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The Business Case For Mindfulness and Meditation In Law Firms

There are seven important business reasons why our law firms should institute a mindfulness and meditation program, as part of their business model: 1) Recruiting; 2) Retention; 3) Managing insurance costs (health and malpractice); 4) Managing CLE costs; 5) Promoting diversity and inclusion; 6) Increasing lawyer productivity and mental/emotional fitness, and 7) Affordability and flexibility.

RecruitingAs an HR manager or a Hiring Partner, who wouldn't want to be able to tell recruits that your firm values the minds of its professionals, and has put its money where its mouth is, by instituting a mindfulness and meditation program that is supported by policies which support and enable the regular use of that program by professionals who may choose to avail themselves of it? Can you think of a better way to distinguish your firm from its competitors?

Retention. Losing lawyers--young or old--can be a demoralizing and extremely expensive trauma for a law firm. Showing the firm's lawyers a little love--letting them know that the firm recognizes them, and values them as members of the firm's professional community--will go a long way toward keeping those professionals in the fold. Sure, retention is often associated with financial reward, but equally as often, it's about relationships within the firm, or the lack thereof. The shared experience that can grow out of sitting silently with one's peers can be a unique and powerful way to encourage, build and reinforce relationships, that can't be duplicated and ought not be overlooked.

Managing insurance costs (health and malpractice). Most, if not all law firms spend tremendous amounts every year, to insure the health of their professionals and provide protection for alleged professional negligence.

A recent Wall Street Journal article reported that at least one prominent manufacturer of various meditation apps has begun the process of seeking FDA approval of certain apps, as medical devices, based upon an increasing number of studies concluding that meditation can have an ameliorative impact on several common physical conditions. Wouldn't you like to be able to have an established mindfulness and meditation in your arsenal, as you sit down to negotiate your firm's health care insurance premium with your carrier's agent?

And what about sitting down with the agent who represents your firm's professional negligence carrier? Can you imagine how the existence of a mindfulness and meditation program could improve your leverage at the bargaining table? Mindful lawyers are, by virtue of their practice necessarily more ethical, more civil, and more professional--and all of those things will inevitably lead to fewer claims, which in turn, will lead to lower premiums.

Managing CLE costs. Is your firm qualified to present or deliver content that qualifies for continuing legal education credit? If not, it likely could, and should be, depending upon the rules peculiar to the respective State jurisdiction(s) in which your firm maintains its office(s). And if that qualification is obtained, there is a very strong likelihood that a mindfulness and meditation program will qualify for mental health, diversity and inclusion, or other comparable kinds of credit that recent rule changes are aimed at addressing.

Bringing CLE in-house can go a long way toward managing the costs that are associated with an ongoing mandatory compliance concern that has been trending toward lawyer well-being. Why not take advantage of that trend by designing and implementing an in-house mindfulness and meditation program that can boost morale and resilience, while at the same addressing certain CLE requirements that the firm would otherwise have to pay for?

Promoting diversity  and inclusion. What better way to promote diversity and inclusion, than to provide the opportunity for an older senior partner to sit along side a 20-something associate and an in between junior partner? The shared experience of sitting in silence, along-side others of a different age, culture or personal background, is the epitome of both diversity and inclusion--and sitting is something that all of us can do.

Increasing lawyer productivity and mental/emotional fitness. In many respects, the issues of productivity and fitness are intertwined with the other concerns identified and discussed above. That said, individual productivity and fitness (both in mind and body) have very direct and immediate financial implications for law firms--a fact that cannot (and should not) be minimized.

Individual productivity is obviously something that can be measured and managed. The same is true with fitness, and it is difficult to imagine a more effective way of stimulating those two things, than to establish a mindfulness and meditation program that is designed to fit within the established culture of a law firm.

Affordability and flexibility. At the end of the day, any new program that a law firm might consider must be affordable and flexible--that's the business of law. The design/implementation of a meaningful mindfulness and meditation program can both of those things, and if that wasn't the case, MLCCG wouldn't be in business.

In conclusion, there are compelling business reasons why law firms should look closely at the institution of an in-house mindfulness and meditation program, and MLCCG would like to participate in the process of deciding whether the institution of such a program makes sense for your firm.


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