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ERIC Number: ED548915
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 170
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2677-4213-1
Law Students' Attitudes toward and Preparedness for Mentally Ill Clients
Doherty, Lisa-Marie
ProQuest LLC, Psy.D. Dissertation, Regent University
Currently in the United States, there are far more mentally ill individuals in jails and prisons than in mental hospitals or other treatment facilities. Stigma toward this population presents as a major barrier to eradicating this indictment, yet research has shown that education can help to reduce stigma and, in turn, possibly decreasing the criminalization of the mentally ill. However, attorneys, in particular, are left vulnerable to developing stigmas, as law schools do not adequately prepare them for work with mentally ill clients. Therefore, in order to promote law school reform, this study examined law students' and practicing attorneys' attitudes toward the mentally ill and law students' perceived level of preparedness in working with mentally ill clients. The findings from the study provide empirical support for differences in attitudes toward adults with mental illness between law students and non-law students and between law professionals and non-law professionals, with those involved in and training to be involved in the justice system maintaining more negative attitudes than comparison samples. Moreover, type of law practiced was found to hold a significant main effect among the law professionals sample, with those involved in criminal law presenting with the most favorable attitudes; and gender was found to hold a significant main effect among the law students sample, with females maintaining more positive attitudes than their male counterparts. Lastly, although law students presented as equally prepared to manage a case involving a mentally ill client as a case involving a non-mentally ill client, the number of years spent in law school was negatively related to perceived level of preparedness. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A