Track 3
Maintaining Mental Well-Being in Law Students: Using Orientation and Annual Check-Ins as a Law Student’s Well-Being GPS
Duration: 60 Minutes

Law students experience stressors beyond the rigor of studies, including finances, work/family obligations, race, gender, and immigration status—all can factor into stress and performance. The current situation at many law schools is that students have a plan and roadmap for their academics but lack regular planning to meet their mental health wellness needs. A survey of 3,300 law students from 15 law schools revealed high risk for alcoholism, depression, mild to severe anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. Another study revealed that 42 percent of law students felt as though they needed counseling for mental health issues, but only half sought it.

Our 60-minute interactive program is intended to provide legal administrators and decision-makers with a roadmap and to experience how a simple coaching tool could be used at orientation and annual check-ins to measure student life satisfaction. With balance, life satisfaction, the fulfillment of basic psychological needs, and contentment usually follow (Eakman, 2016). These events further allow the school to work with the student to co-create an individualized plan supporting the student’s well-being throughout their academic career at the law school.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the stress and strain law students face (including those beyond just the rigors of study) and the importance of screening students on an ongoing basis, given the high need and low usage of mental health services. Learn the importance of early intervention.
  • Experience and utilize an easy to use screening tool that measures the level of satisfaction in 8 key areas of a student’s life (Career, Finance, Health, Family & Friends, Romance, Personal Development, Fun & Recreation, and Contribution to Society.) Further use the tool to create individualized well-being plans and identify needed resources. These exercises will be preceded by brief mindfulness introductions/focusing.
  • Hear from the administrative, student and mental health perspective the importance of incorporating screening and well-being plans ongoingly and efficiently.