Mental Health in Law School Students


I post periodically about stress and mental health issues in lawyers and law students. Why? Because if you're in need of help, you should know that you're not alone and that there are resources out there -- private, discreet resources that understand the unique needs and challenges of lawyers. But this is important even if you yourself aren't currently in need. One day, you might be. One day, you might also recognize the signs that indicate your friends, colleagues, and partners need help. As a career strategist for lawyers, I've certainly talked to attorneys I suspected had untreated mental health and substance abuse issues. In some cases, these issues were clearly impacting their ability to secure -- and keep -- long-term, permanent employment.

How widespread is the problem? How early does it start?

Yale University's Mental Health Alliance recently conducted a survey of Yale Law School students, sending the survey out to 650 students and receiving 296 responses. The results reported in "Falling Through the Cracks," as described Yale Daily News's "Mental health troubles widespread at law school, report says" are troubling. But not surprising.

What does all this mean?

Lots of law students are already having mental health issues severe enough to impact their studies and their lives. And not enough of them are getting help. And not enough of us are talking about it.