It’s one of those things that we kind of don’t talk about.
And it’s something we need to talk about.
Law is a stressful subject and career. From the first day of law school, you are pushing yourself. Your mental health is left on the sidelines. Your mental wellness takes a back seat because you want to get where you want so bad.
A bit of determination and drive never killed anyone- but sometimes we drive ourselves to make ourselves mentally ill. And, this is something we never discuss.
Of course, in law, clients are important, but so are you just as much. Your mental health is so important- just as important as physical health. It is the thing that drives you to wake up in the morning, the thing that helps you achieve your dreams or go after what you really want in life.
Law is hugely competitive- something I don’t think people will understand unless they study it. And, this competitive sense of being good or being crap begins in law school. Your classmates aren’t really your friends- they are people who will compete against you for TC, they’ll compete against you for the vac scheme.
They’ll compete against you in cases in the future.
And, I’ve mentioned this before, that a bit of competition is healthy and does create a sense of drive, however it can also destroy you.
We spend a lot of time comparing how far we’ve come compared to other people- maybe your class mate has a TC before they even began their GDL, and that’s amazing, but it can be a rare thing. Maybe they started their law journey before you, maybe they know someone in that firm who helped with that and had some inside knowledge.
You can’t compare your achievements, or your journey with other people, however we do. It harms us badly, and our mental health really is ruined by the fast natured way of law.
It takes a certain type of individual to do law- you sometimes have to sell your soul, and your life, and your social time for your career. And, some people want to do that, and their passionate about it, but your mental health really can deteriorate in such a high pressured career.
With high expectations, and no room for mistakes- lawyers, law students and people go into law really need to consider their mental health once in a while.
As someone who has experience, I know that once you have healthy mental health then everything else will fall into place. You will succeed, you will be healthy and you will prosper.
You can’t run a car without petrol, so why would you try to succeed when you’re burned out and crashing?
Law is a high paced career and subject to study- and we have to make sure that we discuss mental health and keep it as an important topic. There are so many young people who aspire to study law, and look forward to a career, but we need to let them know that we’re average people who struggle, too.