Mindfulness in Law: 513 AW

The role of mindfulness in law has become relevant not just to lawyers and judges personally, but to them as a matter of professional practice. National conferences have been held in the last six years exploring the role of mindfulness in legal practice and education. Legal organizations, such as the Dade County Bar Association and Federal Bar Association’s South Florida Chapter have formed a Mindfulness in Law Joint Task Force and working to bring together lawyers, judges, law professors and law students to explore mindfulness and its relationship to practice forms, including trial practice, mediation, negotiation, oral advocacy, and collaboration, as well as fundamental tools for effective practice that include attention skills, listening skills, reflective capacity, empathy, emotional regulation, and ultimately, decision-making.

This course explores the ways that mindfulness may enrich one’s skill set in relationship to the many stimulating and challenging aspects of legal practice. Over the course of the semester, students will acquire a foundation level understanding of mindfulness practice, develop the tools to integrate mindfulness into their professional and personal lives, and appreciate the role of mindful awareness in the deliberative and creative process of decision-making – by lawyers, judges, and the parties to legal disputes. Periodically a member of the judiciary, our faculty or the legal community with join in the conversation, offering unique and helpful perspectives on the integration of mindfulness to their work and lives.

Woven into this conversation is the introduction and application of mindfulness insights and exercises as they relate to specific areas of practice. Neuroscience research findings offer deeper insights into the underlying mechanisms of decision-making and behavior.