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Can Mindfulness Help Law Students with Stress, Focus, and Well-Being?

An Empirical Study of 1Ls at a Midwestern Law School. By Richard C. Reuben and Kennon M. Sheldon 48 Southwestern L. Rev. 1 (2019)   This is the first empirical study to assess whether mindfulness meditation training can help law students with stress, focus, well-being, or academic performance.  The results were positive on all measures except for academic performance, which was inconclusive. Forty-seven University of Missouri School of Law students participated in the study over a two-year period. All students took a survey using standard scales to assess their stress, focus, and well-being when they enrolled in the study in the fall, and at the beginning and end of their training. Students in the test group participated in a weekly mindfulness training during the eight weeks leading up to first year,...

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Goldilocks the Associate: Having Just the Right Amount of Work

Everyone knows Goldilocks and her relentless pursuit of porridge, pillows and other worldly pleasures that were “just right.” Well, lawyers (especially associates) face a similar challenge in managing their workload. If you have gone from feeling completely overwhelmed with too much work to worrying that you don’t have enough work, all in the course of a month, or even a week, you are not alone.  To an extent workload volatility is an inherent part of practicing law. But there are a number of ways you can manage the ebb and flow, and more importantly the stress that it causes, so your workload is “not too much, not too little, but just right.”   1) It’s Usually Okay to Overcommit   My experience is that approximately 50% of the assignments we agree...

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The Yogi Lawyer In You: Incorporate Asanas into Your Everyday Life And Break The Chains of Your Desk

It’s not easy being an attorney and it is stressful more often than not. With scary deadlines constantly around the corner and clients strolling into offices to demand answers and solutions to critical legal situations, one can’t help but feel the need for mental rejuvenation. Lucky for you, even a few brief moments of peace can save your mind and give you what you need. In just a few moments, you can practice simple yoga poses, or Asanas, right in your office. This will help you tackle chronic sitting problems and invite mindfulness back into your life. Practicing yoga regularly helps elevate everyday pains such as neck and shoulder sores and headaches from sitting in one spot for too long. Yoga manages stress levels in individuals...

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8 Steps to Turn Anxiety Into Mindfulness

Have you recently been feeling like nothing is in your control anymore? There are many things about the world that we cannot control. When we panic and freak out, we lose our ability to think practically which is why we need yogis now more than ever. With a few simple steps, we can regain control of our lives again. Communicate Intentions When you set intentions for yourself every week and share them with someone, it makes all the difference. It could be something as simple as deciding to focus 5 minutes of every day on deep breathing and telling it to your friend. You can make a deal with your friend and ask them to follow the same intention and check up on each other every week. Breathe To...

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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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