Comparative Well-Being and Professional Identity Formation in Legal Education: United Kingdom and United States

Date: Monday, March 18th from 11:00am – 12:00 pm EST/10:00 – 11:00am CT/9:00 – 10:00am MT/8:00 – 9:00am PT

Join us for a panel discussion exploring the relationship between wellbeing and professional identity formation in law schools. The session will discuss issues such as the importance of wellbeing and professional identity,  approaches to integrating professional identity formation and wellbeing support into legal curricula, challenges and opportunities arising from such integration, and future developments in this area. With speakers from both the AALS Wellbeing & Balance Section and the UK’s Association of Law Teachers, the speakers will provide rich comparative insights as well as encouraging contributions from attendees

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Shailini Jandial George, Professor, Suffolk University Law School


Shailini George is a professor at Suffolk University Law School in Boston and is a passionate advocate for law student and lawyer well-being. Shailini teaches legal writing and a 1L well-being and professional identity formation course, and her scholarship focuses in the areas of lawyer well-being, mindfulness, and the cognitive science of learning. She is the author of The Law Student’s Guide to Doing Well and Being Well (Carolina Academic Press 2021), as well as law review articles on distraction and the cognitive science of learning and why law students need mindfulness training. Shailini pursues her passion for well-being through her leadership in local and national organizations which are dedicated to advancing the well-being of legal professionals, serving as the Vice President of Law Schools for the Institute for Well-Being in Law, as a member of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s Standing Committee on Lawyer Well-Being where she also co-chairs of its Legal Education Subcommittee, and as the chair-elect of the AALS Balance and Wellbeing in Law Section, where she was the winner of the 2022 award for her work on law student well-being.



Emma Jones, Senior Lecturer in Law, The University of Sheffield School of Law


I joined the Law School in January 2020. I am currently chairing the modules Remedies in Private Law, Digital Lawyering (undergraduate) and Legal Tech and Lawyering in the Digital Age (postgraduate). I also teach on the Law of Obligations. I am also Director of Student Wellbeing for the School of Law.

Prior to joining Sheffield, I worked at The Open University Law School for five years as a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer. During my time there I was the director of my faculty’s scholarship centre and one of the founders of the Open Justice Centre. My last role was as Law School Teaching Director.

Before moving into academia I was a solicitor in private practice, specialising in construction law. I also taught in the further education sector.

My research interests focus on the role of emotions and wellbeing in legal education and the legal profession and I have conducted a range of empirical work on these topics, as well as writing from a theoretical perspective.



Noel McGuirk, Lecturer in Law, Lancaster University Law School


Noel’s research interests are broadly spread across three areas: legal education, terrorism, and public/constitutional law.

Noel’s legal education scholarship focuses on investigating student wellbeing at university. Noel (with colleagues Dr Laura Hughes-Gerber and Dr Rafael Savva) has written a number of forthcoming papers on embedding inclusivity in a law curriculum by developing a set of curriculum design principles to support student wellbeing. This research has been undertaken against the contemporary context of changes in the routes to professional legal qualification, and the consequences of the pandemic on higher education. Currently, this project is undertaking empirical research involving law students to begin identifying and understanding contemporary student wellbeing needs at university.

Noel’s terrorism research focuses on the relationship between terrorism, counterterrorism and human rights law. He is particularly interested in analysing legal responses to terrorism that have been adopted by various countries to assist in managing the prevailing threat of terrorism. Noel’s first monograph was published in February 2021 (in hardback) and August 2022 (in softback) which is titled: ‘Terrorist Profiling and Law Enforcement: Detection, Prevention and Deterrence’. This work examines the use of profiling methods and techniques by law enforcement officers in the prevention, detection and prosecution of those engaged in terrorism and/or its associated preparatory activities.

Noel also has an interest in public/constitutional law. He joined the editorial team of Prof Michael Doherty’s textbook ‘Public Law’ now in its 3rd edition. Noel is also currently working on two chapters on constitutional issues raised by public emergencies due for publication in an edited collection forthcoming in 2025 titled ‘Citizens, the State and Justice’. These chapters focus on the evolving and dynamic nature of the right to protest as well as examining the exceptionality of ‘terrorism’ as an excuse by the state to limit fundamental rights.



Natalie Netzel, Associate Professor of Law and Director of Clinical Legal Education, Mitchell Hamline School of Law


Natalie Netzel is the Education and Advocacy Director of the Institute to Transform Child Protection at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. She joined the Institute to Transform Child Protection as a staff attorney in August of 2016. Natalie works directly with law and social work students in the Child Protection Clinic in representation of parents in child protection cases. She also supports institute training, research, and community engagement events. Additionally, Natalie served as the Director of the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project at Mitchell Hamline School of Law.

Prior to joining the Institute to Transform Child Protection, Natalie was a judicial law clerk for the Minnesota Court of Appeals. She received her B.A. from Hamline University, her M.S.E. in counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, and her J.D. from Mitchell Hamline School of Law.