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28 Legal Educ. Rev. 1 (2018)

handle is hein.journals/legedr28 and id is 1 raw text is: 

Webster et al.: First Year Boot Camp


          ENHANCING THE FIRST YEAR

  CURRICULUM AND EXPERIENCE: LAW

                SCHOOL 'BOOT CAMP'


    ADAM WEBSTER,* BERNADETTE RICHARDS, MELISSA DE
    ZWART, ALEXANDER RELLY AND SUZANNE LE MIRE





                          I  INTRODUCTION


    The first year of university is a challenging and difficult time, and
entering  law  school  can  be  a  particularly daunting   and  stressful
experience. 1 It is  a time   of new   environments,   experiences   and
challenges.  With  the  semesterisation  of  year-long  subjects  in  the
1990s,  came   the  need   to immerse students in substantive legal
learning from  the outset, with  Orientation Week   providing  the  main
opportunity   for   welcome, transition and wellbeing activities.
However,   Orientation  Week   energies  are devoted   to basic survival
skills such as an introduction to the university system  and the general


    Departmental Lecturer in Law and Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government,
    University of Oxford. Lecturer, Adelaide Law School from 2014-16.
    Adelaide Law School, University of Adelaide.
    The authors would like to thank Thomas Wooden for his research assistance in the
    preparation of this article and Corinne Walding for her assistance in the collation of
    data used in this article. The authors would also like to thank the anonymous
    referees for their most helpful comments.

    'From the first semester of their studies, law students experience stress, anxiety and
    depression at rates significantly higher than their contemporaries who do not study
    law': Natalie Skead and Shane L Rogers, 'Stress, Anxiety and Depression in Law
    Students: How Student Behaviours Affect Student Wellbeing' (2014) 40 Monash
    University Law Review 564, 565. Law students suffer from depression at a rate
    three times that of the general population: Yuko Narushima, 'Legal Eaglets Learn
    to Fend Off Depression', Sydney Morning Herald (online), 18 March 2011
    <http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/legal-eaglets-learn-to-fend-off-depression-
    20110317-lbyvn.html>. The international research also suggests that law students
    suffer a loss of well-being within the first year of their law studies: Norm Kelk,
    Sharon Medlow and Jan Hickie, 'Distress and Depression among Australian Law
    Students: Incidence, Attitudes and the Role of Universities' (2010) 32 Sydney Law
    Review 113, 114. See also Norm Kelk et al, Courting the Blues: Attitudes Towards
    Depression in Australian Law Students and Lawyers (Brain and Mind Research
    Institute, 2009). There are a number of factors that contribute to law students
    finding their studies particularly stressful when compared to the wider university
    population. These include the heavy  workload,  the teaching methods,
    competitiveness amongst students, a lack of social connectedness, and limited time
    for family, friends and recreational activities: Adele Bergin and Kenneth
    Pakenham, 'Law  Student Stress: Relationships Between Academic Demands,
    Social Isolation, Career Pressure, Study/Life Imbalance and Adjustment Outcomes
    in Law Students' (2015) 22 Psychiatry, Psychology and Law 388, 389-90.


Published by ePublications@bond, 2018

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