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National Stress Awareness Day

Today is National Stress Awareness Day, but at Mansfield Solicitors & Advocates Limited we are aware 365 days a year that at various points in our lives staff can be under stress.

Whilst legal work is extremely fulfilling it can be stressful and that can lead to serious problems if left unchecked.

Stress usually happens when we are in a situation that we don’t feel we can manage or control.

According to the Bloomberg Law survey from 614 in house and private practice solicitors’, respondents felt burnout 52% of the time in their practice areas which is an increase since the last survey in 2021.

What are the signs of lawyer burnout?

  1. Constantly feeling tired
  2. Irritability and panic attacks
  3. Lack of focus
  4. Work cynicism
  5. Substance abuse
  6. Physical symptoms and complaints

Intense competition and demands of the job to attract more clients and to ensure that existing clients are satisfied with their services cause lawyers to work longer and harder. But boundaries should be set to ensure work doesn’t run like water through all aspects of your life.

It is as important as a business plan to have a plan in your firm to address stress to get the most out of your staff and to encourage staff retention and wellbeing.

To support our staff and to produce a working environment where staff can not only survive but thrive in their careers, we encourage staff to take breaks in the morning and afternoon as well as an hour lunch break.

Whilst we are all guilty of using the hour for lunch as an hour away from the phones to get our heads down and focus on more complex matters, as a firm we recognise the longer-term benefits of taking breaks, going outside, and walking in the fresh air.

We make time every week for one to ones with each individual in the team and their manager to address any work-related queries, ensure that the workload is manageable so that we can offer support in a time effective manner.

Offering a hybrid working environment of remote and office-based work has also been very beneficial to staff particularly in recent years when as a country we are facing what seems to be a long and protracted period of uncertainty and unrest in the world which affects us all both financially and emotionally.

That having been said we are conscious that there needs to be boundaries between work and your personal life, and we recognise that as a profession workloads are increasing and pressure is rising in the current economic climate.

Our managers actively dissuade staff from burning the midnight oil and regard case management and our clients are a shared responsibility. If it is necessary for an individual to work longer hours, then the firm recognises that is unsustainable and reviews working practices regularly.

We also have a policy that deals specifically with stress

  • To ensure the physical and mental health of all employees;
  • To promote a healthy, safe and friendly working environment and control and reduce risks to mental health;
  • To help provide and maintain a supportive and non-judgmental working environment;
  • To provide effective support to all employees in managing stress and other mental health problems, and to encourage better recognition of mental health issues; and
  • To recognise that the prevention of stress is easier than dealing with it once it has arisen.


We also have an open-door policy between the staff and senior managers so that issues of stress and mental health can be discussed whether that relates to the working environment or staff’s personal lives.

One of the most positive outcomes from the covid lock downs was that through Microsoft Teams meetings being interrupted by barking dogs and toddlers pottering around in the background staff across the country no longer feel the pressure to pretend that they live in isolation. We all have family commitments, friends we are concerned about, bills to pay and compassion for our neighbours.

We need to continue to build on this progress and to support each other to reach our full potential.