Michelle Suskauer, President of The Florida Bar, is a leading voice on a variety of issues facing today’s lawyers. In a recent article by the Daily Business Review (which has also been picked up by the National Law Journal), Michelle discusses the results of a recent survey by the Young Lawyers Division of The Florida Bar.
The survey suggests that:
nearly one-third of fledgling lawyers would not apply for law school knowing what they now do about the field, many take little or no vacation, and 58% of respondents have considered changing careers, switching to a different firm or practice, and feel the legal work is becoming ‘less desirable.’
The survey took place between between November 15, 2018 and December 6, 2018, polling 1,967 attorneys throughout the state of Florida, and was conducted as part of the Young Lawyers Division and The Florida Bar’s 5th Annual “Health and Wellness Month for Florida Lawyers.”
President of the Young Lawyers Division of The Florida Bar, Christian George, said:
the survey was designed to gauge the mental health and wellness of attorneys who had recently entered the workforce, to then fine tune programs and resources aimed at providing relief.
The survey revealed:
one-third of respondents said stress had caused them to leave a law office in the past, and more 25% reported they felt they are unable to balance their lives with their legal careers.
Almost one-third of those polled said time constraints kept them from taking more vacation time in 2018.
While the survey may have painted a picture of some discontentment within the legal profession, Michelle Suskauer says that these important challenges represent an opportunity for the profession:
It’s a challenge but it’s an opportunity… It’s an opportunity to say, ‘What can we do better to help our young lawyers? What can we do better to help lawyers, all of our lawyers, in dealing with these issues?’
Michelle says she hopes the survey data will not only provide critical insight to future bar leaders on the concerns and challenges faced by Florida lawyers, but more importantly what to focus on improving going forward:
I know this is going to help frame the opportunities for future presidents, young lawyers and bar presidents moving forward… They’re tough numbers, but they’re instructional.
I think data always helps you fine tune. … It makes you rethink what are the programs we have and how can we do better?
For the complete survey, click below: