66 J. Legal Educ. 116 (2016-2017)
Suffering in Silence: The Survey of Law Student Well-Being and the Reluctance of Law Students to Seek Help for Substance Use and Mental Health Concerns

handle is hein.journals/jled66 and id is 116 raw text is: 













    Suffering in Silence: The Survey of

      Law Student Well-Being and the

   Reluctance of Law Students to Seek

   Help for Substance Use and Mental

                     Health Concerns


                 Jerome M. Organ, David B. Jaffe,
                 and Katherine M. Bender, Ph.D.

   This article reports the results of the Survey of Law Student Well-Being
(SLSWB) implemented in spring oi4 at fifteen law schools around the country.
The SLSWB is the first multischool study in over twenty years to address law
student use of alcohol and street drugs, and the first-ever multischool study
to explore prescription drug use and the mental health concerns and help-
seeking attitudes of law students. The results of the study indicate that roughly
one-quarter to one-third of respondents reported frequent binge drinking or
misuse of drugs, and/or reported mental health challenges. Moreover, the
results indicated that significant majorities of those law students most in need
of help are reluctant to seek it. The article concludes by discussing how law
school administrators and other relevant leaders within the legal academy
and legal profession can promote and improve wellness so that law students
are better-positioned to find success as law students and to serve their future
clients well as lawyers.


Jerome M. Organ is Professor of Law and Co-director of the Holloran Center for Ethical
Leadership in the Professions at the University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota); David
B. Jaffe is Associate Dean for Student Affairs at the American University Washington College of
Law; Katherine M. Bender, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at Bridgewater State University and
programming consultant for the Dave Nee Foundation. In addition to being very grateful for the
financial support that made this project possible, referenced infra at note 5, we want to express our
deep gratitude to three people who helped in researching the article and in analyzing the data,
Hannah Lindeborg and Tim Lacine, graduates of the University of St. Thomas School of Law,
and Sara Smith, Research and Policy Analyst for the Division for Legal Services at the American
Bar Association. The results reported in Section IV.D.. focused on help-seeking behaviors, were
previously published in the December 2o5 issue of the The Bar Ezaminer, in an article entitled
Helping La, Students Get the Help They Need: An Analysis of Data Regarding Law Students'Reluctance to Seek Help
and Policy Recommendations for a Variety of Stakeholders,


Journal of Legal Education, Volume 66, Number i (Autumn 2o16)

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