UW School of Law > Students > Counseling Resources

Counseling Resources

The law school experience can be stressful. At least one out of every five law students seeks counseling during the course of law school. (Keep in mind that if 1/5 law students actually seek counseling, the numbers of students who could actually benefit from counseling is substantially higher.) If you are a student who may benefit from counseling, or if you simply need someone to talk to, please ask for help. It is available, and perhaps more accessible than you realized.

Below you will find some of the professional counseling options available to UW students. These options are both high quality and low cost. (Fees subject to change.)

If you have the student insurance plan, you may receive 15 outpatient mental health visits per policy year (10 of which must be received at Hall Health Primary Care Center or the Student Counseling Center in Schmitz Hall). For more information on student insurance coverage can be found at the UW Student Insurance Office website. You may also pick up a comprehensive coverage brochure at the Student Insurance Office, Room 468/469 Schmitz Hall, (206) 543-6202.

In addition to outside resources, the Law School has a mental health professional on call; services are free of charge to law students. For both financial and workload reasons, our doctor accepts clients on a referral basis. Please see the Dean of Students for a referral.

The law school community cares about its students. If you need help, ask one of your professors, ask an administrator, ask your peers, or ask your SBA representatives. We all care.

Student Counseling Center

401 Schmitz Hall
206-543-1240
The Counseling Center offers vocational, educational, and personal counseling from clinical psychologists, educational psychologists, and interns. For individual counseling, there is a $15 charge for the 45-minute intake session. Additional sessions are $30 each. Group rates vary from $20.00 per session; couples are $35 per session. The Center also offers a 90-minute free workshop that includes test time management, procrastination, memorization skills, test anxiety, stress reduction, reading & note-taking skills. The Center is open year-round, 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. After-hours, call the Crisis Clinic's 24-hour crisis line at 206-461-3222.

Mental Health Clinic at Hall Health Center

3rd Floor, Hall Health Center
206-543-5030
Services at Hall Health include evaluation, referral, crisis intervention and short-term psychotherapy. Rates vary according to service and provider. Services are available for individuals, couples, and groups. Group services focus on topics such as eating disorders, stress management, grief, and issues specific to men and to women.

Psychological Services and Training Center

Guthrie Annex I
206-543-6511
Staffed by graduate students training for careers as clinical psychologists, under the direct supervision of licensed psychologists. Open for individual and family counseling. Sliding fee scale starts at $28 per session and is based on income/financial aid status. All clients pay a $55 intake fee.

UWMC Roosevelt Outpatient Psychiatry Center

4225 Roosevelt Way NE
206-598-7793
The UW Medical Center's Outpatient Psychiatry Center specializes in the evaluation and treatment of a broad range of psychiatric conditions in adults. Initial intake and evaluation fees vary. Fees for subsequent visits also vary per session.

Disabled Student Services

448 Schmitz Hall
206-543-8925 (Voice/TTY)
DSS is open year round from 8am-5pm, Monday through Friday. Students are welcome to stop by. To guarantee a staff member's time, call and make an appointment. Counseling and guidance are available.

Women's Center

1st Floor, Cunningham Hall
206-685-1090
The Women's Center offers re-entry services to women and men over 25 who are considering returning to or have already enrolled in school. Services are free and include information about career planning, financial aid, and community resources. The Center also provides personal adjustment counseling and a weekly support group. Hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday.

King County Sexual Assault Center (Renton)

1-800-825-7273
Offers free 24-hour telephone counseling to rape victims and their loved ones. Advocate-counselors will meet with a rape victim and assist in talking to hospital personnel and police. Referrals are made to support groups and to therapists.

King County Crisis Clinic

206-461-3222
Offers immediate and confidential assistance, including information and links to local community resources, for people in emotional distress and in need of help. Grief counseling and support for survivors of suicide are available.

Self-care resources

The American Psychological Association has produced a number of online brochures for the public. Brochures of note include:

Another useful resource to explore, particularly for materials on stress, depression, and suicide prevention, is the Healthy Students' Self-Care Guide

To learn more about the effects of legal education and practice on mental health, please see:

  • Lawrence S. Krieger, Institutional Denial about the Dark Side of Law School, and Fresh Empirical Guidance for Constructively Breaking the Silence, 52 J. Legal Educ. 1 12 (2002).
  • Gerald F. Hess, Heads and Hearts: The Teaching and Learning Environment in Law School, 52 J. Legal Educ. 75 (2002).
  • Beck, Sales & Benjamin, Lawyer Distress: Alcohol-Related Problems and Other Psychological Concerns Among a Sample of Practicing Lawyers, 10 J. of Law and Health 1 (1996).
  • Benjamin, Darling & Sales, The Prevalence of Depression, Alcohol Abuse, and Cocaine Abuse Among United States Lawyers, 13 Inter l J. of Law and Psychiatry 2 33-246 (1990).
  • For a list of books offering hope and help for lawyers and law students, visit the American Bar Association web site. Click on the Products and Publications link, and then look for the Annotated Bibliography. 

Student Bar Association - Room 130 - (206) 543-9111

Revised April 2009

How do you know if treatment is for you?

Everyone has different ways of dealing with emotional stress, and everyone has different coping mechanisms. You should seek treatment if you feel alienated, depressed, or out-of-control. Treatment is also a good option if you simply feel like speaking with someone and don't know to whom to turn.

Sometimes, however, people who could benefit from counseling do not feel as though counseling is necessary. If you have had two or more of the following symptoms for longer than a few days, please seek evaluation and treatment as soon as possible.

The Dysphoric Array:

  • Mixture of anxiety, depression, and hostility
  • Thoughts of killing self
  • Feeling so unhappy that you can not shake it
  • Dissatisfied or bored with most aspects of life
  • Nicotine use (the most efficient anti-dysphoric on the legal market - significant cancer risk attached)
  • Disrupted sleep - never feeling sufficiently rested
  • Increased social isolation
  • Limiting normal exercise patterns

The Alcohol/Drug Dependent Array:

  • Managing sleep patterns through using substance
  • Feeling guilty about your use of alcohol or drugs
  • Drinking or using drugs creates problems between you and your partner, parent, or relatives
  • Neglecting your obligations for longer than a day because of negative consequences related to use
  • No memory of time period during use
  • Increased social isolation
  • Limiting normal exercise patterns

The APA offers the following advice for persons considering whether to seek professional help:

Some people are able to cope effectively with the emotional and physical demands brought about by a natural disaster or other traumatic experience by using their own support systems. It is not unusual, however, to find that serious problems persist and continue to interfere with daily living. For example, some may feel overwhelming nervousness or lingering sadness that adversely affects job perform ance and interpersonal relationships.

Individuals with prolonged reactions that disrupt their daily functioning should consult with a trained and experienced mental health professional. Psychologists and other appropriate mental health providers help educate people about normal responses to extreme stress. These professionals work with individuals affected by trauma to help them find constructive ways of dealing with the emotional impact.

Last updated 6/24/2014