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Ball/Oberman Current Challenges in Criminal Law

Mens Rea and your Mental State: Thoughts on Law School Success

This week's discussion is a play on "mens rea," and asks you to consider, head on, the impact that law school is having on your mental health. Research shows that sixty percent of law students experience clinically significant levels of psychological distress, ranging from anxiety and depression to suicidal ideation. The problems carry through into practice, with twenty-eight percent of licensed lawyers suffering from depression—3.6 time the rate of other professions. 

There is no way to eliminate stress from the law school experience, but there are concrete steps you can take to promote your growth while safeguarding your mental health. In this section, you'll find suggestions drawn from our experiences as teachers and as individuals. Our hope is that, by naming these challenges early in your careers, we will encourage you to develop the tools you will need to thrive amidst adversity.