Kentucky Sees Spate of Lawyer Suicides

At least a dozen since 2010
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2013 5:31 PM CDT
Kentucky Sees Spate of Lawyer Suicides
   (Shutterstock)

Kentucky is experiencing a rash of suicides among a group that probably wouldn't come first to mind: middle-aged lawyers. The Courier-Journal of Louisville reports that at least 12 lawyers have killed themselves since 2010, and half of those came in the last year. The head of the state Bar Association says he's never seen anything like it and chalks it up generally to stress. “You take on the burden of your clients’ problems, then pile them on your own, and it takes a toll,” he says.

A legal blogger in the story calls it an "apparent epidemic" that needs investigation. Comparison figures with other states are hard to come by because suicide generally isn't tracked by profession, but "lawyer suicide is so common that I think a disproportionate rate of early, self-inflicted death is just considered part of the price of doing business," writes Elie Mystal at Above the Law. "Maybe hazard pay should be built into lawyer salaries like it is for race car drivers or test pilots." (Read more lawyers stories.)

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