Published on November 13, 2019 by Lauren Wade

BPP University Law School will begin teaching its law students mindfulness and mediation techniques from the end of the month to prepare for the stress of the workplace.

This new measure comes in response to increased awareness surrounding the importance of wellbeing within the legal profession and the realisation that work-related stress among young lawyers is on the rise.

How will students be taught?

BPP students will be able to access specially commissioned audio meditations that they can listen to on their smartphones. There will be a variety of topics to choose from, including: ‘balancing work and life’, ‘self-care’ and ‘getting a good night’s sleep’.

There will also be online learning modules that will deal with key issues, such as ‘controlling anxiety’ and ‘mindfulness on the go’. These modules will be available through BPP’s virtual learning environment (VLE).

Will face to face classes be available?

Yes! BPP will trial transforming some of their classrooms in London (Holborn) and Leeds into pop-up meditation studios. Students will be taken through guided meditation sessions to reap the direct benefits of mindfulness.

If popular with students, the initiative will be rolled out across all of BPP’s campuses.

Why is the initiative being introduced now?

Research published earlier in the year by the Junior Lawyers Division of the Law Society showed rising stress and mental health issues among young lawyers.

Almost half (48%) of the lawyers who took part in the study said that they had experienced poor mental health, which is a 10% increase from the year before. Research by The Law Society also found that 93% had felt stressed, with almost a quarter of them feeling severely or extremely stressed.

Over three quarters (77%) believed that there was more their employer could do to ease stress within the workplace.

What else should I know?

BPP is also introducing new learning technology that is designed to help students maximise their learning success and feel supported in their mental wellbeing.

Data will be available to students and tutors that will identify any study patterns that may be impacting a student’s health and wellbeing, thus encouraging students to work smarter, not harder.

This system will enable staff to work with individual students to review their study plans while ensuring there are no risks to their wellbeing. This is crucial as such risks may not always be evident based on their performance during contact hours.

What do law firms think?

Jeremy Connick, partner at Clifford Chance says: “There is definitely a growing interest among students around mindfulness and meditation but too many still see admitting to stress as a sign of weakness.

“Helping students recognise and deal with stress and pressure will help them to thrive as trainees and junior lawyers in the future. Understanding one’s own mental wellbeing can also really help you understand the needs of others too.

“I think it’s really important for all law school students to appreciate how vital it is that they take control of their own careers and make decisions that will help them achieve the right life-balance for their own priorities.”

Connick is an advocate for better mental health awareness across the legal sector and will launch a speaker programme to help students appreciate the importance of staying aware of their own mental health when they arrive in the workplace.

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