The legal profession, for many years a reluctant subscriber to the benefits of mindfulness practice, is becoming its champion. As the sustained efforts of a group of law professors, lawyers, law students, and judges has been joined by scientific accounts of the benefits of mindfulness to attentional and reflective skills, memory, physical health, and emotional well-being, the legal profession has woken up to the benefits of this ancient practice, and none too soon. Alarming levels of anxiety, depression, and substance abuse are found across legal education and law practice. Still, the means by which mindfulness will inspire members of a highly stressed and naturally skeptical profession to take note and integrate the practice into their personal and professional lives remain a mystery. This chapter looks to the innovative methods being developed to help bring mindfulness more formally into the legal profession and explores the ways these approaches draw upon traditional mindfulness teachings and social psychological conceptions of mindfulness. Given the oft-noted contradiction of mindfulness and law, consideration is given to a deeper level of connection that exists between the two along with the lessons and insights offered by approaches that facilitate this important, yet elusive embrace.
- Law students
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