70% of Law Students Are Depressed and a Lot of Them Aren’t Seeking Help

Seventy percent of Yale Law School students who participated in the school’s Mental Health Alliance survey have struggled with mental health issues at some point during their law school careers.

That’s from a summary of a recent study of 296 Yale Law School students. Despite my title, it’s hard to say whether the numbers support an inference about the mental health of law students in general, but I doubt anyone who went to law school is surprised by them.

(h/t Legal Skills Prof Blog, Above the Law)

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  • Alice

    I am a law and social work student and I think law schools need to follow the lead of social work schools and include some talk about self-care in their classes, especially during 1L year. At the social work school, professors repeatedly bring up the importance of self-care and good mental health care to fight against the burnout so many social workers experience. There is a bowl in the common area with positive and motivational sayings so you can read one if you are feeling down and classes like yoga and mediation are offered every week. Law school is much more stressful but I have never heard a professor talk about taking care of yourself or the importance of good mental health. Instead of yoga class, the law school hosts happy hour and bar review so students can drown their sorrows in alcohol rather than deal with them in a healthy way (and we wonder why alcoholism is so prevalent among lawyers?!). Law students could be happier and healthier, and therefore more successful, if self-care was integrated even a tinsy tiny bit into the curriculum. Or at least this social worker thinks so :)

    • Alice, I totally agree with you! In addition to having zero discussions about self-care, any attempt to have such conversation is met with resistance or shaming. Lawyers are supposed to be tough, leave our emotions at the door, suck it up, etc. This leads to further trauma for the law student/lawyer.