Connecting Law Student Wellbeing to Social Justice, Problem-solving and Human Emotions

  • Molly Townes O'Brien Australian National University The ANU College of Law


Dialogue with law students in 2010 revealed that they felt law school made them more rational, objectifying, analytical, logical, isolated, insecure and intolerant. When students were invited to re-imagine law school, they explained that their ideal law school experience would have been more connected — to mentors, to other students and to the real-world impact of law. This paper asks two difficult questions: What changes in the law school curriculum would promote a more connected experience? What would it mean for law student wellbeing if the law school were to succeed in its goal of infusing an ethos of law reform and social justice into all aspects of what we do? The paper outlines six steps that a law school can take to help law students feel connected, thrive, and graduate to do good in the world.


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