SWLAW Blog | Dean's Fellow Digest

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November 30, 2020

Dean's Fellow Digest Issue #21 - Caring for You & Your Mental Health

Issue: 2020-11-30

Dean's Fellows consistently strive to support students in realizing their full academic potential, leading ultimately to success on the bar exam and in the workplace. To support all Southwestern students in this goal, the Dean's Fellows created this Digest as a way to check-in at critical times throughout the semester with helpful tips, strategies, and encouragement. 


  • Caring for You & Your Mental Health

Caring for You & Your Mental Health
By: Lilian Zohrab*

Image - Law School Stress MemeAs you well know, Law School is highly rigorous and demanding. Combining that with the daily stresses of life can take a toll on your health.  With the holidays around the corner, this is a great time to take time to care for yourself. That way, you’re ready and energized to begin preparing for finals.

Here are some tips we often neglect:

  • Exercise, even if just for a few minutes per day. Exercise can give you enough energy to replace a cup of coffee. Bonus—when you’re exercising, you’re not briefing!
  • Eating well is key. Now, we’re not suggesting that you turn away every opportunity to eat a donut, just eat more veggies than donuts!
  • Stay hydrated. I know, we drink tons of coffee and energy drinks- but that doesn’t count! You’d be surprised as to how much more alert you feel and more efficiently you study when you’re well hydrated. In addition to other liquids, aim to drink half of your weight in ounces of water per day. (So, if you’re 150lbs, drink 75oz of water per day).
  • Image - No Sleep MemeGet enough sleep. Occasional all-nighters are one thing. But, getting sufficient sleep is just as important as studying. You don’t study as efficiently when you’re tired or when you’re low on sleep. Aim for at least 6 hours of sleep every night.
  • Reward yourself for reaching your goal. For example, take small breaks after completing 1-2 hours of outlining. Taking short, periodic breaks throughout the day, instead of studying for 5 hours straight, keeps you focused and improves cognitive memory.
  • Spend time doing something that brings you joy—especially between semesters. We’re certainly short on time during the semester. But, once you’ve completed your last final, it’s time to relax! Spend time with friends and family, do something crafty, or travel; whatever works for you! When the Spring semester begins, you’ll be refreshed and motivated to tag right back into this marathon.

Sometimes, we experience significant hardships or losses that slow our grind. No one feels great all the time. If you need to talk to someone, Southwestern offers up to three free, confidential, counseling sessions per semester with Dr. Spino, a licensed therapist. For more information, visit: https://www.swlaw.edu/faculty/daria-spino

Additional resources through Southwestern: https://www.swlaw.edu/student-life/support-network

Image - Mental Health Matters


Image - Lilian ZohrabLilian is a 2L Evening student who graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a B.A. in Sociology. She currently works full-time for the County of Los Angeles Human Resources Department and volunteers for the County of Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. Lilian intends to complete a concentration in Criminal Law to advocate for victims of violence.  

Lilian has worked full time throughout her academic career. She knows what it feels like to have a busy schedule and is excited to make herself available to help you work through yours, as well. Lilian looks forward to being a resource for you as you dive into your first year at Southwestern. 

Southwestern Law School Dean's Fellows | Scheduling and Booking Website

Dean’s Fellows are upper-division students with strong academic skills who go through a rigorous application and training process. They are an integral part of the Academic Success and Bar Preparation Department. They are carefully selected based on their academic excellence and ability to teach other students best-practice study methods that will help them become acclimated to the study of law. Dean’s Fellows meet with students as academic mentors.

Please click HERE to make an appointment with a Dean's Fellow.