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4 Healthy Habits to Establish in Law School

Updated: Aug 18, 2023

Healthy habits to adopt while in law school to establish positive mental health for a long legal career.

Finn Langley

Mental health is an ongoing struggle that many people struggle with in their daily lives. Attorneys are especially susceptible to the struggles given the high stakes involved, strict time constraints, a tendency to assume a client’s burdens, and the constant scrutiny and critical judgment of the work from opposing counsel, courts, or even other attorneys within your own office. A study done by Johns Hopkins University found that lawyers suffer from clinical depression at three times the rate of 25 other occupations.

Because of the level of stress that attorneys tend to be under constantly, attorneys tend to gravitate towards substance abuse and unhealthy ways of coping with this stress. Studies show that 18% of attorneys will develop problems related to substance abuse, compared to the national average of 10-11%.

To combat these statistics and to not become a statistic of your own, it is important to establish healthy habits in response to stress earlier rather than later.


One of the best ways to help reduce stress is to increase physical activity. Exercise can look different for everyone. Whether it be joining a local gym, going on bike rides, swimming, yoga, or simply taking a stroll around your neighborhood, it will help clear your mind and allow for an increase in dopamine production.


Journaling is a great way to channel your inner writer. As law students, we write quite often, but it is a game changer when you are writing down your thoughts on something or how you are feeling about a situation that you may be in. Allowing yourself the time to stop and process what exactly is going on will help you be able to work through it and decide what your next step may be.


Being in law school sometimes means that you may or may not be pulling late nights or early mornings that sacrifice a sufficient sleep schedule. Allowing yourself to sleep a minimum of seven hours can help increase mood and brain activity.


Counseling has such a negative stigma and can sometimes take a notch out of our pride, but we need to start recognizing that there is, or could be, a problem in our life that needs to be addressed. Counseling is nothing to be ashamed of or to fear. A lot of times, it allows us to really work through what could be one of the hardest times in our lives. Our school is fortunate enough to have our own therapist, so never be afraid to reach out when in need.

These are just a few of the ways that we can work on our mental health. This is not a struggle to take lightly. Never be scared or ashamed to reach out for help when needed. There is no need to struggle in silence. It will sometimes make things much worse. Enjoy the time that we have, and remember, everyone around you is experiencing many of the same struggles, and even though they may seem okay, you never really know what someone else is dealing with. Always be a friend and be kind. You may never know what they are going through.

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