Why Big Law Firms Attorneys Are So Likely to Get Divorced: Stressed, Tired, Mad and With Nothing More to Give
  • Attorneys are much more likely to get divorced than people in other careers, especially attorneys in big law.
  • There are many reasons for this, but it boils down to one major issue.
  • Attorneys spend more time and energy on their law firm relationship than their relationship with their spouse.
Lots of big firm attorneys get divorced. In fact, I would say that the rate of divorce among attorneys from the largest law firms is likely much higher than the divorce rate for attorneys in general—and much higher than the public in general.
A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes

I started my career in a large litigation law firm. With only a few exceptionsevery single attorney in the firm had been divorced. Among large law firm attorneys, I believe that the divorce rate among litigators is higher than most other practice areas—but there are exceptions to that too.

If you are interested in practicing law with a large law firm—or are currently practicing law with a large law firm—it is important to understand how practicing law is likely to affect your romantic prospects. The odds are you will have a difficult time holding any relationship together if you want to get married and stay married in a large law firm.

Do you think I am wrong? Do you want me to be wrong? Are there statistics out there that indicate lawyers do not get divorced more than people in other professions? Whatever statistics you review about the divorce rates of attorneys compared to other professions, they do not capture the nature of working in a large law firm and just how unique it is. If you think working as an attorney in the Social Security Office in Dublin, Ohio, or as a solo practitioner in a Livingston, Montana can compare to what it does to the mind, body, and spirit of an attorney working in a large law firm, then you do not understand. Even more brutal to relationships is working in large law firms in large cities. It is stressful being an attorney everywhere, of course, but large law firms have that special something which grinds attorneys down.