Ethical Pressure & Mental Wellness

Conflicted over your moral boundaries when it comes to legal work?

Stuck between a rock and a hard place? Being a barrister means that these questions can crop up from time to time - potentially with every different case. There’s a lot of emotionally distressing cases, some just down-right difficult cases, and some cases where they’re just extremely stressful. Point is legal work is hard and mentally challenging.

According to Obelisk London, around 30-40% of survey respondents shared that they face ethical pressure at work, with 10-15% saying they experienced ‘elevated’ ethical pressure. This highlights how ethical issues are prominent in the legal profession, thus reinforcing the notions that those working in the legal industry have internal struggles which can affect not only their mental wellbeing, but also their work.

Barristers might wonder what’s in the best interest of their client, what’s in the best interest for themselves, what abides by or challenges their ethics. These questions alone can be tough, but sometimes they conflict with each other, and a more challenging problem arises. The Bar Council do have an Ethics & Practice Hub to aid barristers and solicitors with their ethical dilemmas, but other than reading, there’s no full support available and the guides still don’t take away the stress of the situations.

At UKIM Occupational Health and Wellbeing, we recognise this and want to take some of the mental load off barristers around the UK. With our latest Wellbeing in Legal Services package, barristers will be able to talk about the ethical dilemmas that may be playing on their mind and feel better for it.

The ethical pressures faced by barristers can cause other problems including stress, anxiety, trouble sleeping, burnout etc. It doesn’t always just stop there; sometimes, depending on the person and how they cope with things, their mental health can impact their physical health too. The dilemmas (as well as other work or life issues) can cause some physical issues such as exhaustion, stomach aches, nausea and more. This is why mental health should always be supported so that individuals can feel good and in turn feel good about their work.