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Is your legal career making you anxious?

Catherine Oh, ESG Lead
Estimated read time: 2 Minutes

Is your legal career making you anxious?

This week (15 to 21 May 2023) is Mental Health Awareness Week – an annual event promoted by the Mental Health Foundation intended to encourage the whole of the UK to focus on achieving good mental health. This year the theme of the week is anxiety – a feeling that all lawyers will have experienced to some degree during their career.

Anxiety is a normal, human emotion but, like stress, if it gets out of control, it can lead to mental health problems. Anxiety may be triggered by all sorts of things, exams, financial issues, significant life events, social situations, relationships, starting a new job or losing a job.

Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to manage the feelings of anxiety we all feel from time to time. For example:

  • Exercise – it doesn’t have to be vigorous, going for a walk or doing some stretching is enough.
  • Try breathing, relaxation, mindfulness and meditation exercises.
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Connect with people through activities such as volunteering, sport or social clubs, or peer support groups. Talk about how you feel.
  • Get enough quality sleep.
  • Try to avoid junk food and eat a healthy diet – sugar and caffeine can affect sleep and have a detrimental effect on your mood.
  • Keep a diary. Recording what’s happening in your life and how it’s affecting you can help you understand what is triggering your feelings of anxiety. Knowing this can help you prepare for and manage situations that may cause anxiety.

For further information and support for anxiety issues, there are lots of useful tips and guidance on the Mental Health Foundation website.

Anxiety and the legal profession

It’s no exaggeration to say that the risk of suffering from anxiety for those working in the legal profession is higher than for many others.

The very nature of the work (which can be highly deadline driven), the adversarial tradition of the courts, the emotional toll of supporting your clients in highly stressful situations, not to mention the demands that come with being a more senior lawyer or partner in a traditional law firm, all contribute to an environment where it’s very easy for anxiety to get a grip.

Nexa’s consultants enjoy better mental health

We know from talking to our self-employed consultants here at Nexa that the benefits they enjoy from working differently have a highly positive effect on their mental health.

Time and again we hear that the management, financial and business development pressures of being a lawyer or partner in a law firm really take their toll.

At Nexa there are no targets or internal politics and working with us allows our consultants to take control of their lives and feel empowered. They decide what work to do and when they do it, freeing up time to do the other things they love, whether that is spending time with their families, dog or hobbies! All this adds up to a great work/life balance which can be instrumental in keeping work- based anxiety at bay.

Consultants’ stories

Don’t just take our word for it! Check out some of our consultants’ stories here, here and here.

Ready to find out more?

If you’re interested in finding out a bit more detail about life as a consultant lawyer and what we can offer you at Nexa, check out our careers pages here or, have a look at our brochure. For a confidential, no obligation chat, contact David Roth.


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