University of Miami School of Law Course Description - Online System
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Spring 2019

Course Description
The role of mindfulness in law has become relevant not just to lawyers and judges personally, but to them as a matter of professional practice. Legal organizations, such as the Dade County Bar Association and Federal Bar Association's South Florida Chapter (which recently formed a Mindfulness in Law Joint Task Force) are working to bring together lawyers, judges, law professors and law students to explore mindfulness and its relationship to practice forms, including trial practice, mediation, negotiation, oral advocacy, and collaboration, as well as fundamental tools for effective practice that include attention skills, listening skills, reflective capacity, empathy, emotional regulation, and ultimately, decision-making. This course explores the role of mindfulness as a collection of tools of awareness that can enrich one's skill set in relationship to the stimulating and challenging aspects of legal practice. Over the course of the semester, students will acquire a foundation level understanding of mindfulness practice, develop the tools to integrate mindfulness into their professional and personal lives, and appreciate the role of mindful awareness in the deliberative and creative process of decision-making - by lawyers, judges, and the parties to legal disputes. Periodically a member of the judiciary, our faculty or the legal community with join in the conversation, offering unique perspectives on the integration of mindfulness to their work. Woven into this conversation is the introduction and application of mindfulness insights and exercises as they relate to specific areas of practice. Neuroscience research findings will offer deeper insights into the underlying mechanisms of decision-making and behavior. Students will select an area of the law that interests them (e.g., mediation, trial practice, negotiation, criminal procedure, family law, immigration, race), and integrate mindfulness insights and experiential practices into either a conceptual treatment or practical application of this material. Half of the class will be filled by registration time and the other half by application. Write up to one page setting forth your interest in mindfulness and why you wish to take the class. Please send to Scott Rogers @

Course Schedule
Dates Day Time Room
01-18-2019 - 04-23-2019   F  9:00 AM-11:50 AM A216B

Course Frequency
This course is usually offered once every academic year

Course Information

Credits: 2
Pass/Fail Option: Yes
Grading: Graded
Method of Evaluation: Paper and class participation
Graduation Requirements Fulfilled By Course:
Writing Requirement
Special Attributes: None
Special Restrictions:
Law Track(s): None
Bar Subject(s):
Concentration(s): None
Course Book(s):
Textbook Required:
  • Textbook Name: Mindfulness for Law Students
    Textbook Type: Paperback
    Requirement: Required
    Author: Rogers
    Publisher: Mindful Living Press
    Edition: 2009
    ISBN: 978-0977345519
  • Textbook Name: Mindfulness for Beginners
    Textbook Type: Hardcover
    Requirement: Required
    Author: Kabat-Zinn
    Publisher: Sounds True
    Edition: 2012
    ISBN: 978-1604076585

Additional Materials:
Additional reading materials will be distributed in class.  
First Class Assignment(s):
  • Assignment: Readings: —Kabat-Zinn, J.,"Mindfulness for Beginners" pp. 9-10 —Keeva, S., “Practicing From the Inside Out,” 7 Harv. Negot. L. Rev. 97 (2002). App: --Download "Insight Timer" Writing Assignment: After reading both pieces, see if you can draw connections between "beginner's mind" and what Kiev means to "drop below the surface." Write a one page reflection on a connection you see that relates to your life as a law student and future lawyer. Be prepared to discuss the two articles in class. You may bring a print out of your assignment to class. In addition, please e-mail it to, on or before class.

    Required Texts: —Kabat-Zinn, J., Mindfulness for Beginners (2012). —Rogers, S., Mindfulness for Law Students (2009). —Supplemental Reading Packet and Mindfulness Practice Manual (available in class)

    TWEN/Blackboard/Course Webpage Link:

    Additional Information:
    I am very much looking forward to meeting you all in class and to our semester together. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me ( or Deb Martin (

    JKZ_Beginners Mind_190118.pdf



Contact Information:
Phone: (305)284-5527
Office: A212