University of Miami School of Law CourseLink Course Description - Online System
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Fall 2020

Course Description
A Judge's decision upsets a lawyer and he vents his frustration by blogging and characterizing the Judge as "an evil witch" on a Halloween posting. A young attorney excited about her practice discusses some of her cases on Facebook. A lawyer serves as a juror and blogs about the trial. All of these lawyers are enjoying the social media and all are being prosecuted for violations of the Code of Professional Responsibility. New technologies provide the legal profession with opportunities for networking, advertising, discovery, research, and client development. The new media is also becoming familiar ground for personal expression. The global and instantaneous reach of new media coupled with its perpetual presence, results in a limited and unforgiving learning curve; the Code of Professional Responsibility continues to govern. Mistakes occur frequently due to distraction, unfamiliarity and haste, and poorly thought out actions and can leave lasting scars on the otherwise unblemished reputation of lawyers (and law students). Even deliberate tactics can backfire as unforeseen consequences arise. Anyone can find herself a "test case" if she traipses into this territory without caution and awareness. The applicability of the rules of professional responsibility continues to develop as digital media comes of age. In fact, the definition of attorney competence is evolving so that attorneys may be required to understand the impact of social media on the practice of law and advise their clients accordingly. The neuroscience associated with attention, distraction, ethical conduct, and social interaction is discussed to offer students a penetrating examination of the inner-workings at play. Core professional responsibility concepts and rules such as competence, diligence, communication, confidentiality, candor to the tribunal and solicitation and advertising serve as the backdrop for this instruction, which is introduced through lecture, experiential practices, and dialogue. “Mindful Spaces” across the law school offer students opportunities to practice outside of class. This course uses cutting-edge fact patterns and legal decisions involving lawyer misconduct, social media and technology to expose students to the realities of professional missteps that can follow from seemingly innocuous activities. Mindfulness practices and relevant findings in neuroscience are incorporated to offer students greater insight into what motivates them to act, and to practice developing, and wisely using, the mental brakes needed to slow down and introduce greater deliberation into decision-making.

Course Schedule
Dates Day Time Room
08-17-2020 - 11-17-2020   T  4:10 PM-5:50 PM DL

Course Frequency
This course is usually offered every semester

Course Information

Credits: 3
Pass/Fail Option: No
Prerequisite: None
Grading: Graded
Method of Evaluation: Class Participation, Mindfulness Practice, Weekly Written Assignments, and Final Project.
Graduation Requirements Fulfilled By Course:
Professional Responsibility
Special Attributes: None
Course Delivery:
Online (all synchronous)
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: Legal Ethics and Social Media: A Practitioner's Handbook
    Textbook Type: Paperback
    Requirement: Required
    Author: Jacobowitz & Browning
    Publisher: American Bar Association
    Edition: 2017
    ISBN: 978-1634257824
  • Textbook Name: Model Rules of Professional Conduct
    Textbook Type: Paperback
    Requirement: Required
    Author: Center for Professional Responsibility
    Publisher: American Bar Association
    Edition: 2019
    ISBN: 978-1641054294
First Class Assignment(s):
  • Assignment: Before the first day of class, please complete the following: 1. Complete the online survey found at: 2. Download the app, "Insight Timer. You do not need to pay for it. Select any username you choose, and e-mail your username to and Join “Mindfulness in Law” Group.

    Jacobowitz, Jan L. & Browning, John G., Legal Ethics and Social Media: A Practitioner’s Handbook (2017).
    Rogers, Scott L., Mindfulness for Law Students (2009).
    Center for Professional Responsibility, Model Rules of Professional Conduct (2019).

    Additional materials will be provided via the class website.

    TWEN/Blackboard/Course Webpage Link:

    Additional Information:
    We look forward to meeting you and together exploring the intersection of professional responsibility and mindfulness.



Contact Information:
Phone: 305-284-5527
Office: A315


Contact Information: