Mindful Lawyering Retreat

Law professionals and students will be introduced to meditation and its relevance to law study and practice. 

The Berkeley Initiative for Mindfulness in Law announced its first ever Mindful Lawyering retreat on the East Coast, taking place May 7-10, 2015 at the Garrison Institute in Garrison, NY.

From the event post:

This four-day, three-night retreat is ideal for lawyers, judges, law teachers, and law students who either seek an introduction to mindfulness, or wish to integrate an existing mindfulness practice into their work, studies, and life, and to deepen their understanding of meditative practice. Open to beginner and those with some meditation experience, this retreat will provide substantial periods of silent meditation practice, including sitting meditation, silent walking, and qi gong.

You can register for the retreat here.

Berkeley is the first law school in the US to implement a full mindfulness cirriculumn. Charlie Halpern, program director, says a handful of other law schools are beginning to offer courses integrating law and meditation, and he predicts they will have full-blown curriculums like Berkeley by 2020.

So where does mindfulness and being a lawyer intersect? Rhonda MaGee, a law professor at the University of San Francisco, explains:

Lawyers who practice mindfulness experience the same benefits that other practitioners report: everything from increased emotional self-awareness and self-regulation, to improved capacity to handle stress and increased concentration and psychological flexibility. Mindfulness practices increase lawyers’ capacity to be present and high-functioning, no matter how unpredictable or potentially distressing the situations in which they might find themselves. They are also better at assessing high-conflict or other challenging situations from multiple perspectives. Such outcomes make lawyers more skillful at handling stressful situations at work and in their personal lives, leading to increased well-being overall.

In predictable ways, clients are also better served when their lawyers have a deeper set of resources for handling stress and dealing with conflict and uncertainty. Clients benefit from their lawyer’s greater sense of compassion and greater ability to communicate in ways that maintain a sense of concern and respect.