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Mindfulness and Gardening

As I looked around the room at the start of the most recent New England MILS meeting I had one of those “look how far we’ve come” moments. It wasn’t more than five years ago that the idea of a large law firm embracing the idea of a mindfulness program was about as foreign as going to your favorite diner and finding sushi on the menu. Yet, there I was in a room full of administrators and lawyers from Boston’s top law firms brainstorming ideas about how to bottle the success my colleagues and I had found in starting one of the first organized and sustained mindfulness programs at a large law firm in Boston. Over the course of the meeting we talked about the importance of...

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ABA Releases Lawyer Well-Being Toolkit

The American Bar Association has released a well-being toolkit to make it easier for lawyers and legal employers to find resources to support lawyer well-being. The focus of the toolkit is on helping legal employers support healthy work environments, which are critical for lawyer wellness. Research shows that if workplace cultures support well-being, lawyers will be better able to make good choices that allow them to thrive and be their best for clients, colleagues, and work organizations. It is a third major development by the ABA to address the issue of lawyer well-being in as many years. In 2016, the ABA and Hazelden Foundation released a study of more than 15,000 lawyers and law students that showed more than a third of all practicing lawyers and law...

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Study: Mindfulness Drops Need for School Discipline

“Quiet reflection” may not be a phrase you typically associate with children, but one school program shows that yoga and deep breathing might be just what some kids need to thrive. In Baltimore, Robert W. Coleman Elementary School has replaced detention with mediation. The kids are loving it, and the switch has been so successful that, in the last year, the suspension rate has dropped all the way down to zero. Yes, zero. https://www.bustle.com/articles/185996-this-school-replaced-detention-with-meditation-hasnt-had-one-suspension-since...

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Response to Legal Criticisms of Mindfulness

Florida lawyer George Delos writes a letter to the Florida Bar Journal responding to legal community concerns about mindfulness, including the idea that the promotion of mindfulness is effectively promoting a religion or cult. For what it's worth, the Mindfulness in Law Society bylaws explicitly bar the organization from preferencing one expression of the practice over another....

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The Meditative Judge

In the meditation and yoga classes I’ve taken for the past several years, I’ve learned that mindfulness—an acute awareness of what is happening in the present moment—can improve my life. In yoga mindfulness allows one to unite the body and the mind in the present through a variety of physical poses. But as a municipal court judge in College Station, Texas, I have also seen it work wonders in my courtroom. In retrospect, I was using mindfulness long before I recognized what it was. https://mag.uchicago.edu/law-policy-society/meditative-judge...

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