Wellness @ SLS

Stanford Law School is committed to the well-being of our students. We strive to help students face the challenges of law school and beyond by providing programming and services within the law school, and connecting students to services, resources, and activities available through the larger Stanford community.

We recognize that wellness is holistic and multi-dimensional, and may mean different things to each individual. Explore below for resources that offer programming to promote well-being across multiple dimensions of wellness: emotional/mental, physical, meaningful/spiritual, social, and financial.

The Office of Student Affairs staff is available to help you in your wellness journey. If you are not sure where to start, contact us or drop by for an appointment. We hope you will develop self-care routines that will serve you well in your time at SLS and in your future practice.

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Counseling and Mental Health

CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services)
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is the university’s counseling center dedicated to student mental health and well-being. An on-call therapist is available 24 hours a day at (650) 723.3785.

The law school has partnered with CAPS to offer on-site counseling to law students (more information, including SLS doctor bios, is available here). Dr. Sonia Amin is dedicated to SLS students and understands the challenges unique to law students. You may book an appointment by calling 650.723.3785 (preferred), or through vadenpatient.stanford.edu. Once you have logged in, select ‘Law Student Counseling Visit’ to select a time.

If you’ve never met with a counselor before, recognize that it sometimes takes a few tries to find a counselor that meets your needs. Law students are not required to meet with Dr. Amin, as there are many other very qualified CAPS counselors. You can view all CAPS counselor profiles here.

Bridge Peer Counseling Center
Anonymous, confidential, 24/7 peer counseling and support. Call (650) 723.3392 (between noon and 9 am) or visit in person at Munger Building 2, 895 Campus Drive, Room 102 (noon to midnight).

Campus resources to help you thrive

Stress Less.  Be Happier.  Accomplish Your Goals.

Explore your natural capacity to thrive, accomplish your goals, and handle challenging situations with more ease, resilience, and confidence through these Stanford resources. For a more complete list of resources, click here.

Well-Being at Stanford helps you cultivate the knowledge and life skills to live a healthy, vibrant lifestyle, manage stress, build resilience, and ensure positive interactions. Their mission is to empower individuals and communities to flourish through education, connection and positive culture change.

Stanford Recreation & Wellness
Your physical wellness starts at Stanford Rec. Explore gyms, take classes, or rent outdoor gear. Sign up for their newsletter to get all the latest news.

Financial Wellness with Mind Over Money
Stanford’s Mind Over Money program offers personal coaching, courses, and online personal finance modules.

Spiritual/Meaningful Wellness
The Office of Religious Life (ORSL) offers events and programs to address your spiritual wellness, however you may define that.

The Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Education Title IX Office (SHARE Title IX) is the University’s central resource for redressing and preventing sexual harassment and violence issues experienced by all Stanford community members.

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Resources for Disordered Coping

Coping skills are the tools people use to help manage and navigate stressful situations or moments of being overwhelmed. Coping skills can be a healthy part of your self-care routine, but when done in excess can lead to disordered behavior (e.g. watching too much TV or playing video games, endlessly scrolling the internet, eating/drinking in excess, shutting down/lashing out). We hope you’ll use the resources available to develop a healthy self-care routine. If you find you’ve developed unhealthy coping skills as a result of stress or overwhelm, please reach out to OSA or our SLS CAPS counselors. We can get you the help you need.

In addition to the Stanford resources listed above, there are a number of statewide and national resources available specifically for law students who are dealing with mental health and/or substance abuse issues. Here are a few:

  • ABA Law Students Division – Mental Health Essentials and Mental Health Resources.
  • ABA Substance Abuse & Mental Health Toolkit, for law school students and those who care about them.
  • CA State Bar Lawyers Assistance Program (LAP). This confidential program helps lawyers and law students and “provides a supportive structure for building a personal program of recovery from chemical dependency and/or mental health disorders.”
  • The Other Bar. CA network of recovering lawyers, law students and judges, dedicated to assisting others who are suffering from alcohol and substance abuse problems. They are founded on the principle of anonymity and provide services in strict confidentiality. More info for law students, including confidential weekly meetings (Wed, 8-9 pm, Zoom).
  • Stanford Cardinal Recovery.

Current Wellness Events

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Wellness Week 2023

Each year, the ABA Law Student Division and the ABA COLAP work together on a Mental Health Day initiative. SLS uses the opportunity to provide additional programming and resources around mental health and wellness.

Naturally, your wellness shouldn’t be limited to a single week. We will plan more programming throughout the year, but we hope you take this opportunity to explore and establish healthy self-care and resilience strategies.

Ongoing thru Wellness Week: Dear 1L & AdvDeg Self
Words of affirmation, support, and wisdom from 2L, 3L, and recently graduated AdvDeg students will play on the screens of Russo Lounge throughout the week.

Ongoing: ORSL Contemplative Programs
The Office of Religious Life offers weekly yoga and meditation sessions at the CIRCLE Sanctuary (Old Union, 3rd floor). Learn more here.

Ongoing: CAPS Workshops, Groups, and online resources
CAPS offers a multitude of workshops and group sessions, you can learn more here. In addition, they’ve recorded many sessions which you can explore from the comfort of your home.

Ongoing thru Wellness Week: SLS Community Tree
Stop by the Russo Lounge to ‘leaf’ your mark on our Community Tree, a participatory art project. We invite you to add your own leaves to the project, or just read what others have contributed.

Place leaves:
in the roots, to note a self-care practice that grounds you
on the trunk, to say what others can do to support you
in the crown, to signify your wishes for the year
falling off the tree, for habits or attitudes you wish to leave behind

Monday, October 9: Wellness Week Mindfulness Meditation with Professor Ron Tyler
Professor Ron Tyler will host his first of weekly, 30-minute mindfulness meditation sessions during Wellness Week. All are welcome, no matter your background or experience.

Meditation is a simple practice of focusing attention. While the benefits of meditation have been understood for centuries, recent studies in neuroscience and psychology suggest that regular practice increases the ability to concentrate, enhances perceptual acuity and resolution, and increases one’s ability to make empathic connections and be present with challenging situations. Meditation can also reduce stress, increase immune response, and increase positive emotions.

Wednesday, October 11: CAPS Connection & Healthy Juice from Pressed
Stop by the student lounge during the lunch break to get to know a few CAPS counselors and pick up fresh, healthy juice from Pressed. SLS’s own Dr. Sonia Amin will be in attendance.

Thursday, October 12: Law Student Mental Health Summit, hosted by Reed Smith
More information (note: free registration required)
6:00 am to 1:00 pm Pacific Time

Reed Smith will host a virtual Law Student Mental Health Summit, an event designed to proactively address the mental health of aspiring lawyers.
Sessions include:

  • 6:15 am PDT: Welcome Remarks
  • 6:30 am PDT: Foundations for Flourishing: Leveraging the science of positive psychology to maximize well-being, resilience and performance
  • 7:35 am PDT: Through the haze: Impacts of alcohol and substance use on the law student mind
  • 8:35 am PDT: What I know now: Survival stories on the path from law school to practice
  • 9:45 am PDT: Future-proofing your mental health starts now
  • 10:45 am PDT: Mental health crisis warning signs
  • 11:50 am PDT: Supporting diverse law students: What law school faculty and administrators should know
  • 12:50 pm PDT: Closing, Mark Goldstein, Partner Chair, Mental Health Task Force, Reed Smith