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Law Student Wellness

Law school is different.

What is well-being?

Lawyer well-being is  -

a continuous process whereby lawyers seek to thrive in each of the following areas: emotional health, occupational pursuits, creative or intellectual endeavors, sense of spirituality or greater purpose in life, physical health, and social connections with others.

Lawyer well-being is part of a lawyer’s ethical duty of competence.  It includes lawyers’ ability to make healthy, positive work/life choices to assure not only a quality of life within their families and communities, but also to help them make responsible decisions for their clients.  It includes maintaining their own long term well-being. 

This definition highlights that complete health is not defined solely by the absence of illness; it includes a positive state of wellness.

American Bar Association Path to Lawyer Well-Being pp.9-10

Image of penguin using a computer.

Image of a tiny penguin sitting at a computer.

What's the deal with wellness and lawyers?

You are not alone.

Path to Law Student Wellness

Seven Dimensions of Wellness

According to the American Medical Student Association:


When we think of wellness it is easy to get caught up on the dimensions of wellness that are largely emphasized in the media; the dimensions of physical and emotional wellness. While these are important aspects of personal wellness we must not forget that there are seven dimensions of wellness that encompass an individual's wellbeing. These seven dimensions of wellness are further explained below.

Intellectual Wellness: encourages creative, stimulating mental activities. Ways to foster intellectual wellness include reading a book, completing a sodoku puzzle, or doing a crossword puzzle.

Spiritual Wellness: promotes seeking meaning and purpose in one’s life. Ways to foster spiritual wellness include meditation, prayer, and spending time in nature.

Emotional Wellness: encourages individuals to be positive and enthusiastic about oneself and their life and to have healthy relationships with others. Ways to foster emotional wellness are to confide in close friends and be positive about oneself.

Environmental Wellness: promotes harmony between one’s life and the earth and encourages the individual to minimize harm to the environment. Ways to foster environmental wellness is to conserve water and recycle.

Social Wellness: promotes interdependence with others and encourages harmony in one’s family and friendships. Ways to foster social wellness is to spend time with friends or have a family game night.

Occupational Wellness: encourages individuals to hold a job that will give them a sense of personal satisfaction and enrichment. Ways to foster occupational wellness is to work in a field that you enjoy, join a professional organization, and obtain certifications relevant for one’s field of interest/field of work.

Physical Wellness: promotes knowledge of food, nutrition, and physical activity that will better the health of one’s body. Ways to foster physical wellness is to go to the gym with a friend and to read nutrition labels.

Each of these dimensions of wellness is of equal importance when it comes to maintaining an individual's personal wellness. It is easy to focus emphasis on one or two of these dimensions but we must not forget the others.