Dimensions of Law Student Wellbeing

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Miami Law provides robust and diverse wellbeing related resources and programming. Through these offerings we hope that students will lead healthy, balanced lives and learn to effectively manage the opportunities and challenges inherent to the study and practice of law.

We invite you to explore these eight inter-related dimensions of wellbeing; each dimension plays an indispensable role in your academic and personal success.

Emotional Wellbeing

By focusing on emotional wellbeing students can learn to reduce negative stress, prevent burnout, build healthy habits, and prioritize their mental health.

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  1. The University of Miami Counseling Center (UMCC) provides counseling to support students’ academic success. The interdisciplinary clinical staff at UMCC includes psychologists, clinical social workers, mental health counselors, psychiatrists, and psychiatric nurses. UMCC can be contacted 24 hours a day at 305-284-5511. They also accept walk ins at their offices on the second floor of the ‘Canes Central building. Students also have access to a quick and anonymous mental health Self Screening Assessment.
  2. The Dean of Students and our Student Affairs team are available to address students’ personal, academic and professional issues that develop during their law school career. Students are encouraged to reach out with any concerns. Assistant Directors of Student Life Jack Townsend (1L sections A and B) and Odetta Clarke (1L sections C and D), both Miami Law alumni, are a wonderful first point of contact for students.
  3. The Law School is home to two emotional wellbeing focused student organizations. The Mental Health Collective (“MHC”) aims to assist students in dealing with stress and mental health issues in the context of law school as well as promote mental health on campus. The Insightful Mind Initiative (“IMI”) works to enhance the law school experience by helping students establish mindfulness and other contemplative practices which can lead to greater academic success and personal wellbeing.
  4. The Law School is fortunate to have a Sober Law Students Association. Students that are in recovery, or are curious about sobriety should email SLSA@law.miami.edu for more information on upcoming meetings and events. 
  5. Florida Lawyers Assistance (“FLA”) is our state’s Lawyer Assistance Program (“LAP). FLA provides confidential assistance and support to lawyers, judges and law students who have substance use or mental health issues which negatively affect their lives and careers. FLA fosters recovery by providing assessments, referrals, education, and maintaining a supportive network of recovering legal professionals, including regular stress relief and substance use support group meetings. The ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) publishes information on other state LAPs, as well as a Mental Health Toolkit.
  6. Students should also be aware of the diversity of group-based programs and national referral services designed to help those dealing with mental health and substance use challenges. These include: Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Eating Disorders, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (SAMHSA), the National Alliance on Mental Illness and so many more.
  7. The ’Canes Care for ’Canes online referral system allows students to report concerns they may have about fellow ’Canes anonymously. If students can take a few extra moments to care for a classmate, friend, or a fellow 'Cane, they can make a true difference in the life of that person and the wellbeing of our community.

Environmental Wellbeing

Environmental wellbeing contemplates not only the health of our planet and natural environment, but also our more immediate surroundings. Environmental wellbeing means having safe, comfortable, and accommodating physical spaces to live and work.

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  1. Miami Law’s Office of Accessibility and Inclusion ensures that students with disabilities are fully supported and works collaboratively with law school staff, faculty, and students to create a learning environment that is accessible, diverse and inclusive for everyone. For questions about accessibility and accommodations contact Director Jessie Howell.
     
  2. The Law School is fortunate to have two student organizations focused on the wellbeing of our natural and built environment. The mission of the Environmental Law Society (“ELS”) is to explore policy issues and career opportunities centered in environmental law. The Environmental Justice Network (“EJN”) was created to mobilize and organize local and national efforts to curb environmental wrongs, especially those which create social injustice.
     
  3. The University of Miami Police Department (“UMPD”) UMPD supports the safety and security of everyone on campus through proactive community-policing efforts and 24/7 patrol by highly skilled and experienced officers. UMPD also offers continuous crime prevention and safety programming for the University community, including self-defense courses. 
     
  4. The UMPD also offers a Campus Escort Service. A UM Police employee or security officer will make sure you are free to walk the campus safely any time and on any day, holidays and school breaks included. Anyone may request a safety escort at no cost.
     
  5. Green U is more than just an office promoting sustainability. It is the culmination of all efforts to increase sustainability throughout the University while educating our community to be better stewards of the environment. From transportation solutions to recycling programs, public-awareness campaigns to research initiatives, Green U is helping the University of Miami grow greener every day.
     
  6. The University of Miami provides Housing Resources for students looking for off campus living options. These resources include an extensive and searchable rental listing map with hundreds of housing choices. These listings give students a safe and accessible way to approach landlords and realtors through the security of the UM website.

Financial Wellbeing

Financial wellbeing prioritizes thoughtful planning and careful decision making when it comes to spending and saving. Financial wellbeing also means managing one’s debts and monetary obligations in such a way as to prevent them from causing stress, anxiety, and hardship.

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  1. ‘Canes Central is the student hub for both financial aid related inquires and questions about student accounts. There are a variety of ways to connect with ‘Canes Central: students can search for information under Get Help With…, open a virtual ticket by Submitting a Case, walk in, schedule an appointment, or contact ‘Canes Central by phone.
     
