CUP Undergraduate Research


Benefits of Psychology in Legal Education and Career

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis


College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences



Degree Name

Psychology, BA

First Advisor

Erin Mueller, PhD


High levels of stress, substance abuse, and psychological dysfunction riddle the lives of law students and continues on into the legal profession (Larcombe & Fethers, 2013). This study attempted to investigate the potential benefits of psychology in relation to legal education and career. The interaction between knowledge of psychology, stress, moral development, and legal education were examined. Quantitative data were collected from current law students via online surveys regarding stress levels, perception of psychology in legal education, and moral development. Qualitative data also were collected in the form of interviews with current law students, practicing attorneys, legal professors, and current undergraduate students who plan to attend law school. Results showed significant differences in law students with psychology majors in comparison with non-psychology majors in levels of stress and depression, but no significant difference in anxiety levels. During the interviews, all participants expressed a level of importance in incorporating psychology into legal education and practice.

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