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June 9, 2007

The emotional state of law students-- not so great

This new study somewhat ominously begins by noting previous reports that the emotional state of law students, defined mostly in terms of stress, is worse than that of medical students and approaches that of psychiatric patients. The researchers studied two law schools (which were not identified by name), one of which had a significant evening program in a major city and the other of which was a full-time institution in a smaller city. The article, "Understanding the Negative Effects of Legal Education on Law Students: A Longitudinal Test of Self-Determination Theory" by Kennon M. Sheldon and Lawrence S. Krieger, raises many of the issues which have been previously discussed here. They specifically suggest that one key to improving the student experience may be enhancing the autonomy of our students.

-- Mark Osler

June 9, 2007 | Permalink

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