Problem signs in law school: Fostering attorney well-being early in professional training

Int J Law Psychiatry. 2016 Jul-Aug:47:148-56. doi: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2016.02.019. Epub 2016 May 14.


Attorneys suffer from high rates of stress, alcoholism, and mental health problems that are costly for the legal system and impair their abilities to serve their clients. There is some indication that these problems begin in law school. The present study assessed a cohort of law students at an American law school for their reported levels of stress, depression, anxiety, substance use, and overall adjustment/coping. Findings indicate that law students suffer from high levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and alcohol use, and that these problem behaviors fluctuate throughout the course of law school. We discuss the implications for law student/lawyer well-being and legal education.

Keywords: Attorney mental health; Law school; Stress.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / prevention & control*
  • Alcoholism / psychology*
  • Burnout, Professional / prevention & control*
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Jurisprudence*
  • Lawyers / education*
  • Lawyers / psychology*
  • Mental Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Students / psychology*