Managing Stress in the Legal Field

Written by on August 29, 2012 in Career - No comments | Print this page


StressWhen you’re a woman in the legal field, you’re at particular risk of stress and burnout because you have to meet the demands of a legal career along with the constant need to prove yourself as competent as men. You may also have family concerns to juggle with your career – and if not, people around you who seem to be expecting you to get pregnant at any moment!

Here are some ways women in the legal field can manage stress to perform well without burning out.

1. Take breaks often. 
You might not have time to take a vacation, but you can take five minutes every hour or two to walk down the hall and get a glass of water, listen to a song, or stretch. It’s impossible to sustain complete focus for hours on end. Taking breaks when you feel your focus start to wane will actually improve your performance overall.

2. Rejuvenate when you’re not at work. 
In your time off, you might be tempted to just sleep your days away. If you’re pulling late hours, this is understandable and you should definitely get sleep when you can, but if you’re moping around the house with nothing to do when you’re not at work, you’re not resting very efficiently. Make a list of ways you like to rejuvenate yourself, then try them one at a time in your downtime.

3. Remember: perfect isn’t achievable. 
If you stress out about comparing yourself to the “ideal woman” who manages a legal career, family, and social life with ease, you’ll only hurt yourself. Instead, remember that you’re not going to be perfect. Instead, lower your standards of excellence just slightly and figure out what “good enough” is for you. People don’t want perfection from you – they want you to do a good job, which is better for you than doing a perfect job for a month and then being burnt out for a few months.

4. Exercise when you can. 
One of the best ways to burn stress is by exercising. No matter how out of shape you are or how little time you have, you can make a few minutes to exercise, especially if it means you will burn stress and be more focused, calm, and happy for the rest of the week. You only need to invest fifteen minutes to half an hour about three times a week to reap the benefits. How about walking instead of driving to get lunch, or going for a jog before you head to work in the morning?

Women in the legal field have a lot of stress to manage – not just from the demands of the legal field, but from the pressure to perform just as well as their male counterparts while juggling family demands and trying to avoid burnout. These tips can help you keep the stress to manageable levels.

This is a guest post.  Liz contributed this guest post for HCA Lawyers. Liz is a freelance writer with an extensive background in occupational therapy. She enjoys writing on various online blogs. For more information visit their website

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