Buttercup Goes to Law School : Student wellbeing in stressed law schools
This article is concerned with issues of the health and wellbeing of Australian law students. Overseas studies show a decline in the values and motivation of students who undertake law leading to a significant risk to mental health. The authors are currently engaged in research that seeks to determine whether Australian law students experience a similar decline. The hypothesis of this study is that law students experience a decline in life satisfaction and wellbeing that correlates with a decline in intrinsic motivation and values. To date, their preliminary demographic survey of the 2004 first year cohort at the University of Western Australia (UWA) has yielded a picture of the first year law student that raises questions about her future wellbeing. This article reports on this preliminary demographic and reflects on the implications of our hypothesis in the current tertiary climate. The conclusion is pessimistic: the authors are of the view that the likely increase in student numbers in law, and the consequent pressures brought to bear on Australian law schools, are likely to have a deleterious effect on Buttercup, the quintessential first year student, in both the short and the long term.
Alternative Law Journal
Law not elsewhere classified