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We must end the scandalous treatment of young lawyers

The legal profession is notorious for its lack of a support system – and it is would-be lawyers who are bearing the brunt, says Felix

26 March 2012

Recently there has been some discussion about the unmentionable cost of pressure at work or at home that leads people in later professional life to develop alcohol dependency. The legal professions have long been convivial places – at the Bar there has always been a strong drinking culture in the social sense. We lead professionally isolated lives, accountable to nobody in terms of hours, the working day and our work practices – other than being on top of one’s brief by the time that the case is called on, with all that that entails. We travel long distances, have early morning starts and late returns – we sit up late at night and we have early finishes – by 11 o’clock sometimes. A case listed for two weeks that you have spent all weekend working on becomes non-effective on Monday and there is then time on your hands that is only partly filled by a couple of outstanding advices and listening to an interview tape. So, when we are free we are sociable – we like each othe...

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