Q: I keep hearing about how mindfulness would help me with the demands of the profession. What is mindfulness and how can I learn more about it?
A: Mindfulness means paying attention to the present. When attorneys incorporate mindfulness practices, they may meditate, do yoga, or even use mental exercises in the office that are imperceptible to others, all in order to enhance their capacity to be more present for interactions with clients, colleagues, and opposing counsel. Mindfulness practices are also said to foster greater clarity with assignments and in problem solving.
In a profession where we rely on past precedents to predict the future, mindfulness helps us focus and better equips us in dealing with the stress of the unexpected as well as our daily routines. There are plenty of articles on the web geared to lawyer mindfulness where you can learn more about it. You’re right–people keep talking about it at conferences, in books, on blogs…there are law school courses and bar association classes on mindfulness and former practicing lawyers who concentrate on helping other lawyers who still practice law practice mindfulness as well. You can find them via the web, too.
I have meditated daily for over 40 years, since my second year in law school, and I can tell you it has made a world of difference for my work, my energy, my creativity…I could go on. Instead, let me wholeheartedly encourage your interest in mindfulness and your follow through in finding out what it can mean for you.