Tuesday, November 19, 2019
The Guardian, Legally Drained: Why Are Stress Levels Rising Among Law Students?:
Law students tend to be workaholics with very little free time, but finding the right life-work balance can be a tough task.
“One of my lecturers describes law school as being like the Hunger Games,” says law student Erin May Conely. “It can be quite cut-throat with everyone fighting for the same jobs at top law firms.”
For the 22-year-old, who is studying law at the University of Birmingham, the competitive atmosphere has led to so much stress that she has decided not to enter the profession once she graduates. She wants to go into teaching instead.
Conely’s experience is not unique. The Junior Lawyers Division’s 2019 resilience and wellbeing survey found that 93% of respondents – students, graduates, trainee solicitors and solicitors up to five years’ qualified – felt stressed. Almost half said that they had experienced poor mental health, which is a 10% increase from the year before.
It’s no secret that the legal profession can often be a high-pressure working environment; lawyers are the second most stressed professionals in the country. Some universities are therefore taking steps to help students better cope with academic pressures and the transition from legal education to a career as a lawyer.
The BPP University Law School has announced that it will introduce lessons on mindfulness, meditation, relaxation and resilience as part of their courses. Students will learn topics including “balancing work and life”, “self-care” and “getting a good night’s sleep”. ...
In a separate study of millennial lawyers, trainees reported similar struggles to find a work-life balance. Junior lawyers also admitted they felt that university didn’t prepare them enough for the level of stress in the profession, and the study heard stories of trainees not sleeping or crying in the office toilets.