Debra Austin

Professor of the Practice of Law


Lawyering Process

Professional Biography

Dr. Austin is a nationally recognized expert and scholar in lawyer well-being. The Legal Brain: A Lawyer’s Guide to Well-being and Better Job Performance, Cambridge University Press, is an essential guide for legal professionals seeking to understand the impact of chronic stress on their brain and mental health. Drawing on the latest neuroscience and psychology research, the book translates complex scientific concepts into valuable insights and actionable strategies for building resilience, maintaining peak performance, and protecting your most important asset — your brain. Her Professional Brain Newsletter provides readers with a weekly nudge designed to help enhance brain health and mental strength. Dr. Austin’s presentations connect well-being to enhanced performance and ethical obligations, offer research-based guidance on how legal professionals can address the recommendations in the ABA National Task Force on Lawyer Well-being Report, and are accredited for general and ethics CLE in multiple states.

Dr. Austin teaches Lawyering Process and Professionalism and Well-being Skills for the Effective Lawyer. She is the recipient of the university-wide University of Denver Distinguished Teaching Award for 2019 and the Civility in Practice Award from the Adams Broomfield Bar Association in 2023.

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  • PhD, University of Denver, 2004
  • JD, Law, University of San Francisco, 1989
  • BME, University of Colorado, 1982