Legal News

Increase in Kentucky Lawyer Suicides Exposes the Unique Stresses of the Profession
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

Being a lawyer can be more depressing than other professions. Though suicide and depression studies don’t often look at the problem occupationally, there are some old studies to explain why there has been a rash of lawyer suicides lately. One older study in 1991 of John Hopkins University found that lawyers are 3.6 times more likely to be depressed than average, and 1997 study in Canada found they were six times as likely to commit suicide than the average person.

Jim Dinwiddie, Harry Rankin, and Ross Turner all killed themselves recently. Each had his own story, his own reasons, but each was a lawyer in Kentucky. At least a dozen lawyers in Kentucky have committed suicide since 2010, and each for their own reason. Ross, for instance, helped fight the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville over priest abuse, and a friend said “Ross never seemed the same to me,” after the pain of the case.

  
What
Where


That might explain why lawyers struggle with depression. They have ideals, hopes, a genuine love and hope for justice to be done, and are disappointed when justice isn’t done, when their sacrifice and pains are in fact scoffed at and they themselves are blamed for the injustice.

“They learn that justice is not always done. Innocent people are abused and some go to prison. People guilty of terrible wrongs go free,” wrote State Supreme Court Justice Bill Cunningham. “They worry that all the lost hours and missed holidays with family and friends…do not matter…They become like a weak-kneed boxer in the 15th round. They keep flailing away. But they lose purpose. They lose hope.”

“Everybody hates lawyers,” said Louisville trial lawyer Hans Poppe, as Courier-journal.com reported, “except for their own lawyer.”

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!




Though the stories of lawyers who commit suicide vary from issues of marital fidelity to working without a proper license, to other various issues, the common denominator of working in a difficult profession that frustrates their hopes may be a core part of what leads lawyers to higher depression than average. Suicide happens to be an occupational hazard for lawyers, much the way it is with poets. Keeping that in mind, and learning to be kind to oneself, and getting the help you need, is part of being a good lawyer.

The Kentucky Lawyer Assistant Program can be reached at (502) 564-3795 and at kylap dot org; they can offer confidential assistant for depression, suicide, and other problems lawyers might face.





 

Interesting Legal Sites You May Like


BCG FEATURED JOB

Locations:

Keyword:



Search Now

Personal Injury Attorney with 3+ Years of Experience

USA-CA-Sherman Oaks

Sherman Oaks office of our client is seeking a personal injury attorney with 3+ years of CA experien...

Apply Now

Senior Trust and Estate Attorney/ Of Counsel

USA-CA-San Diego

San Diego office is seeking a trust and estate attorney at either the senior associate or of counsel...

Apply Now

Mid-level Litigation Securities Associate Attorney

USA-NY-New York City

New York City office of an AmLaw firm seeks Mid-level Litigation Securities Associate Attorney with ...

Apply Now

RELEVANT JOBS

Attorney at Law

USA-FL-Tampa

Tampa headquartered law firm seeks Florida Bar licensed attorney with 1-5 years of experience in lit...

Apply now

Independent Contractor - Litigation / Family Law Attorney

USA-KS-Overland Park

Established and highly rated law firm looking for part-time, remote assistance with litigation suppo...

Apply now

Attorney

USA-UT-Lehi

I\'m currently seeking an estate planning attorney to join our legal team. Juris Doctor from a...

Apply now

General Counsel for Large Nevada Corporation

USA-NV-Las Vegas

GENERAL COUNSEL POSITION AVAILABLE FOR LARGE NEVADA CORPORATION This position demands a seasoned ...

Apply now

Most Popular

SEARCH IN ARCHIVE

To Top