A Broken Profession both Mentally and Physically: Is Well-being the Foundation to a Healthy and Resilient Future?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Recent years have seen an increasing body of literature surrounding well-being within the legal profession. The literature illustrates a profession with high levels of stress and mental health problems. The problem of poor mental health exists throughout the legal sector at all levels including students, junior lawyers, senior lawyers and the judiciary. There are numerous consequences of poor mental problems for individuals, universities, employers, the reputation of the profession and wider society. For individuals, the long-term impact on their mental and physical health; for employers, low productivity and increased sickness absence; and for the profession and wider society, unethical practice with adverse consequences for clients as lawyers struggle to cope.

This article advocates for the integration of well-being into the law school curriculum. Whilst universities offer well-being services, these are usually an adjunct, distinct from the law programme. As a professional degree there has been an increased focus on skills training and ethics. Historically, well-being has not been a core component of any undergraduate law degree. The author will assert that an appreciation and understanding of well-being is as fundamental as skills and ethics within the context of a professional education.

Well-being should be a core component and pervasive throughout the law school curriculum, to provide students with the tools and mechanisms to have a healthy and balanced student life that can form the basis of a healthy and balanced career.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWellbeing and Transitions in Law
Subtitle of host publicationLegal Education and the Legal Profession
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 30 May 2022

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