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Episode 113 Buy Episode

The Fortitude Project: Building a Mentally Healthy Profession

Law as stated: 30 January 2024 What is this? This episode was published and is accurate as at this date.
Legal superstar and social media sensation Jahan Kalantar unites with DT to tackle mitigating and managing vicarious trauma among lawyers. Touching on personal and business strategies, support networks, and the critical importance of a mentally healthy legal profession.
Bullying and Harassment Bullying and Harassment
Practice Management and Business Skills Practice Management and Business Skills
Professional Skills Professional Skills
Jahan Kalantar
Jahan Kalantar
1 hour = 1 CPD point
How does it work?
What area(s) of law does this episode consider?Vicarious trauma.
Why is this topic relevant?Vicarious trauma – that is, trauma experienced by an individual after empathetically engaging with someone else’s trauma – is a pervasive concern within the legal profession, with our close exposure to our clients’ problems. Because, alongside navigating legislation, regulations, case law – and other lawyers – practitioners often find themselves at the forefront of some of the most difficult moments in the lives of their clients.
What are the main points?
  • The mental health of lawyers is impacted by the high-conflict nature of the profession
  • Legal practitioners stand by clients during some of the worst moments of their lives, and this exposure can lead to emotional burdens for lawyers themselves.
  • Personal experiences can also impact a lawyer’s sensitivity to certain cases, such as resemblances to family members or personal connections to events.
  • Vicarious trauma comprises emotional distress from dealing with clients’ traumatic experiences.
  • Strategies for maintaining well-being include understanding individual mental health needs and taking breaks from work.
  • Delegating or work share arrangements can help alleviate vicarious trauma and provide a support system amongst coworkers.
  • The legal profession is in a state of change, with an increase in lawyers starting their own practices to create healthier working environments.
What are the practical takeaways?
  • Being self-aware of your own mental health, knowing personal triggers, and developing coping strategies is key.
  • Support systems, like psychologists, psychiatrists, and GP relationships, are incredibly important. Sometimes these relationships take time to build.
  • Change up your support system if you feel you don’t quite mesh with a mental health provider.
  • Work colleagues spend significant time together, and it’s vital to support each other’s mental health.
  • Law firms should have strategies in place to prevent burnout and provide support for lawyers experiencing vicarious trauma.