Expectations, experiences and wellbeing – School of Law | Te Kura Ture

Ursula Cheers Lynne Taylor

An ongoing longitudinal study across three Aotearoa New Zealand universities has already changed teaching and wellbeing practices in the School of Law | Te Kura Ture.

The longitudinal study, which began in 2014, aims to present those teaching law with comprehensive data to inform their teaching practices and potentially to enhance the law school experience more widely across Aotearoa New Zealand. The study is funded by the Ako Aotearoa Southern Regional Hub Project Fund.

UC’s School of Law has already begun to make changes based on some preliminary findings. As well as implementing a Wellbeing Plan, adopted unanimously by staff last year, the School has introduced an early warning system to identify students in their first or second year who may be struggling with their studies. A student advisor phones these students to check on how they are doing and offer support and assistance.

Co-author on the study Associate Professor Lynne Taylor (pictured above right), whose lectures include ‘Lynne’s life tips’, says students often need help transitioning from high school to study at university as well as ongoing assistance with developing resilience.

“If students are not managing their time now, if they are pulling all-nighters or getting sick, this is the time to learn to do it differently. Law is stressful, workforce pressure is much greater and they will be dealing with other people’s lives and money.

If we can equip our students to deal with these challenges, they will be far more successful.”

Dean of Law | Amo Ture and co-author Professor Ursula Cheer (pictured above left) says the future can be worrying for students.

“The law profession is changing. We need to make them aware of skills as well as knowledge and bring them confidence around self-management.”

UC’s School of Law | Te Kura Ture has recently hosted a first for Aotearoa New Zealand, a symposium for law academics from around the country to connect on teaching, learning and wellbeing.