh, and you’ve got a brief due tomorrow that you have no idea how you’re going to get finished on time. you’re exhausted and overwhelmed and its only Monday.  Sound familiar?

There’s no way around it: being a lawyer is stressful. Every profession can be stressful at times, and the adversarial nature of law practice debatably makes it one of the more stressful professions.  Whether private law firm, government agency, large or small firm, things can get hairy at times. everyone feels overwhelmed, overworked and underappreciated at times. With so many responsibilities striving for your attention, it’s sometimes hard to remember to check in and take the time to take care of yourself.

Where does this stress originate? 

Some studies indicate that the origins of stress are in the following causes:

  • At every step today, the inhumanity of humans tests one’s patience. Over 80% chances are that it is in this bracket.
  • Long standing demands being refused not always with good reason are 75% in character.
  • Interpersonal conflicts with loved ones come at an excruciatingly painful 60% in the list of probabilities.
  • Money problems can account for 50% of the problems. We are obviously not ready to live with less.
  • The pace of life is constant and furious. Rush here and rush there and at the end of the day there is always somebody or something still demanding attention. 40% of the causes of stress can be traced here. Obviously we are not all James Bond.
  • Then there are insidious causes over which we have even less control than over the ones mentioned above, such as noise, which the general public does not fully understand and is itself responsible for creating.
  • Fears of unknown origins are always at the back of one’s mind due to news of crimes around us. Who knows when our turn is written on the cards?
  • Health is always a factor and nobody enjoys full, unadulterated good health. This not only compromises one’s ability to endure stress but induces more stress into the system.
  • We may not accept it, but we are definitely affected by all that nonsensical violence and emotional disturbances that we allow ourselves to see and be affected by from the small and big screen.

Consequences of Stress

Bottling up stress and not properly dealing with it is bound to bite you in the behind sooner or later.  Stress can take an emotional and physical toll.  It can lead to depression, anxiety and feelings of hopelessness.  Chronic stress can cause muscle aches, upset stomach, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system.  It can lead to burnout and poor job performance. Problems associated with stress at work often find a way of spilling over and affecting your family relationships or personal life.  Unfortunately, it can also lead to substance abuse problems.

Does the legal fraternity ever think on this little fact – that by not speeding up justice, they are contributing to increase in stress in the daily lives of everyone concerned? A good question: what have they done to reduce this? If they are even willing!

The human psyche lives under a heightened level of apprehensions and expectations have multiplied.


– Prof. Pradeep Kumar Mahesh 

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