Law Students Say They Don’t Get Mental Health Treatment for Fear It Will Keep Them from Becoming Lawyers. Some States Are Trying to Change That.

March 06, 2020

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News


Some states are taking steps to reduce discrimination against law students with mental health conditions. To practice law, students must fill out a state bar application that includes questions about their mental health. Critics say those required questions discourage law students and practicing lawyers from seeking treatment when they are struggling. According to a survey, 45% of law students believe that accessing mental health treatment could prevent them from being admitted to their state’s bar association. States like Connecticut and Louisiana have removed mental health-related questions from their bar applications, and more may be following suit. “[Students] should absolutely get the help they need and not worry about being asked a question that they have to answer and then reveal their medical history,” said New York State Bar President Hank Greenberg. “We don’t do that with any other physiological condition, and that we still do that for mental health is no longer acceptable in 2020.”

Spark Extra! Learn more about barriers to help-seeking.