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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

UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2016-45

15 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2016 Last revised: 4 Aug 2016

Alex Steel

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law

Anna Huggins

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law

Date Written: June 8, 2016

Abstract

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

Steel, Alex and Huggins, Anna, Law Student Lifestyle Pressures (June 8, 2016). Field, Rachael M., Duffy, James, & James, Colin (Eds.) Promoting Law Student and Lawyer Well-being in Australia and Beyond. Ashgate (Routledge), Farnham, Surrey, 2016; UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2016-45. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2791953

Alex Steel (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

Anna Huggins

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law ( email )

Level 4 C Block Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane, QLD 4000
Australia

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