Intentional Education Design for Well-Being

02 May 2019, 12:00 to 02 May 2019, 16:00
Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR


The Legal Education Research Network in conjunction with the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies invites participants for a workshop on 2nd May 2019 to contribute to a discussion of the following question: 

Is there a need to incorporate principles of positive psychology into the Law curriculum? 

 This workshop will be of interest to those who wish to understand the complex issues and challenges in terms of design of a curriculum to promote student and staff well-being in Law School. 

Confirmed speakers include:
Professor Rachael Field, Bond Law School Australia
Caroline Strevens, Reader in Legal Education and Head of Portsmouth Law School
Dr Emma Jones, Teaching Director, The Open University Law School
Dr Denise Meyer, Head of Well-being University of Portsmouth Student Wellbeing Service 

The fee £40 will cover refreshments and the event will start with lunch and networking at 12 noon and finish at 4pm.

Student mental health and well-being is constantly in the news as a result of reports of suicide and increased disclosures of depression anxiety and stress. Law Schools and Universities are putting action plans in place and monitoring institutional support processes and their effectiveness. The role of academics in providing pastoral care as part of their personal tutoring duties has been questioned in the recent Student Minds Report[1]. The Office for Students and What Works Well-being have provided financial support and encouragement for research into addressing this issue.

The aim of this workshop is to scrutinize the content of our law curriculum and to image whether and to what extent we can teach principles of positive psychology to law students and whether so doing will make a difference to these students when they graduate and enter the world of legal practice. 

Professor Rachael Field was awarded a prestigious Teaching Fellowship by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council in 2014 seeking to address strategic change in legal education to address high levels of psychological distress in law students[2]. This resulted in a curriculum intervention by way of teaching dispute resolution in order to promote a positive professional identity. Other initiatives have been documented in her book with James Duffy and Colin James (Eds) 2016 Promoting Law Student and Lawyer Well-being in Australia and Beyond.[3]

Caroline Strevens and Emma Jones are planning a special issue of The Law teacher to which we invite participants to submit abstracts on this topic. The full call will be issued in March 2019. 

Participants will also be encouraged to collaborate in a joint research project to design, implement and evaluate a curriculum intervention based upon the conclusions and recommendations taken from the Australian experience. We will discuss empirical research methods and ethical approval as well as possible funding sources in the workshop.

[1] Gareth Hughes and others, “Student Mental Health: The Role and Experiences of Academics” (2018)
[2] Final report: Rachael Field, ‘Promoting law student well-being through the curriculum’ (2014) -
[3] Rachael Field, James Duffy, & Colin James (Eds.). (2016). Promoting Law Student and Lawyer Well-Being in Australia and Beyond. Routledge.

Cost: £40.00 (including refreshments).

Booking is now open.

For any queries, please contact  


IALS Events Office
020 7862 5800