Ilona Salmons


Attorneys in the United States suffer from higher-than-average rates of depression, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation. Although these facts are widely accepted, at the time of the study, there was no consensus in the legal or research communities as to the cause of these alarming statistics. The combination of behavioral and psychological distress experienced by attorneys may suggest that burnout is a contributing factor. This study examined the relationship between workplace stressors and professional burnout. The literature review summarized recent and landmark studies in the field, as well as explored characteristics unique to the legal profession that were putting attorneys at risk. In an effort to understand the best practices that reduced instances of burnout in practicing attorneys, the phenomenological study asked participants about their experiences as an attorney, as well as the practices they employed to mitigate professional stress. The research findings supported the literature review and resulted in important implications for law firms, bar associations, law schools, and practitioners.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Burn out (Psychology); Lawyers -- Job stress; Lawyers -- Mental health

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Madjidi, Farzin;