Yes, Notre Dame researchers Gerald Haeffel and Jennifer Hames have confirmed what you probably knew from law school days: Clinical depression is contagious. It can be passed from human and human. I suspect it can also be transmitted to our four-footed children who stick by us, through the worst of what Winston Churchill called the "Black Dog."
This finding by the Notre Dame team could explain the current emotional darkness which has overtaken the legal sector.
Here is the possible scenario: The equity partner is warned that if there's no new business brought in and more billable hours, compensation will be reduced to that of a first-year associate. If the predisposition to helplessness is there, then the equity partner, instead of going out there and hustling for business, will turn inward. The depression will deepen. It seeps under the door into where the associates sit. They pick it right up because their ability to fight it off has been weakened by the stress of worrying about losing their jobs.
Eventually, the guy delivering the pizza at midnight comes down with the Black Dog. The pressing issue is, now the media have informed the public of the menace of depression carriers, the victim could sue the law firm for failure to warn.