  2. Miami Law has its own in depth Financial Wellness Page, which includes guidance on budgeting and making smart financial decisions during and after law school. Students who have further questions about planning their finances both in law school, during bar prep, and after starting one’s career are also encouraged to reach out to Assistant Director of Student Life Odetta Clarke.
     
  3. The Law School  Admissions Office also offers a number of extremely helpful financial informational resources, tips and FAQS for both incoming and current law students. This resource is particularly  helpful for managing and being mindful of important dates associated with financial aid and tuition. 
     
  4. MAX by AccessLex is a financial education platform offered by the AccessLex Institute. MAX provides quick and easy to understand lessons, in-person and online learning options, and one-on-one financial coaching from Accredited Financial Counselors. MAX covers a wide selection of subjects from paying for law school to investing for one’s retirement – and every step in between. Students can use MAX to create a financial plan for free. Engagement with the platform also gives students the opportunity to win scholarships through the Scholarship Incentives Program. AccessLex also maintains a Scholarship Databank where students can search and apply for over 800 external scholarship opportunities.

Intellectual Wellbeing

Within this dimension of wellbeing students can engage with interesting and challenging subject matter that fosters growth and intellectual development. 

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  1. Our Academic Achievement Program (“AAP”) supports students’ intellectual wellbeing through frequent workshops, bar preparation programs, and the Dean’s Fellow program detailed below. After graduation, all Miami Law graduates have the opportunity to work individually with a "bar coach," selected by the AAP, who will provide personalized guidance throughout the bar study process.
     
  2. Dean’s Fellows offer first-year students a chance to participate in weekly study group sessions for individual classes. These sessions are facilitated by Dean's Fellows — upper-level (2L or 3L) students selected by faculty members to create interactive exercises geared toward different learning styles.
     
  3. Jurisight, a part of Miami Law’s Mindfulness in Law Program, is a groundbreaking workshop for 1L students seeking to optimize their performance and reduce stress. Students learn to develop positive habits, embrace uncertainty, tone down distractions, and above all, enjoy law school.
     
  4. Our law reviews, clinics, and faculty members frequently host symposia and conferences with distinguished speakers and guests, including Justice Anthony Kennedy and Justice John Paul Stevens. These stimulating academic discussions often tackle challenging and meaningful subjects such as criminal justice reform and civil rights.
     
  5. The Miami Law faculty and administration  have created “I Want the Incoming Students to Know...” a collection of  inspirational and encouraging words for first year students to help them make the most of their transition to law school.  Upper level students should also feel free to peruse these words of wisdom while  considering their own law school  journey.

Occupational Wellbeing

To be a good lawyer, one has to be a healthy lawyer. By cultivating occupational wellbeing, students can seek professional fulfillment by choosing and finding work that offers them a personal sense of purpose and satisfaction.

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  1. The Career Development Office (“CDO”) offers comprehensive job search and professional development services and resources for students and alumni. Every Miami law student is assigned a CDO advisor who they can meet with on a 1-on-1 basis.
     
  2. The starting point for law students interested in social justice advocacy and public service is the HOPE Public Interest Resource Center. HOPE (Helping Others Through Pro Bono Efforts) provides individualized guidance to help students identify programs, clinics, projects, courses, and opportunities at the law school and beyond. HOPE builds on topical and timely issues to create opportunities for law students to provide legal services and support those most in need.
     
  3. The Law School offers a plethora of Networking and Mentoring opportunities for students to connect with attorneys, judges, academics, and other students. The relationships formed as a result of these interactions can help students identify work that is enjoyable and fits their values.
     
  4. A key component of law students’ professional development is the process of seeking admission to a state bar. It is not uncommon for students to perceive the bar admission process as a complex and daunting endeavor. With regards to the “character and fitness” process, the Florida Board of Bar Examiners (“FBBE”) has stated that it “supports applicants seeking mental health treatment, and views effective treatment from a licensed professional as enhancing the applicant’s ability to meet the essential eligibility requirements to practice law.” The Florida Bar has also posted powerful videos in which practicing attorneys share their personal stories around mental health and substance use treatment and recovery. Assistant Dean of Students Amy Perez is available to answer students’ questions regarding the character and fitness bar admission process.

Physical Wellbeing

Physical wellbeing emphasizes keeping one’s body healthy so that we may live long and happy lives. Being physically well is also a performance enhancer, enabling us to thrive inside and outside the classroom.

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  1. The University of Miami Student Health Services provides primary care, specialty care, and pharmacy services to University of Miami students. Students are not required to have the University sponsored insurance plan to utilize Student Health Services. Appointments can be scheduled at mystudenthealth.miami.edu and services are also available on a “drop in” basis.
     
  2. The Patti & Allan Herbert Wellness Center is designed to be one of the finest centers in the nation for recreational sports, fitness, and wellbeing education programs. All law students have full access to the Wellness Center, which features personal trainers and group fitness classes, an indoor pool, indoor sport courts (racquetball, basketball, etc..), saunas, massage therapy, meditation classes, nutrition consulting, CHAMP fitness assessments, Fitberry (smoothie bar), and so much more.
     
