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An Ethical Conceptual Framework for the Promotion of Law Student and Lawyer Well-Being

Submitted by Nigel Duncan on Fri, 08-30-2019
Long title
An Ethical Conceptual Framework for the Promotion of Law Student and Lawyer Well-Being
Duncan, Nigel J
Field, Rachael
Strevens, Caroline
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Conference title
International Legal Ethics Conference 2018,
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There is increasing interest globally in the notion of psychological well-being and its impact on our personal and professional lives. A large body of international scholarship has now established that levels of psychological distress are unacceptably high in the legal profession and at law school. This paper argues that an ethical imperative exists to address this issue and to enact strategies that will support lawyer and law student well-being. The critical nature of this work is made even more important as a result of pressures and challenges arising from the neo-liberal nature of contemporary society, and its impact on legal professional practice and legal educational environments globally. The ethical conceptual framework developed in this paper, developed on a theoretical framework drawn from self-determination theory, is based on the principle that legal education and legal professional practice should do no harm but rather support well-being and a positive professional identity for lawyers. The paper will draw on the presenters’ experience of working with students in both classroom and live clinical settings with particular reference to initiatives taken to help students to maintain and develop the well-being necessary to thrive

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