The book reveals that clinical levels of distress are averagely higher in the legal profession than in other professions in Australia, to the extent of being at risk of mental illness. Data suggests that education is the major cause of distress for law students. Other causes include the oversupply of law graduates and the competitive nature of the industry. The authors explain this phenomenon with the Lacanian theory: ‘depression is not an illness … depression is a sign of inner conflict’. Namely, students’ distress comes from intrusive parenting, maladaptive perfectionism, and materialism in society.
The authors examine the teaching styles of law schools in different countries and propose that an independent ethics agenda may be necessary for reforming our legal education and profession, which involves a broader group of professionals from the disciplines of divinity, spirituality and religion.