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Conference Presentation

Publication Details

Ferguson, A. (2018, February). Deconstructing and Reconstructing core motivating beliefs about law without causing destruction. Paper presented at the 2018 National Wellness for Law Forum: Do No Harm, Gold Coast, Australia.

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Copyright © The Author, 2018

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License


My previous research into the predictors of wellbeing in a GDLP has generated data that reinforces the importance to wellbeing of constructing a legal education environment that supports students to feel motivated and well by supporting Self Determination Factors and enabling students to make progress towards their values. Since then, anecdotal examinations of the reasons 1st year law students have come into law and their observed cynicism about the legal professions ability to provide this suggests that there is a profound deconstruction of student’s view of the potential for law to meet their values that occurs at a very early stage in their academic career and that this, if not managed appropriately, may account for some of the demotivation, lack of wellbeing and/or cynicism we observe in later stages of their academic career – possibly through a process of cognitive dissonance. This paper will provide an introductory exploration of this idea with a view to establishing discussion with the audience regarding whether this is an appropriate consideration in our attempts to improve the wellbeing of law students.

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