Better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness : promoting law student well-being through a first year law subject

Field, Rachael M. & Duffy, James (2012) Better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness : promoting law student well-being through a first year law subject. Queensland University of Technology Law and Justice Journal, 12(1), pp. 133-156.

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Australian law teachers are increasingly recognising that psychological distress is an issue for our students. This article describes how the Queensland University of Technology Law School is reforming its curriculum to promote student psychological well-being. Part I of the article examines the literature on law student psychological distress in Australia. It is suggested that cross-sectional and longitudinal studies undertaken in Australia provide us with different, but equally important, information with respect to law student psychological well-being. Part II describes a subject in the QUT Law School - Lawyering and Dispute Resolution – which has been specifically designed as one response to declines in law student psychological well-being. Part III then considers two key elements of the design of the subject: introducing students to the idea of a positive professional identity, and introducing students to non-adversarial lawyering and the positive role of lawyers in society as dispute resolvers. These two areas of focus specifically promote law student psychological well-being by encouraging students to engage with elements of positive psychology – in particular, hope and optimism.

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ID Code: 50200
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Special Edition: Legal Education
Keywords: law student well-being, psychological distress, depression, anxiety, resilience, curriculum, hope, optimism, positive professional identity, HERN
ISSN: 1445-6230
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 The Authors & Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 10 May 2012 22:01
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:46

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