In Brief

Vol. 39 No. 7

 

Depression and law school

If you think you might suffer from depression—or are concerned about a classmate—Buffalo, New York, lawyer Daniel T. Lukasik would like you to know you’re not alone.

Lukasik has coped with clinical depression for about the past eight years and blogs about depression among lawyers at http://lawyerswithdepression.wordpress.com. In a post called “In the Beginning—Depression in Law School,” he writes that a recent study found that depression rates among law students—which start off comparable to the general population—rise steadily throughout law school, reaching 40 percent by the spring of the 3L year. “Two years after graduation,” Lukasik notes, “17 percent of the students—about twice the rate of depression experienced by the general population—were still depressed.” These statistics have been corroborated by later studies, he adds.

Lukasik draws from a wide range of experts with varying explanations for these high rates, and also shares his own opinions and recommendations regarding how law students and law schools can deal more effectively with clinical depression.

Eating well on a budget—and in a hurry

You know you should eat well, but you’re wall-to-wall busy—not to mention, light in the wallet. You’ve checked out some recipe websites, but none of them seem realistic for a time- and cash-strapped law student.

If that sounds like you, check out “12 Meals that Are Easy, Cheap, and Healthy” at The Frugal Law Student (www.frugallaw
student.com
). Written by “Erica” when she was a 1L at UC Davis, the list includes detailed instructions for such dishes as white beans and tomatoes, ramen stir fry, and huevos rancheros—all of which, she says, satisfy the three criteria in her post’s title.

The post is a few years old, but the recipes are timeless. We don’t have updated information about Erica, so we’ll assume she’s now a successful—and healthy—lawyer.

Got a crisis? Get help!

If you’re in law school, chances are, you’re a high achiever who’s used to being able to get things done and take everything in stride. But you’re not immune to ill-timed emergencies, and if one strikes you, it’s OK to ask for help. Yes, really.

That’s according to Amy Jarmon, assistant dean for academic success programs at Texas Tech University School of Law. When the unthinkable happens—a computer crashes with outlines and paper drafts on it, say, or a parent goes bankrupt and can no longer pay a student’s rent—“too many students try to handle these crises by themselves without getting help from resources that are available to them,” she says.

Why? In a post at the Law School Academic Support Blog (http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/academic_support), Jarmon speculates that some students might feel embarrassed about the nature of the crisis, or fear that a dean or faculty member will think less of them if they ask for help. Not so, she writes; most law schools have policies and procedures in place to help students in crisis.

Once you assess what in particular might help you recover from the crisis, she says, your next step should be to talk to the associate dean for academics, associate dean for student affairs, director of academic support, or similar staff member. He or she can then refer you to resources within the school, the affiliated university, or the community. Depending on the crisis, you might be able to reschedule your deadlines—or even secure a short-term emergency loan through your school.

 

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