Why do law students need mindfulness and meditation?

As someone who teaches law students and sees the challenges they face, I have come to the conclusion that the science surrounding mindfulness practice is something law students should be paying attention to. Mindfulness meditation helps with anxiety, memory, focus, and even addiction.
-- Teresa F., law school professor
For all the reasons that lawyers need mindfulness and meditation, the men and women who will soon be joining our profession can benefit from getting a head start on establishing practices that will become valuable tools in their personal and professional lives (See, relevant blog entries for more detail).

The stresses of any graduate education are considerable, but the demands made upon law students, are unique—and that is particularly so for 1L's (first year students), facing their first law school exams. Which is why MLCCG started a program—1L WELL—to assist and train new law students in preparing for the pressure of exams. The hope is that 1L's will carry on with the coping skills they are provided, and enjoy success not only throughout their law school years, but also, throughout their ensuing careers.

As a law school professor I get a front row seat to the stress and anxiety that law students face during various points during their legal education, as well as during their transition from student to lawyer.  To succeed in law school and legal practice, students benefit from developing skills beyond the legal competencies that are typically associated with legal education.  Mindfulness and meditation can help students to acquire skills that can improve their ability to successfully navigate the work of being a lawyer and the challenges that work can bring.
-- Laurel R., law school professor

As the future leaders of the legal profession, it is critical that law students understand the benefits that mindfulness and meditation can provide, and the manner in which those practices can contribute constructively to the practice of law. Learning the “hard” skills that all successful lawyers must possess is, of course, of paramount importance. But just as important are the “soft” skills that are also required in order to interact effectively with clients, opposing counsel and the peers/managing staff in our law firms.

Like everyone, law students need to work on their own well-being to help achieve their life goals.  In working with law students, I believe mindfulness and meditation can help them focus on classes and bring clarity to studying.  Law students are the future of our legal profession – the more they invest in themselves, the stronger our legal profession will be in the future.
-- Kathryn L., law school administrator

Managing the stresses and strains of law school requires that law students “up their game” in ways that they are likely to have never before been required to do. The same is true—even more so—when they graduate from law school, and enter the legal profession. Teaching our young colleagues about mindfulness and meditation (which are important components of well-being) is something that the profession owes the next generation—and itself.

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