Law Student Lifestyle Pressures
Field, Rachael M., Duffy, James, & James, Colin (Eds.) Promoting Law Student and Lawyer Well-being in Australia and Beyond. Ashgate (Routledge), Farnham, Surrey, 2016
15 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2016 Last revised: 4 Aug 2016
Date Written: June 8, 2016
One significant factor influencing student wellbeing is the degree to which their studies are subject to external lifestyle pressures. These pressures are relieved or exacerbated by choices students make around their approaches to study, and the amount of time they devote to work and leisure. This Chapter considers results from a 2012 survey of law students at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia. Those results are compared to results from a similar US law student survey, and comparable data from the UK and Australia more broadly. In addition, the UNSW study compares key lifestyle choices of undergraduate (LLB) and graduate (JD) law students. The significance of the analysis in this Chapter for understanding law students’ wellbeing is that comparing American and Australian law students’ lifestyle patterns provides insights into contextual variation between both groups, which is important to bear in mind when comparing American and Australian research on law students’ wellbeing, and appreciating the limits of such comparisons. In particular, much of the wellbeing literature to date has focused on course-based stressors, but in light of recent research indicating that improvements in students’ course-based experiences may not have a direct effect on law students’ elevated levels of psychological distress, it is important to understand the broader life pressures and stressors that may be impacting law students’ wellbeing.
Keywords: Legal education, Law students, well-being, UNSW, Lifestyle pressures
JEL Classification: I21, K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation