About the authors

Dr Neil Graffin, Senior Lecturer in Law, The Open University

Dr Graffin is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the Open University. His research interests are within international human rights law and asylum law. Within these areas of legal enquiry, he is particularly interested in the legal framework which regulates what happens after someone has been ill-treated, as well as the impact of legal processes on individuals where trauma is present. Most recently Neil has been conducting research into the emotional impacts of working as an asylum practitioner, as well as evaluating education and training available to support professionals emotionally within the field.

Dr Emma Jones, Senior Lecturer in Law, The Open University

Dr Emma Jones, Senior Lecturer in Law, The University of Sheffield

Dr Jones began her career as a solicitor in private practice, specialising in construction and technical contracts. She trained at Manches before moving first to Pannone & Partners and then Trowers & Hamlins. Dr Jones subsequently worked as a legal consultant for several years before retraining as a teacher in post-compulsory education. She was then offered a Phd studentship at Keele University to research the role of emotion in undergraduate legal education in England and Wales.

From 2014 to 2019, Dr Jones worked as a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and (latterly) Teaching Director at The Open University Law School. From January 2020 she has been a Senior Lecturer and Director of Student Wellbeing at the University of Sheffield's School of Law. Her teaching interests include the law of obligations and digital lawyering.

Her research interests focus on the role of emotion and wellbeing in legal education and practice. She has a range of papers and books published in this field, including Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Legal Profession (Bristol University Press, 2021) with Neil Graffin, Rajvinder Samra and Mathijis Lucassen as co-authors.

She is an Associate Academic Fellow of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, an Accredited Mediator for civil and commercial disputes and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Authority.

Dr Mathijs Lucassen, Senior Lecturer in Mental Health, The Open University

Dr Lucassen began his career working as an occupational therapist, initially in mental health services in New Zealand, and subsequently in the UK. His work in the UK was in both in-patient and community mental health within the NHS. His post-graduate studies, including his PhD, were completed in the Department of Psychological Medicine at the University of Auckland. Dr Lucassen has an interest in computerised mental health interventions, workforce development, and supporting the mental wellbeing of under-served populations, in particular LGBT+ young people.

Dr Rajvinder Samra, Senior Lecturer in Health, The Open University

Dr Samra is a Chartered Psychologist with a background in applied psychology in workplace settings. She completed a MSc in Occupational Psychology at the University of Nottingham which focused on stress, motivation and psychological wellbeing in the workplace. Her PhD in Applied Psychology from the School of Medicine, University of Nottingham studied the influence of workplace attitudes and beliefs on doctors’ motivation for working with challenging patient groups and the effect on career choice and professional specialisation. Dr Samra then worked at Imperial College, London where she investigated the influence of workplace attitudes on human error, safety and risk in medicine. She has published a range of research papers on how professionals’ attitudes to their job role is linked to performance, motivation and human error/safety in medicine.

Since 2015, she has worked as a Lecturer at The Open University and has extended her focus to other workplace settings where workplace wellbeing and stress impact on personal and/or organisational performance including the legal profession. Her recent research work also extends to the psychological impact of expecting professionals to perform empathy in their job role. Dr Samra has also completed British Psychological Society-accredited training in occupational testing, including ability and personality testing in the workplace.


LawCare is the mental wellbeing charity for the legal profession. We offer free, confidential, emotional support, peer support, and resources to those working in the law in the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. We promote mental health and wellbeing best practice in legal workplaces and drive culture change in education, training and practice. 

Our support service offers a safe place to talk without judgement to trained staff and volunteers who have first-hand experience of working in the law.  

If you need support contact us on 0800 279 6888, support@lawcare.org.uk [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] or go to www.lawcare.org.uk to access online chat and other resources. We understand life in the law.