Wellness Week

Weeklong program aims to create an open dialogue about wellness and mental health

The SMU Student Bar Association leads an innovative program that aims to improve the physical and mental well-being of students at SMU’s Dedman School of Law in Dallas.  The SMU Student Bar Association developed a wellness committee and charged it with improving the physical and mental health of its student body. 

Stephen B. Yeager, the dean of students at SMU Dedman Law, serves as advisor to the committee. Yeager said the committee devoted an entire week to the subject because “it is incredibly important and relevant to our student body. According to Yeager, “Law school is known for late nights, high doses of caffeine, and locking yourself away in the library for a month to study for exams. Just like other 20-somethings, law students also deal with a host of common mental health issues like anxiety and depression.”

“And in this unprecedented period of global uncertainty, the committee felt it was necessary to put these events together to provide the law school community with much needed support, including opportunities to interact with other students and 'unplug' from Zoom.” 

The student-led initiative always has an action-packed week planned.  

Thursday, October 8, 2020

ABA Mental Health Webinar | 3:30pm CT

Exploring the Intersection Between Racial Justice, Social Activism, and Mental Health

Join us for a national Zoom Webinar featuringProfessor Rhonda Magee, Author of The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves and Transforming Our Communities Through Mindfulness, law professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law, and a new member of the ABA CoLAP. The webinar will include an Introduction by Janet Stearns, Dean of Students, University of Miami School of Law, and Member of the ABA CoLAP as well as Ayat Nizam, Law Student, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and Chair, ABA Law Student Division.


Friday, October 9, 2020

ABA National Workshop |12:00pm CT

National Workshop with the ABA Law Student Division, Law School SBA Presidents and ABA Representatives; featuring Jordana Confino, Fordham Law School, author of Where Are We on the Path to Law Student Well-Being (a report of the ABA CoLAP Law School Survey); Janet Stearns (Dean of Students, University of Miami School of Law) and David Jaffe(Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Washington College of Law, American University) to discuss practical strategies that law students can undertake in the year ahead with your law schools, the ABA, and with each state bar board of examiners.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Law Student Mental Health Day 

Get ready for a day of activity!  Saturday, October 10 is Law Student Mental Health Day.  2020 has been a year filled with challenges and increased anxiety, but also opportunities for us to take care of our mental health and remain physically active.  
Our SBA Wellness Committee and SMU Law Running and Walking Club (@SMULawRAW) will be offering a number of activities this Saturday, including a fun run on the Katy Trail (9 am) and Yoga in the Quad.  In addition, we will be offering a number of virtual webinars this week from the ABA and a special program in the quad at noon next Thursday, October 15 on Managing Anxiety.  Choose your activities and please post photos using the hashtags: #LawStudentWellness and #ABAMentalHealth

This is about so much more than exercise.  It’s about fun, friendship, sunshine, self-care, and time away from Zoom!

  • Katy Trail Fun Run – Led by SMU Law Running and Walking Club. Gather at Katy Trail Ice House at 9 am to begin the run/walk.  Gather back at the Katy Trail Ice House for a post-run cool down around 10:15 am.  Sponsored by Akin Gump. 
  • Yoga in the Quad –  Grab your yoga mat and head to the law quad for a late-afternoon yoga session led by Leela Orbidan (2L).

Monday, October 12, 2020

Cooking with Christian

Join Christian Filsouf (2L) for a Zoom Cooking Class at 6:00 pm. So get your chef hat on, pour yourself a drink, and learn how to make an easy gourmet meal in the comfort of your own kitchen. The zoom link is as follows:  


And here's the menu:

Lemon Butter Tilapia


  • Frozen Tilipia fillet
  • One stick of butter
  • Oregano seasoning
  • One lemon
  • Rocksalt (Kosher salt is also fine)


  • Thaw tilapia in the fridge for 4 hours, wrap in paper towel. OK if fish is still a little icy when you take it out.
  • using a cheese grater, grate lemon zest into a microwave safe bowl, about 1/3 of a cup.
  • In the same bowl add 1/2 a stick of butter, four teaspoons of oregano, and the lemon juice from the lemon. Heat in microwave for 1 minute
  • Heat a skillet to medium heat and let it warm for 2 minutes
  • Add a quarter stick of butter to the pan. Swirl around to make sure pan is evenly coated. 
  • Sprinkle salt to both sides of tilapia and place in pan. Let it sear on both sides for 1 minute
  • After searing, take butter sauce and spoon over the fillet. Continue to spoon the butter sauce over the fish while it’s in the pan using a regular spoon
  • When fillet is a golden brown (light brown) color, fish is ready to serve

Mexican Street Corn


  • One bag of frozen corn
  • Cooking oil (either olive oil or vegetable oil)
  • Chili-lime seasoning (available at Trader Joe’s and Kroger)
  • Hellman’s sandwich mayo (comes in a squirtable bottle)

Optional ingredients:

  • Queso fresco
  • Shredded jack cheese
  • Cumin
  • Diced tomato or mild tomato salsa
  • Sriracha sauce


  • Microwave corn as instructed on the package to thaw (typically 2-3 minutes)
  • In a large skillet or soup pan, heat on medium high heat and add two tablespoons of cooking oil
  • Add corn to pan. Let it sit for 4-5 minutes.
  • Stir the corn. While stirring, add three teaspoons (or three dashes) of chili lime seasoning and two teaspoons (or one dash) of salt.
  • Let the corn blacken. Stir semi-frequently so as to darken, but not burn the corn. Should look like it just came off the grill.
  • Turn off heat and let the corn sit. Add one more dash of salt, and a sprinkle of the cumin if you have it.
  • Place the corn onto a plate or bowl. Season with chili-lime to taste (more if you’re a fan of spicy). Drizzle mayo and add salsa, cheese, and siracha if you like!

Thursday, October 15

Expert Tips for Managing Anxiety - 12:15 pm in the Quad

Get some fresh air and join us in the Law Quad with Dr. Abel Tomatis, a psychologist with the SMU Health Center to discuss ways to more effectively manage anxiety during these difficult times. He will be providing a workbook with information and strategies for building resilience specific to being a student in the time of Coronavirus.


This will be an informal discussion with plenty of time for questions and answers. We will socially distance in the quad.  All participants must wear face coverings.  
Please meet near the tempietto at 12:15 pm  Seating is limited, so please pre-register here.