Creating a Mindfulness in Law Society chapter is much easier with support from your law schools’ administration. The links below offer guidance on how to approach your administration about starting a mindfulness program. Additional resources listed below provide studies and articles for why your administration or potential faculty advisors should support a Mindfulness in Law Society at your law school.
At the 2013 Workshop on Mindfulness in Legal Education at Berkeley Law, Charlie Halpern, Director of the Berkeley Initiative for Mindfulness in Law, discusses the process of developing a comprehensive mindfulness program in a law school, including gaining administrative support, financial backing, and generating student interest.
Georgia State is based on a two pronged approach:
1. Primarily the program consists of bringing in an outside MBSR certified instructor to teach a six-week MBSR based course. Students meet once a week during the lunch hour for an interactive lesson on mindful practice and opportunity to learn mindfulness techniques in a group setting. The student participants are encouraged to engage in mindful practice throughout the week and return ready to discuss their experience.
2. GSU Law also hosts a Mindfulness in Law Society local chapter consisting of students who are deeply interested in exploring mindful practice. GSU’s MILS chapter meets once a week throughout the term for a brief meditation, brings in speakers from the Atlanta community, and hosts a daylong meditation retreat every semester.
The six-week course helps to generate interest in mindful practice at GSU Law and to teach its students the fundamental skills of mindful practice. The MILS Chapter helps to sustain that interest thoughout the year.
Here is a start guide. MILS encourages students to create an official organization within their university to promote administrative support and acquire funding for speakers and retreats. Often universities require new student organizations to create bylaws and a constitution. We have provided an easy template for you to write your own Mindfulness in Law Society chapter bylaws and constitution.
Universities also often ask for a statement of purpose, and this sample statement of purpose provides you with a starting point for how to draft your own statement of purpose.
This powerpoint by Tulane Law Professor Pamela R. Metzger is an excellent resource to introduce the benefits of mindful practice to student groups and administration. The presentation includes a list of law schools with existing Mindfulness programs, law review articles discussing the benefits of mindfulness, and more.
This law review article by Shailini George offers a convincing explanation of why Mindfulness should be taught in law schools. If your administration is skeptical of the Mindfulness’ relevance for law students consider forwarding this article along with your student-organization proposal.