Work-Life Balance and the Need to Give Law Students a Break

University of Pittsburgh Law Review Online, vol 83, pp 1-13 (2022), DOI 10.5195/lawreview.2022.848

Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2023-02

15 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2022 Last revised: 12 Feb 2023

See all articles by Jonathan Todres

Jonathan Todres

Georgia State University College of Law

Date Written: February 10, 2022

Abstract

It has long been understood that joining, and staying in, the legal profession is not good for one’s health. Research shows that attorneys experience alcoholism, depression, and other mental health issues at higher rates than the general population. Similarly, there is significant research showing the detrimental effects of law school on many students’ well-being. We have known for years that students’ happiness and well-being tends to decline over their law school years, yet the response by most law schools has been patchwork, slow, and largely reactive. An unhealthy work-life balance remains the norm. This essay calls on law schools to do more to create a climate and culture in which students can achieve a healthier work-life balance. While there are a range of issues that need to be addressed, this essay focuses on the specific issue of law school culture discouraging taking time off. Ultimately, if law students—the newest members of our profession—are going to achieve and maintain a healthy work-life balance, it is not enough for law schools to simply encourage students to take care of themselves. Law school faculty and administrators need to create the conditions in which self-care is not only possible but welcome. And a key component of that includes enabling students to take time off.

Keywords: legal education, law students, work-life balance, law school, student well-being, law school curriculum, legal profession

JEL Classification: K10, K19, K30

Suggested Citation

Todres, Jonathan, Work-Life Balance and the Need to Give Law Students a Break (February 10, 2022). University of Pittsburgh Law Review Online, vol 83, pp 1-13 (2022), DOI 10.5195/lawreview.2022.848 , Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2023-02, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4031849

Jonathan Todres (Contact Author)

Georgia State University College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States

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