Looking after our criminal lawyers better
Criminal lawyers are regularly exposed to traumatic material and emotions. Their job requires them to work with graphic evidence and distressing testimony, from which they are expected to emotionally detach.
We know lawyers as a group are at higher risk of poor mental health as well as occupational stress and burnout. Yet there has been little research—and until now none based in New Zealand—that has qualitatively examined whether (and how) criminal lawyers’ work affects their emotional and psychological well-being. There is even less research examining what we might do to address any negative outcomes for lawyers themselves and for the system as a whole.