Professor of the Practice of Law University of Denver Sturm College of Law


Professor Austin is writing a book that addresses the lawyer well-being crisis by summarizing the studies that demonstrate that law students and lawyers suffer from high rates of anxiety, depression, burnout, substance misuse, and suicide risk; explaining relevant parts of the brain, and how stress impacts lawyer brain function; reviewing the neuroscience and psychology research that links brain health and mental strength to well-being; and providing an action plan for lawyers to enhance their well-being, optimize their performance, and improve their brain health and mental strength.

The Introduction and Chapter 1 are available for download below.

The Legal Brain: A Lawyer’s Guide to Well-being and Better Job Performance
(forthcoming from Cambridge University Press)

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: The Impaired Lawyer

Chapter 2: The Spectrum from Languishing to Flourishing

Chapter 3: The Lawyering Culture

Chapter 4: The Lawyer Brain

Chapter 5: Memory, Knowledge, and Skill Acquisition

Chapter 6: Motivation, Reward, and Habit Learning

Chapter 7: The Impact of Stress

Chapter 8:  The Influence of Self-Medication

Chapter 9: The Importance of Fuel

Chapter 10: Optimizing Brain Health

Chapter 11: Building Mental Strength

Chapter 12: Developing an Action Plan




Copyright Debra Austin. All rights reserved.

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