Zoe Swan, senior lecturer in law and undergraduate law courses leader at the university, launched the wellbeing and resilience workshops for first-year undergraduate students earlier this academic year as part of timetabled teaching content on the law degrees.
The classes are thought to be the first of their kind in the UK and consist of two one-hour lecture sessions followed by two hourly workshops for each seminar group. The lectures explores the context for learning about resilience within law school and the legal profession, what resilience is and how developing an awareness of it and holistic wellbeing can contribute to supporting law students’ mental, emotional and physical health at university and beyond.
The workshops are practical and experiential. Students consider the roles of various lawyers, what they do and the skills and personal qualities needed to practice in these roles and differing work environments set against an understanding of the skills law students need to master to achieve at law school.
Students also explore and practice a range of strategies to support their individual and collective wellbeing, which include group meditation, mindfulness, breath work, mindset, food choices, setting intentions and goals, time management and sleep practices.
Zoe, who is also a qualified wellness coach, told The Times: “I want to support students to engage in what they need to support themselves during their studies and in their careers.”
“University courses focus on teaching knowledge, but students must be prepared to go out into the real world and they need to develop resilience skills before they are in practice.”