I have always been an advocate for mental health, having struggled with my own mental health issues for the last three decades. I make no secret of the fact that I struggle with mental health daily, and I encourage those around me, especially my students, to reach out to me if they are struggling with their own mental health.
I have had and continue to have the privilege to work alongside many intelligent, experienced and hard-working women: as a legal practitioner, as an academic, and as an Executive Dean. And I have seen women who are much smarter than me, with more experience than me, and who work much harder than me somehow end up earning less money than me or holding less elevated positions in the corporate or institutional hierarchy.
Law students are likely experiencing many challenges at the moment. They or their loved ones might be suffering from COVID19 or they might be in a high-risk demographic or location. They may be recently unemployed or stranded far from support networks. They may have new responsibilities as they care for or home school family members… Naturally, I am wondering what I can do to assist my students during my next teaching semester.
Now more than ever it’s important that we maintain our own well-being. Much is being asked of us as legal educators. Our students are needing our support and we need to have capacity to be responsive to them – not only in terms of their learning as we move to online approaches, but also just generally. We are having to be adaptive and agile in adopting new ways of being legal academics.