  3. UM Dining offers an array of food and beverage options on campus, including Einstein Bros Bagels, Starbucks, Sushi Maki, Pollo Tropical, Subway, Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, the University of Miami Rathskeller, and many more. Every Wednesday, our campus is home to the Well ‘Canes Marketplace, which includes fresh fruit smoothies and vegan food options. UM Dining has also produced its own healthy eating and wellbeing guide available here.
     
  4. Outdoor Adventures is a fitness and recreation space in the new Lakeside Village featuring a rock-climbing wall, sand volleyball courts, an outdoor gym, and rentals for both watersports gear and camping gear.
     
  5. The Intramural Sports Program offers students the opportunity to play competitively or recreationally in a variety of sports and activities such as flag football, soccer, volleyball, basketball kickball, and others. Teams compete against other teams within the UM community. The current IM sports schedule can be viewed here.
     
  6. Title IX protects students and employees from discrimination based on sex in educational programs. This includes UM’s commitment, through the It’s On Us Campaign, to prevent and address sexual violence on our campus. The Title IX Office also publishes guidance for pregnant students.
     
  7. The Sandler Center is a comprehensive prevention, intervention, education, and referral program focusing on alcohol and other drug use and dependency. By working in partnership with all members of the campus community, the Center strives to promote healthy lifestyles, educate students about the negative consequences of high-risk use of alcohol and other drugs, and increase awareness within the University community.

Social Wellbeing

Social wellbeing focuses on cultivating a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support network while also contributing to our Miami Law and greater communities.

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  1. The Master Calendar is the hub for events happening at the law school. Every week there are myriad events hosted by student organizations, the administration, and faculty. Many of these events are scheduled for the lunch period (12:30 – 2:00 PM) so that students can take a break from their studies to socialize and engage with their fellows.
     
  2. The Law School offers more than 60 Student Organizations, which are student led and free for any Miami Law student to join. These include our diversity/affinity groups: the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, Black Law Students Association, First Generation Law Association, Hispanic Law Students Association, Miami Law Women, OUTLaw, and South/West Asian & North African Law Students Association. Every year at the outset of the Fall semester, the Law School hosts a Student Organization Fair for our many organizations to introduce themselves to the students.
     
  3. The University of Miami LGBTQ Center provides a holistic approach to educating and creating awareness around issues of gender, sexuality, and identity using restorative practices that transform the lives of students and the greater Miami community. Whether students are looking for a place to get involved, feel connected, or just hang out, they should visit the center. Everyone is welcome!
     
  4. The Multicultural Student Affairs (“MSA”) Office delivers services and programs that challenge, motivate, and support ethnically diverse students the University of Miami. MSA also seeks to bring diversity and multiculturalism to the foreground of campus conversation by sponsoring programs that celebrate cultural differences and highlight similarities that connect us all. MSA’s calendar of events is available here.
     
  5. In October the Law School hosts a Wellness Week. This celebration is designed to recognize and champion student wellbeing in conjunction with National Law Student and World Mental Health Day. The central event of the week is the Law School Wellness Fair, during with the Bass Bricks comes alive with an array of wellbeing related resources, activities, and camaraderie, including chair massages, flu shots, smoothies, essential oils, gratitude journal giveaways, games and prizes, and so much more.
     
  6. Dean’s Cup is an annual spirited competition held in the Spring between the Law School and Med School. With over 25 events -- from basketball and soccer to darts and e-gaming – there is something for everyone!

Spiritual Wellbeing

Through spiritual wellbeing we want our students to feel a purposeful and harmonious connectedness with themselves, their community, art, nature, or a power greater than themselves. One can also cultivate spiritual wellbeing through charitable efforts and acts of service within their community.

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  1. The Chaplains Association, one of the bodies responsible for religious life on campus, includes various campus ministries that provide activities addressing spiritual needs. These services include scripture study, community service, counseling, discussions, fellowship, leadership training, retreats, social events, and worship.
     
  2. The University’s Richter Library, located adjacent to the law school, contains a Prayer and Meditation Space for the purposes of contemplation, reflection, and spiritual practice by individuals or small groups. All University of Miami students have access to the space, and it does not require reservation or appointment. For Muslim students, there is also an Ablution Area and Prayer Space located in the Storm Surge Room at the University Center.
     
  3. The Law School is proud to host a diversity of Religiously and Spiritually Affiliated Student Organizations. The Cardozo Jewish Legal Society aims to promote a spirit of community among the Jewish law students at the University of Miami. In addition, the Cardozo Society serves a bridge between students and the many amazing resources Miami’s Jewish community has to offer. The St. Thomas More Society is centered on viewing legal questions and social issues through the perspective of Catholicism. The organization’s goal is to provide students, faculty and staff with opportunities to explore the Catholic faith through intellectual discussion, service projects, and prayer. The Christian Legal Society (“CLS”) is the University of Miami Law student chapter of the greater Christian Legal Society. CLS provides a community where students, faculty, and alumni can come together for a time of fellowship.

For More Information

The Dean of Students and our Student Affairs team are available to address students’ personal, academic and professional issues that develop during their law school career.