Lawyers routinely use problem-solving skills to tackle difficult, multi-faceted issues for their clients. But lawyers often overlook the ways in which those same skills can be used to improve their own well-being — to problem-solve their lives. The National Task Force on Lawyering Well-Being observed that the profession “is falling short when it comes to well-being” and that “the current state of lawyers’ health cannot support a profession dedicated to client service and dependent on the public trust.”
Central to addressing these challenges is the need for lawyers to develop a framework to design the type of life and vocation that they seek.
This course begins this process by exploring how lawyers can use the skills and innovation principles of problem solving to craft their lives and vocations in and beyond law school. We’ll approach these lifelong questions with a structured classroom framework in which students can practice their problem-solving skills with their peers, facilitated by upper level students (“peer mentors”) who have completed the course.
Topics include exploring views of work and life, defining success, brainstorming different paths, developing approaches to overcome barriers, and prototyping future plans. This class includes seminar-style discussions, personal written reflections, and guest speakers. The capstone assignment is the creation of a long-term plan, focusing on helping students realize the lives they want following post-graduation.