Psychological And Emotional Impact Of A Court Case

court room

Litigation is expensive and can drag on for what seems like a lifetime. Despite obtaining its desirable outcome, the process itself can leave the concerned parties worn, emotional torn and psychologically tired, not to mention the economic ramifications thereof.

Legally Blonde and burnt out

Legal practitioners are expected to adhere to a strict code of ethics that prioritizes their clients’ wellbeing. This ethical and professional responsibility involves preparing their client for the stress that they may endure as a result of the litigation process.  These effects vary from anxiety to panic attacks, nausea, and muscle tension. All of which can start interfering with their daily life and relationships with others. This is why it’s important to find legal representation that is suitable for you.

Commercial lawyers in particular, can collaborate with other professionals to ensure that you undergo pre and post counselling sessions that will best prepare you for litigation. Having interviewing skills will also assist in equipping you for legal processes like cross-examination which can be in the form of role-playing exercises. This will allow your lawyer to identify your strengths and weaknesses and will also help you feel better prepared for what is to come.

Lawyers should also take care of their own emotional and psychological health to prevent burning out and underperforming. Legal practitioners are encouraged to seek counselling in order to avoid fatigue and allow them to maintain healthy lives outside of the courtroom. However, they should do so in a way that does not contravene client confidentiality. Remember that you can’t help someone else if you don’t help yourself and that sometimes being selfish is the most selfless thing you can do to ensure that your client gets value for money.

The lows and highs of the law

While obtaining justice is the end-goal of any court case it’s important to find the right lawyer who can best prepare you for the long walk to emotional and psychological freedom. Your lawyer should make you feel heard and offer you control over the legal process. This can be done by informing you of the strengths and weaknesses of your case and its potential and plausible outcomes. The more informed you are, the better your decision-making capacity. You should also foster a spirit of openness with your lawyer. This will assist with improving your communication and can help with your case.

Litigation isn’t always the answer

Before committing to litigation of any kind, a lawyer should always be honest and open with a client. This includes sharing all the possible alternatives as this’ll enable you to weigh your options rationally. Lawyers are compelled to discuss all available alternatives, including mediation and arbitration.

Mediation is a lot faster than litigation and can protect your privacy and sanity but like all other complexities in life it can result in an abuse of power. Arbitration is another option for those whom mediation is not applicable. Courts usually advise people to try out mediation or arbitration before going the litigation route as it can be draining and create unnecessary stress. So if you have a situation that could be solved amicably try these options first before going the dreaded litigation route. There are many paths that can lead to justice and your lawyer should help you find the one that’s best for you.


Litigation can be quite the rewarding path to justice when you have been done wrong but it does have potential risks that can adversely affect your emotional and psychological health so make sure that you are fully prepared and informed before making your decision. Even once the process is over, you should consider getting post litigation counselling to deal with the stress you may have accrued overtime.

 For legal professionals, collaboration is key to avoid burn out and occupational stress. It is important to take care of yourself by eating right and taking active measures like counselling to make sure you stay on your A-game. After all, lawyers are human beings too. Once you’ve taken care of you, be there for your clients and lay all of the relevant facts before them so they can make an informed choice, because knowledge is indeed power.