No time to lose: Negative impact on law student wellbeing may begin in year one

  • Molly Townes O'Brien Australian National University
  • Stephen Tang Australian National University
  • Kath Hall Australian National University


Preliminary results of a pilot study of law students suggest that, during the first year of law study, students may experience changes in thinking styles, stress levels, and satisfaction with life. Although further inquiry into the cause of law student distress is necessary, the authors consider certain assumptions underlying the legal curriculum—particularly the conception of a lawyer as adversarial, emotionally detached, and competitive—to be possible sources of the negative impact on student wellbeing.  It is suggested that legal educators should re-examine their curricula, particularly their conception of what it means to be a lawyer, and think creatively about ways that law schools may encourage healthier approaches to the study of law.
Jul 30, 2011
How to Cite
TOWNES O'BRIEN, Molly; TANG, Stephen; HALL, Kath. No time to lose: Negative impact on law student wellbeing may begin in year one. The International Journal of the First Year in Higher Education, [S.l.], v. 2, n. 2, p. 49-60, july 2011. ISSN 1838-2959. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 18 jan. 2018. doi:


law student, first year, stress
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