14:57, September 23 47 0 abajournal.com

2019-09-23 14:57:06
42% of summer associates surveyed say they are concerned about mental health

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Mental health is a concern and work-life balance a priority for many summer associates surveyed by the American Lawyer this year.

Forty-two percent said they are concerned about mental health or well-being as an attorney, the American Lawyer reports. It was the first time the publication asked about the issue in its survey of more than 3,600 summer associates at 82 of the world’s largest firms.

“It’s no secret that working in BigLaw is often unsustainable for a majority of the population,” one summer associate said. “The hours are long and you face incredible stress.”

Others pointed to high rates of substance abuse among lawyers, and some even commented on alcohol use they observed during their summer employment.

In keeping with fears about law firm stress, work-life balance was most often listed as a top-three factor the law students consider in evaluating a law firm’s job offer. Forty-six percent said work-life balance was the most important factor, 43% listed strength in practice area and 37% listed desire to live in a particular city.

The average satisfaction level reported by the summer associates, on a scale of 1 to 5, was 4.76. Four law firms received top ratings of 5.0. They are Clifford Chance, Duane Morris, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, and Stroock & Stroock & Lavan.

The firm that improved the most in the rankings was Drinker Biddle & Reath, which jumped from last place in 2018 to fifth place this year.