“I am anxious, stressed, and tired all the time. I have a headache, and my body aches. I feel stupid. I’m not good enough. Why am I the only one who doesn’t get it? I’ll never get all this work done. I feel so overwhelmed. I feel like I am surviving but not living.”
Does this sound familiar: negative thoughts, physical tension, anxiety, and stress? You are not alone. This message plays in the mind of many students, colleagues, and even clients.
Lawyer well-being should begin in law school. While law school tends to focus on teaching students how to “think like a lawyer” to prepare them for practice, what about students’ psychological, emotional, and physical well-being? How are students learning these important skills that are also essential in preparing them for the stresses of law practice? They may be more important than you think to enhance lifelong resilience and success. To be an effective advocate for your client, you must first take care of yourself. It is hard to be a good lawyer if you are not a healthy lawyer. Continue reading “Educating The Whole Lawyer: Mind, Body, and Spirit”
The first few weeks of law school can be both thrilling and terrifying—an avalanche of reading, Latin lawyer lingo, and exacting methodology for thinking and writing about the law. This world of intellectual challenges takes place in an unfamiliar setting. Not only are students meeting new people and getting accustomed to a rigorous academic schedule, but many have also left behind the comforts of home, relocating to a new city, state, or even country to embark on the study of law. Forging into the unknown is fraught with great possibility and a bit of trepidation.
Because they are on the frontline of teaching first-year law students fundamental lawyering skills, Legal Writing professors can work to capture students’ imaginations and demystify the law school experience. Legal Writing is likely to be the course with the lowest professor to student ratio in the first year of law school and typically continues for two semesters. Teaching small groups of first-year students for a full year, Legal Writing professors are uniquely well positioned to ease students’ transition. Continue reading “Getting Them at Hello: Creative Teaching Techniques and Exercises to Engage New Law Students”
During the first semester of law school, 1Ls process a tremendous quantity of information in an incredibly short and hectic period of time. Hopefully, they also gain discernment as they evolve from analytical surface-dwellers to deep thinkers. For these reasons, a positive and productive 1L year provides an unparalleled opportunity for growth.
Attorneys are trained to document nearly everything we do. In law school, every argument is backed by citation to corroborating case law. Likewise, in the real world, law firms spend thousands of dollars each year for document storage. But are law schools missing the mark when it comes to teaching attorneys-in-progress to consistently document their own skills and accomplishments? I think the answer is yes, which may ultimately do students a disservice during post-graduate job searches. Continue reading “Journaling Your Way to a Job”