Mental Wellbeing and Fulfillment for Litigators: Sara Lord Interviews Gary Miles

This episode is dedicated to Mental Health Awareness Month — May 2024 — in which we explore some of the keys to achieving wellbeing as a human litigator.

Lawyers contemplate suicide at “an exceedingly high rate.” Whereas 4.2% of adults have reported contemplating suicide, that figure is 10-12% among lawyers. According to a study published by MDPI, lawyers are prone to mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. “[O]ur findings suggest the profile of a lawyer with the highest risk for suicide is a lonely or socially isolated male with a high level of unmanageable stress, who is overly committed to their work, and may have a history of mental health problems.”  Released in 2023, the authors of the study — Stressed, Lonely, and Overcommitted: Predictors of Lawyer Suicide Risk (Krill, Thomas, Kramer, Degeneffe, and Anker) — say there is a need for interventions to address these risks,  including  “education, resources, and support for lawyers to better manage their workload, modifying work demands and expectations, and promoting a culture of openness and support within law firms.”

With that as a backdrop, guest host and legal analytics professional Sara Lord interviews success coach and former litigator Gary Miles about the professional dissatisfaction litigators experience  when the pursuit of fulfillment clashes with high-stress demands — from burnout to depression to imposter syndrome. Explore practical strategies for managing anxiety and embracing mindfulness, like reframing your thoughts, celebrating even small achievements, identifying trusted colleagues and mentors, the importance of rest, and reaching out for help. Learn some of the wisdom Gary imparts via his counseling services.

Feeling emotionally crisp?  “There is always a solution. Always,” Gary says.

Need Immediate Help? If you are in the U.S. and experiencing thoughts of suicide, call or text the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or IMAlive at 1-800-784-2433. In the UK and Ireland – Call Samaritans UK at 116 123; in Australia – Call Lifeline Australia at 13 11 14; in other countries – Visit IASP or to find a helpline in your country.


This podcast is the audio companion to the Journal of Emerging Issues in Litigation. The Journal is a collaborative project between HB Litigation Conferences and the vLex Fastcase legal research family, which includes Full Court Press, Law Street Media, and Docket Alarm.

If you have comments, ideas, or wish to participate, please drop me a note at

Tom Hagy
Litigation Enthusiast and
Host of the Emerging Litigation Podcast
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