ERIC Number: ED270698
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
Psychological Distress in Law Students and Lawyers.
Benjamin, G. Andrew H.; And Others
The anecdotal literature suggests that the process of legal education impairs the maintenance of emotional well-being in law students. This study examined the emotional well-being of subjects (N=706) before, during, and after law school. Data were collected using four standardized self-report instruments including the Brief Symptom Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory, Multiple Affect Adjective Checklist, and Hassle Scale. A cross-sequential design permitted determination of longitudinal or cohort effects. The results revealed that, prior to law school, subjects expressed psychopathological symptom responses that were similar to the normal population. During law school and after graduation, symptom levels were found to be significantly elevated from those of the normal population. Elevated symptom levels increased as law students continued through law school and did not lessen in the first 2 years of practice after graduation. Further research could examine aspects of distress such as excessive workloads, high student/faculty ratios, and unbalanced development of intellectual skills at the expense of interpersonal skills. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (93rd, Los Angeles, CA, August 23-27, 1985).