The University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law recently hosted the first national conference on the legal profession and meditation. Yes, I really do mean “meditation,” not “mediation.” Called “The Mindful Lawyer: Practices & Prospects for Law School, Bench, and Bar,” the three-day event brought together lawyers, judges, law faculty, students, and neuroscientists, according to The National Law Journal.
Conference organizer Charles Halpern, who teaches a seminar at Berkeley Law called “Effective and Sustainable Law Practice: The Meditative Perspective,” said that the legal profession is becoming more open to the benefits of meditation.
“At one time it seemed very exotic, but interest in law and meditation has been growing for a decade,” said Halpern, founding dean of the City University of New York School of Law. “Courses have been showing up in law schools across the country, there have been CLE courses on this and gathering of lawyers focusing on meditation.”
But this is not just some California hippie happening. It turns out that the sponsors of the event include law schools from around the country, including the University of Buffalo, University of Florida, and CUNY, according to the Web site of The Mindful Lawyer, which organized the event.
The sessions, which include yoga lessons, “contemplative methods for working with fear, anxiety, and nervousness,” and lots of similar seminars, are definitely New Age. But hey, if it gets you through the stress of law school and practice, why not?