Substance Misuse in the Legal Profession at the Law School Wellness Project at Stanford Law School

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Sturm College of Law


Substance misuse, Wellbeing crisis, Anxiety, Depression, Alcohol, Stress


The legal field may be in the midst of a wellbeing crisis. Recent research has shown high rates of anxiety, depression, and substance misuse in both law students and lawyers. In the WellnessCast™ this month, Dr. Anna Lembke describes the Neighborhood Effect risk factor for substance misuse. In my article, Drink Like a Lawyer: The Neuroscience of Substance Use and its Impact on Cognitive Wellness, I discuss how drinking is a way for law students to unwind and how law school functions often highlight the availability of alcohol to draw students to attend them. The research cited above indicates that the law practice Neighborhood might create an even greater alcohol misuse risk to new lawyers.

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Copyright is held by the Stanford Law School. User is responsible for all copyright compliance. This blog post was originally published as Debra Austin, Guest Blog Post by Professor Debra Austin, JD, PHD, Author of Drink Like a Lawyer, STANFORD LAW SCHOOL WELLNESS PROJECT (Mar. 11, 2017),

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Austin, Debra; Stanford Law School


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2 pgs

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75 KB

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Stanford Law School Wellness Project