find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Survey to target depression literacy

Survey to target depression literacy

A national study examining depression in the legal profession is being run with support from the New South Wales Bar Association.The researchers — from the Jepson Memorial Fund and the…

A national study examining depression in the legal profession is being run with support from the New South Wales Bar Association.

The researchers — from the Jepson Memorial Fund and the Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI) — have distributed the survey among law students and practitioners. The survey was divided into three groups: law students, practicing solicitors and barristers.

Dr Norm Kelk, BMRI, said the study’s primary aim is to ascertain the level of depression literacy among the survey group. He said the concept was often misinterpreted by the wider community.

“Depression literacy, it’s a slightly technical term, and basically it has three components. One is knowledge about depression and also knowledge about the kind of disability that depression brings,” he said.

“The second part of it is knowledge of whether or not you can successfully treat depression and what sorts of things might help in treating depression. The third aspect of depression literacy is about whether or not you would actually seek help for it if you had it.”

The questionnaire is anonymous, and follows the same format as one distributed to study the mental health awareness of members of the medical profession. It was adapted for the study by changing the demographic material to ask about legal education and experience rather than medical training and experience.

Solicitors have been sampled through newsletters sent out to members of the various law societies, and Bar members have been primarily sampled through their online newsletter, In Brief. Kelk admitted that the issue of sampling a broad enough segment of the profession is an ongoing challenge for researchers. For example, due to concerns about the uptake of the online survey by Barristers, paper surveys were also distributed to members.

“The issue about sampling is a difficult one, and I don’t think there’s any easy answer to this at this point,” Kelk said, “I suspect that after we’ve collated these results, if we do feel there are some obvious subtleties about the way the results have come out, then we may need to actually do another study based on a more rigorous sampling technique,” he said.

Kelk and his team are already busy collecting data from lawyers across the nation. “In our original proposal we said that we’d like to get 500 practicing lawyers in the sample and 700 law students. We will get close to that in the next couple of weeks.”

The team of BMRI researchers anticipate that they will be able to present data from the law student segment of the survey at the annual Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation-sponsored lecture on the 18 September.

“We’re particularly keen to present the law student data ... but we will also try to present some of the practising lawyers data,” Kelk said.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Survey to target depression literacy
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...