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Law Council of Australia


Wellness and Sustainable Legal Practice for the Modern Lawyer

Speech delivered online by Mr Tass Liveris, Law Council of Australia President, at the Law Society of Singapore’s virtual Presidents’ Roundtable for Bar Leaders to mark the Opening of the Legal Year, 10 January 2022.

"Good afternoon. It is a pleasure to be with you to mark the Opening of the Legal Year. I would like to congratulate President Tan and Vice Presidents [Lisa] Sam and [Jason] Chan on their election.

“Junior Lawyer Burnout: High pay can’t stop exit from elite firms” blared the headline in one of Australia’s leading national daily newspapers just last week.

The article went on to chronicle the global crisis confronting our profession as workloads take their toll on lawyers’ mental and physical health. It included interviews with lawyers around the world who had experienced insomnia, exhaustion, stress and panic attacks.

We also know that lawyers experience depression, substance abuse and suicide at higher rates than the general population.

The article said attrition is the number one topic of conversation amongst heads of firms.

The challenges faced by members of our profession are not just workload based. A small number of studies have suggested that lawyers experience more post traumatic stress disorder symptoms (PTSD) than other helping professions, such as mental health workers.

While more research in this area is needed, we are becoming increasingly aware of the issue of vicarious trauma in the context of the legal profession."

Read the full speech below.


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