Law Firm Marketing Staff Feel Stressed Out, Overworked, & Ignored by Law Firms: Research Report

September 23, 2019

75% of legal marketers feel overwhelmed at work. And 74% feel that lawyers do not understand their role or the work they perform.

These are just a few of the findings from fSquared Marketing’s recently released “Legal Marketing Mental Wellness Survey Report”.

Our team surveyed 200 marketing and business development professionals working at law firms in the United States (72%), Canada (24%), and several other countries (4%). The resulting report is the first of its kind to look at the daily stressors that marketing and business staff face in the legal industry.

This research revealed:

  • A divide between lawyers and ‘non-lawyers’—51% of survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: “There is a lack of respect for me/my role by the lawyers”.
  • Stress resulting from a lack of autonomy and respect, as well as overwork— 71% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: “I have too much work assigned to me.”
  • A lack of law firm support for mental health programs for marketing/BD professionals—71% of respondents stated that their firm does not provide formal support related to stress management and mental wellbeing.
Almost three out of four felt that access to mental health professionals would be beneficial

Survey respondents were invited to share their perspectives and experiences. Many shared stories from their experiences and offered smart critiques and forward-thinking insights about how we can build better workplaces.

“Legal marketing is incredibly time intensive and stressful. Not only do you take on personal stress from your job requirements and deadlines, but you also take on the stress of the attorneys you work with.”—Survey Respondent

“The overwhelming majority of legal marketers are under considerable stress,” observes Lynn Foley, CEO and co-founder of fSquared Marketing. “At the same time, marketing professionals are finding that there is more attention paid to the mental health of lawyers than staff.

“Recently, the legal industry has started to take mental health seriously, but the conversation has invariably focused on improving the wellbeing of lawyers,” Lynn explains. “We noticed that there wasn’t any information relating to marketing and business professionals so we decided to undertake the research ourselves. We’re not an HR firm, but we knew that our team could help to inform the conversation and provide some much needed data.

“Overwork, a shortage of resources, and a lack of available technical training are all contributing stressors, as this survey reveals. These organizational issues are compounded by what many marketing professionals perceive as a lack of understanding of, and respect, for their role from lawyers.

“Given the extensive research linking employee mental wellness to individual and team performance—and workplace stress to burnout—there is a clear business case to be made for taking this issue seriously. As the market for legal services continues to fluctuate, law firms which can foster collaborative, innovative work environments will have a competitive advantage,” Foley says. “To quote one respondent: ‘a good, friendly culture goes a long way’”.

We invite you to join the conversation: #legalmarketingstress

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