Psychiatric disability and the practising lawyer in Australia. Academic Article uri icon


  • In recent years there has been significant recognition given to the extent of mental illness, particularly depression, in the legal profession. At the same time, international trends suggest that as more students with disabilities are given support to make it through school, more will become law students and enter the legal profession. International studies have already shown that law students and members of the legal profession exhibit higher levels of psychological distress and depression than do community members of a similar age and sex. In light of rights such as those in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for individuals with disabilities to pursue their chosen profession, this article examines whether people with mental illnesses should be admitted to or remain in the legal profession, the obligations on legal practitioners to report mental illness in other lawyers, and the types of matters brought before disciplinary bodies where mental health issues are raised.

publication date

  • 2012