The Mindfulness Blog

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Just Win Baby!

If you're a fan of American football, the name Al Davis will be familiar. And so will his motto. As owner of the Oakland Raiders football team, he was all about one thing: Winning.

Query: Can we win a case, or an argument, for our clients but lose for ourselves? Do we even matter? For the longest time, the answer (at least, for many of our legal institutions) was a resounding, "no". Results--which is what clients pay for--were the only thing that mattered. That was the prevailing thought.

Individual lawyers, particularly those of us who may have been younger, or "different"--those of us who may have suffered a mental illness or emotional challenge that left us alone and susceptible--were viewed as fungible, or replaceable. But that is changing.

Winning for clients will always be a part of the legal profession--that is not going to change. But winning for ourselves as well, is finally being given the attention it is due. And by, "winning for ourselves" I mean recognition of the importance of lawyer well-being, without which the sustainability of the legal profession will not be possible.

Without us, the law would be little more than just book content. Without lawyers, there would be no social order (just ask Shakespeare: "Let's kill all the lawyers"). I know that may sound a bit heavy-handed or self-serving, but it's true!

Winning at all costs can't be only about the clients--it must also be about the women and men in the legal profession. Sure, well-being is first and foremost the responsibility of each of us, individually. But it is also the responsibility of our profession, and the institutions upon which the profession is built. Lawyer well-being is a moral responsibility that also happens to have a significant impact on the business of law (See, previous post re: The Business Case for Mindfulness and Meditation).

I believe that the institution of appropriately designed mindfulness and meditation programs in our law firms and law departments, courts and law schools, can positively impact the business of law. And the teaching of law. And the practice of law, as well as the application (judging) of law. It's a win/win/win/win proposition.

So, the next time you hear someone say, "Just win baby" think about lawyer well-being, as well the client!



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