Attorney Source of Stress Survey
Thank you for participating in this survey! Your responses are anonymous. Please reach out to Meri at
to discuss your answers in more detail if you wish.
Number of years in practice
Prefer not to say
Where do you live?
Western Montana- in a rural area
Western Montana- in a city
South-Central Montana- in a rural area
South-Central Montana- in a city
North-Central Montana- in a rural area
North-Central Montana- in a city
Eastern Montana- in a rural area
Eastern Montana- in a city
Did you have a career before becoming a lawyer?
Why did you want to become a lawyer?
How satisfied are you with the practice of law, generally?
What is most satisfying about being a lawyer? (choose up to 4)
Work flexibility (e.g. time spent at work)
Preventing harm to others
Working with other professionals
In your own words, what do you like most about being a lawyer?
Do you follow any rituals to savor these positive aspects of legal work? (e.g. a gratitude journal or celebrating victories with staff)
I practice gratitude (journal, notes to others, or in mindfulness to myself)
Me (or me and my staff) give credit and recognition to others on a regular basis..
I/we celebrate large and small victories.
I/We make a point to stay positive- we have a positive mission statement and encourage one another
I/We provide financial incentives/recognition.
What do you find stressful about the practice of law? (please choose up to 4)
Lack of autonomy
Lack of control over my schedule
Unable to balance work and home life
Dealing with difficult people
Being in constant conflict
Lack of credit/recognition for my successes
I feel hopeless that I'll be able to achieve good outcomes for people.
My day-to-day tasks are not what I expected them to be when I envisioned being a lawyer.
Politics inside my law firm
Lack of organization/clear expectations inside my law firm
Constantly needing to lower client's unrealistic expectations
The volume of communication needed to keep everyone up to date and happy
Needing to engage in conflict with other attorneys who are my friends
Optional: Please explain your answer to the previous question
Do you feel a more global sense of dissatisfaction with the law? E.g. It was not what I envisioned, I feel trapped by my decision and now have student loan debt. Or no, I feel a great sense of honor and pride in being able to advocate for others. Yes/No and explain:
If you answered NO to the previous question, and you are satisfied with the practice of law, do you have any belief about what has helped you to feel such satisfaction? (Choose up to 3)
I have a strong vision for my professional life and stick to it.
I ritualistically adhere to my plans for self-care
I have achieved enough autonomy to choose my cases/clients/workload/work times
My workplace is aware of the stressors that comes with the practice and is supportive of minimizing them and fostering wellness
I genuinely love the things that are traditionally stressors: high work load, conflict, etc.
I might be a work-a-holic but I'm okay with that.
I have other outlets to cultivate other skills that help balance my career, such as volunteering or hobbies
The financial gain that comes with the profession
Do you believe the stresses presented in the legal profession are unreasonable to endure?
No: these are common and we should find a way to cope
Yes: these stresses are too much and something about the legal profession needs to change.
Do you engage in rituals that help you manage these stressors? (Choose up to 4 favorites)
Nothing in particular
Breaks throughout the day (walks/coffee/social, etc)
Meditation and Mindfulness
Time with family
Alcohol (of any type- minor to major use)
Refining the systems that cause stress (e.g. working on a system for better calendar control, better communication in office, etc)
I work on the interpersonal skills I need to handle all the conflict (e.g. how to have difficult conversations, negotiations, HR discussions, etc)
Therapy, coaching, or any other work with professional outsider
In your own words, what are your best ways to manage stress?
How to you make sure you have time/space to implement your stress management tools? (Choose up to 4)
Same time every day
My family knows this is when I ___ [work out/meditate/etc] and do not interrupt.
My staff/office knows this is when I ___ [work out/meditate/etc] and do not interrupt.
I have an accountability buddy
i use a paid service
It is automatic for me, It is my way of life and I would never leave it out.
My office has a targeted program that helps me remember (e.g. required breaks, wellness activities, etc.)
I don't! I often times don't get to it.
Other Comments/Concerns or Questions!
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