Bram geeft zijn mening over de war for talent in de advocatuur

Intro bram

Vandaag publiceert Henchman, een snelgroeiend Belgisch legal tech bedrijf, een expert paper over de problemen in de advocatuur rond work-life balans en de war for talent.

Bram werd gevraagd om zijn mening te delen, en deed dat ook.
Je kan het rapport via deze link downloaden.

Een stukje uit de tekst van Bram:

‘Run, Forrest, Run!’

Overall, the mental health of lawyers is in a really bad shape. Alarming studies appear worldwide on a regular basis and show us that rates of mental illness, like depression, anxiety and stress, are much higher in the legal profession than in the general population. Lawyers are leading the charts and that’s not something to be proud of. In our own country, research showed that 9 out of 10 lawyers experience stress about their work, and around 30 % of them thinks it’s even problematic. They cannot find enough balance between work and private life.

A hard winter is coming for the retention rates in law firms. Fewer young people start at the bar and young lawyers leave law firms sooner than ever before. Research proves that women seem to run away as fast as they can. After ten years almost 50 % of the female starters have left the bar. On top of that, especially young lawyers seem to have the highest stress rates. The high workload and the lack of work-life balance are more decisive reasons to leave the bar than financial ones.

Although we might love the 'Run Forrest Run'- movie scene, this is not a beautiful picture.
The combination of young people leaving the bar at a big scale, and the severe mental health issues, is a toxic cocktail that endangers the future of our profession. I think we are waisting talent on a big scale, and yet there are not enough alarms ringing. Not in bars, and not in law firms itself. The house is already burning, but we all don’t seem to feel the heat. Yet.

When Henchmann asks me if technology can enable a more healthier work environment, the answer is allways ‘yes’, but the health problems are much more profound than that. For me it’s clear that finding ways to be more efficient, f.e. with technology tools, can be game changers in the continuing pressure on lawyers, but like a lot of problems, dealing with the mental health issues of lawyers is a complex problem that find it’s roots probably even more in the culture or mindset of lawyers and law firms, than in the lack of the use of technology.

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