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Abstract

Lawyers are frequent and consistent “winners” of undesirable honorifics such as “most depressed workers.” However, the undercurrent of unhappiness should not be ignored or hidden away by jokes told by lawyers about lawyers. In this article, the author proposes that depression is an institutional, workplace and professionalism problem in law. In Part II of the paper, the author analyzes professional codes of conduct as they relate to depression. Part III is devoted to the science of depression. Part IV examines the role of the institution, in particular law schools, to creating and reinforcing an environment that exposes individuals to developing depression. The “business case” for why mental illness does have an impact, particularly in dollar terms, on a firm’s business, is analyzed in Part V. Lastly, Part VI is devoted to examining depression as a professionalism challenge.