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Legal Education

2017

Journal

The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law

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Every Silver Lining Has A Cloud: Defensive Pessimism In Legal Education, Emily Zimmerman, Casey Laduke Nov 2017

Every Silver Lining Has A Cloud: Defensive Pessimism In Legal Education, Emily Zimmerman, Casey Laduke

Catholic University Law Review

This Article presents the results of the first empirical research project to investigate law students’ use of defensive pessimism. Previous researchers have suggested that defensive pessimism may benefit law students academically. Defensive pessimism is a strategy that involves setting low expectations and reflecting extensively on what could go wrong in connection with a future event in order to manage anxiety and improve performance. However, up until now, law students’ use of defensive pessimism has not been empirically studied.

We investigated law students’ use of defensive pessimism. Contrary to the suggestions of other scholars, we did not find statistically significant relationships ...