News : Scots Lawyers Made 58 Calls to Legal Practitioner Helpline
Benfleet, Essex, UK, Jan 7, 2016 -- Thirty-six lawyers in Scotland made 58 calls to a helpline for practitioners last year, with 30 per cent of calls relating to stress. People also called about depression (17 per cent), disciplinary issues (14 per cent), bullying (11 per cent) and other issues (28 per cent) – including career development problems, drugs, alcohol and panic attacks.
LawCare, who published the findings, said the figures are generally in line with overall percentages, although bullying is slightly higher. However, with such a small sample the charity noted it would be wrong to assume that there is more of a problem with bullying in the profession in Scotland compared with other jurisdictions.
In 2015 LawCare changed the way it recorded calls to its free and confidential helpline. Rather than recording the number of callers, it started recording the number of calls.
There were four reasons for this change:
- It gives a much clearer picture of how busy the helpline is
Since it’s not always easy to ascertain whether someone has called before, it gives a more accurate figure
- A person may call back several months later about a different problem; under the old system, this would still be counted as only one case
- It is in line with the way other helplines record calls, as well as the way other related figures are recorded ; for example, websites record visits not visitors.
There were 907 calls to the LawCare helpline in 2015, made by 496 people. This is slightly higher than the 473 people who called the helpline in 2014. By far the most common issue callers reported was workplace stress, at 30 per cent of the calls. This was followed by depression (20 per cent), disciplinary issues (12 per cent), financial problems (5 per cent) and alcohol (4 per cent). Issues which made up the remaining 29 per cent included ethical issues, bullying or harassment, gambling addiction, career development problems and relationship issues. 65 per cent of callers were female and 35 per cent male. 39 per cent of callers were trainees or had been qualified five years or less. The professional breakdown was as follows:
• Solicitor (England and Wales) – 57 per cent
• Barrister (England and Wales) – 19 per cent
• Solicitor (Scotland) – 7 per cent
• Solicitor (Northern Ireland) – 6 per cent
• Solicitor (Republic of Ireland) – 4 per cent
• Chartered Legal Executive – 4 per cent
• Paralegal – 2 per cent
• Other (Barrister [Northern Ireland], Barrister [Republic of Ireland], Barristers Clerk, Judge) – 1 per cent
LawCare provides free and confidential support and advice to all sectors of the legal profession, including staff and families, suffering problems such as stress, depression or addiction to alcohol or drugs.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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LawCare is an advisory and support service to help lawyers, their staff and their immediate families to deal with health problems such as depression and addiction, and related emotional difficulties.
Published: Monday, January 11, 2016