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29 Legal Educ. Rev. 1 (2019)

handle is hein.journals/legedr29 and id is 1 raw text is: 





                           KATE   SEEAR*

                         I INTRODUCTION

    In recent years, there has been growing concern about poor mental
health among   both  law students  and lawyers. 1 Concerns  about  the
mental health of law students and lawyers are often traced back to the
mid-1980s  in North  America,  emerging  from  a series of studies that
examined  lawyers'  and law  students' physical and mental health and
wellbeing, rates of alcohol and other drug use, suicidal ideations and
more. In Australia, where I ambased, these concerns are also the subject
of considerable  debate and  attention. Several scholars attribute the
Australian interest in these issues to the publication of the landmark
Courting  the Blues report in 2009.2 Following the publication of that
report, there has been something of an explosion of work3 in this space,
and  a series of  initiatives designed to address  mental  health and
wellbeing, both  at law school and  among  practitioners. In 2006, for

    Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Monash University.

    I am indebted to my PhD student Claire Carroll for bringing much of this literature
    to my attention, and to the work of scholars such as Paula Baron and Christine Parker,
    for their collation and analysis of it.
2   Norm Kelk et al, Courting the Blues: Attitudes Towards Depression in Australian
   Law Students and Legal Practitioners (Brain and Mind Research Institute, 2009).
   Paula Baron, 'The Elephant in the Room? Lawyer Wellbeing and the Impact of
   Unethical Behaviours' (2015) 41 Australian Feminist Law Journal 87; Janet Chan,
   Suzanne Poynton and Jasmine Bruce, 'Lawyering Stress and Work Culture: An
   Australian Study' (2014) 37 University of New South Wales Law Journal 1062;
   Christine Parker, 'The Moral Panic Over Psychological Wellbeing in the Legal
   Profession: A Personal or Political Ethical Response?' (2014) 37 University ofNew
   South Wales Law  Journal 1103; Richard Collier, 'Love Law, Love Life:
   Neoliberalism, Wellbeing and Gender in the Legal Profession - The Case of Law
   School' (2014) 17 Legal Ethics 202; Adele J Bergin and Nerina L Jimmieson,
   'Explaining Psychological Distress in the Legal Profession: The Role of
   Overcommitment' (2013) 20 International Journal ofStress Management 134; Colin
   James, Miles Bore and Susanna Zito, 'Emotional Intelligence and Personality as
   Predictors of Psychological Well-Being' (2012) 30 Journal of Psychoeducational
   Assessment 425; Molly Townes O'Brien, Stephen Tang and Kath Hall, 'Changing
   Our Thinking: Empirical Research on Law Student Wellbeing, Thinking Styles and
   the Law Curriculum' (2011) 21 Legal Education Review 149; Anthony Lester, Lloyd
   England and Natalia Antolak-Saper, 'Health and Wellbeing in the First Year: The
   Law  School Experience' (2011) 36 Alternative Law Journal 47.

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