professor of the practice
university of Denver Sturm College of LaW
FACULTY PAGE

Debra Austin JD PhD

Debra teaches Lawyering Process and Advanced Legal Research. She received the William T. Driscoll Master Educator Award in 2001.


Debra writes and speaks about how neuroscience research can improve law student and lawyer well-being and performance. 

Killing Them Softly shines a bright light on lawyer depression, substance abuse, and suicide, and its application of neuroscience to the chronic stresses of law school and law practice depict how law students and lawyers suffer cognitive brain damage that impairs them from doing precisely what their studies and practices require.  Drink Like a Lawyer uses neuroscience research to demonstrate how self-medication with substances like alcohol, marijuana, and study drugs impairs law student and lawyer thinking. Food for Thought examines neuroscience research that explores the relationship between diet and increased risk of cognitive damage, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and describes optimal nutrition habits that build and maintain a healthy lawyer brain.