The position of attorney is a career aspiration of many young people studying law. A position as an attorney is one of high reward. The career respect is significant and the income ranges from moderate to lofty. There is a great deal of fascination surrounding attorneys. However, being a professional attorney does not come without a down side. The stress and pressure placed on attorneys to perform can be very heavy. Clients of attorneys typically have a great deal at stake in the case they hired an attorney to represent them in. This means their expectations of their attorney are incredibly high. Some attorneys are not phased by this pressure while others are rattled to their core because of it.
Many young attorneys start out very optimistic in their career path, full of ideals to uphold the law and practice it diligently. However, it is only a matter of time before they confront the intense challenges of the courtroom, as well as their first few losses. Facing an attorney who outperforms them can either be educational or unnerving. Part of being an attorney is rising above the losses and defeats, learning how to better navigate the courtroom and learning from mistakes. Some burgeoning legal professionals meet this challenge head on while others become crushed by it.
The stress begins to build when a lost case or a series of lost cases work their way under an attorney’s skin. Their confidence in their abilities may begin to fracture at that point and they are likely to develop courtroom performance anxiety. This can be highly detrimental to an attorney’s career if they cannot reason their way out of it. Strong personalities use these experiences to become even stronger, but more sensitive personalities may turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms in order to deal with the stress they are experiencing. Unfortunately, drug and alcohol problems frequently make their way into the lives of stressed out attorneys.