Law School Measures to Alleviate Student Dysfunction

Iijima, Ann L., Lessons Learned: Legal Education and Law Student Dysfunction, Journal of Legal Education (December, 1998)

Speaks to the numerous studies that find that law students experience high rates of psychological disorders and often lose contact with their support networks. The author, Ann L. Iijima, attributes the higher-than-average rate to the adversarial environment of law school which supports competitiveness, and discourages the interjection of personal values.  This article introduces the role that schools can take in combating emotional dysfunction by providing programming, support, mentoring, and encouragement.

The article argues that academic support programs are insufficient to deal with these concerns, and any solution would require more direct contact with students, for example, the encouraging of teacher-student and peer relationships.  Iijima stresses the importance of encouraging students to bring their life experiences to the table of law.  In addition, schools should encourage students to take preventative measures to ensure they maintain a healthy personal balance in their lives.

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