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Supporting Law Students with Twelve Weeks of Wellness

Published April 29, 2022

Law school is one of the most rewarding and memorable times of a person’s life. Nonetheless, there is no hiding it is also a demanding and grueling journey. While fostering innovative thinking in the classroom is one of the foundational pillars at the UB School of Law, we also consistently strive to develop supportive programs that help our students find success. Most recently, the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) launched the Twelve Weeks of Wellness, just one more way our school is continuously preparing our students for the rigors of law school and beyond. This month’s post will dive into why mental health is important in the legal profession, the launching of the program and its various events. 

The Importance of Mental Health in the Legal Field

As a professional student, striking a balance between academic, personal, and financial goals can be difficult. Very often, the pressure to succeed can lead to unmet mental and physical needs. This spiral can quickly lead to a lack of mental clarity, distractibility, and unmanageable stress. Identifying necessary boundaries and developing a routine early on in a student’s schooling can enable them to thrive in the face of adversity. Although adding mindfulness and self-care to a schedule can feel like a burden or distraction from studies, even the most minute activity can boost working-memory and decrease burnout.  At UB Law, we not only want to support our students while in school but know upon graduation most will enter the world of helping-professions. These types of careers are often fast-paced, and include intense emotional interactions. To fully feel the rewards of their work, caring for the mind, body and spirit is critical to lawyer well-being. 

What is the Twelve Weeks of Wellness?

The Twelve Weeks of Wellness is a program spanning nearly the full Spring 2022 semester. During each of the twelve weeks, events take place that are dedicated to a specific topic. These can produce ideas to cultivate a personal self-care plan. Launched on January 31st, the School of Law kicked off this initiative with a “Welcome Back Pizza Luncheon.” During the luncheon, students planned for the coming weeks by identifying the areas they needed to focus on.  Here are some of the tips that the OSA shared to get started:

  • Choose an area you think needs your attention or create a unique one.
  • Plan by week: choose one or two little steps you can take to grow in one of your selected areas.
  • Plan by day: choose one or two things you can do for self-care or support.
  • Do not “over plan.” Start simple.
  • Reach out for support if needed. 

For more resources check out the Planning for Wellness Guide.


Past weeks have included events such as “Sip and Whine!” night hosted by the First-Generation Law Students Association (FGLSA), guided meditation with Professor Luis Chiesa, creating art with Vice Dean Lisa Patterson, and the Law Library’s Book Exchange. Additionally, on March 29th, law students joined M. Elizabeth (Libby) Coreno, of the NYSBA Task Force on Lawyer Wellbeing. Libby shared her experiences as a lawyer and advocate during her presentation on Wellness and Gratitude in the Legal Profession. The NYSBA launched this task force in 2020 to uncover the impacts of a career in the legal field on health, beginning with law students and ending with retirement. The work to assure attorneys are supported is paramount and, therefore, continuing to expand.  This is just a glimpse into the events that have taken place over the last twelve weeks. To learn more about all the events, check out the 12 Weeks of Wellness schedule.

Additional Resources

Photo of Rachael Herbst.

Rachael Herbst is the Admissions Coordinator at the University at Buffalo School of Law.


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