University of Miami School of Law CourseLink Course Description - Online System
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Spring 2021
LAW513  AW  MINDFULNESS IN LAW: CULTIVATING TOOLS FOR EFFECTIVE PRACTICE

Course Description
The role of mindfulness in the 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 American Bar Association, Florida Bar Association and state and local bar associations around the country are working to bring together lawyers, judges, law professors and law students to explore mindfulness and its relationship to performance and well-being. This course explores the role of mindfulness as a collection of tools of awareness that can enrich one's skillset in relationship to the stimulating and challenging aspects of legal practice and life. Over the course of the semester, students will acquire a foundation level understanding of mindfulness, develop the tools to integrate mindfulness and mindfulness practices into their professional and personal lives, and appreciate the role of mindful awareness in the deliberative and creative process of law. Practical considerations of what it means to be an effective attorney are explored and include the development and refinement of attentional skills, listening skills, reflective capacity, empathy, awareness of bias, emotional regulation, and decision-making. 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 attention, decision-making and behavior. Students will select an area of the law that interests them (e.g., mediation, trial practice, wellness, negotiation, human rights, criminal procedure, family law, immigration, race), and integrate mindfulness insights and experiential practices into either a conceptual treatment or practical application of this material. 75% of the class will be filled by registration time and the other 25% by application. Write up to one page setting forth your interest in mindfulness and why you wish to participate in the class. Please send to Professor Rogers @ srogers@law.miami.edu.

Course Schedule
Dates Day Time Room
01-25-2021 - 04-27-2021   F  10:10 AM-11:50 AM F209

Course Frequency
This course is usually offered once every academic year

Course Information

Credits: 2
Pass/Fail Option: No
Prerequisite:
Grading: Graded
Method of Evaluation: Paper and class participation
Graduation Requirements Fulfilled By Course:
Writing Requirement
Special Attributes: None
Course Delivery:
Blended (part residential and part online)
Special Restrictions:
Law Track(s): None
Bar Subject(s): None
Concentration(s): None
Course Book(s):
Textbook Required:
Yes  
  • Textbook Name: Mindfulness for Law Students: Using The Power of Mindfulness To Achieve Balance And Success In Law School
    Textbook Type: Paperback
    Requirement: Required
    Author: Scott L. Rogers
    Publisher: Mindful Living Press
    Edition: 2009
    ISBN: 9780977345519
      
  • Textbook Name: Mindfulness For Beginners: Reclaiming The Present Moments and Your Life
    Textbook Type: Hardcover
    Requirement: Required
    Author: Jon Kabat-Zinn Phd
    Publisher: Sounds True
    Edition: 2012
    ISBN: 9781604076585
      
  
First Class Assignment(s):
  • Assignment: The class assignment is found on Blackboard.

    Material:
    Also found on Blackboard.

    Additional Information:
    I hope you have a good and productive first week of the new term and look forward to meeting with you all on January 29th.
      
  • Assignment: Readings: --Rogers, "It Tastes Terrific and Just Look at that Shine" (ABA GP Solo Nov. 2019). --Kabat-Zinn, pp. 11-12, 17, 18 (Mindfulness for Beginners, 2012). For each of the four short readings, write a 1/2 to 1 page reflection on: (1) a primary insight or takeaway, (2) something that may have surprised you or that you did not know, and (3) a potential application to your life, personally or professionally. Submit your 2-4 page assignment to Samantha Gonzalez at sgonzalez@law.miami.edu and copy me at srogers@law.miami.edu on or before Wednesday January 23 as I look forward to reading them before we meet. In the subject line, simply put MIL_S2021_210125_X where X is your first and last name, e.g., MIL_S2021_210125_scott_rogers Note: Please take your time reflecting on the four short readings before you begin to write. Much of what we will explore can be subtle and elusive and a slow read (and reread) in my experience goes a long way. Video: I will send you a link to a video in which I explain a 15-20 minute practice for you to do anytime prior to our first class together. You'll want to have handy a timer and a way to record your observations. A link to the video is https://youtu.be/ZgmVpRTHwrk

    Material:
    Required Texts:

    Jon Kabat-Zinn, "Mindfulness for Beginners," (Sounds True 2012)
    Scott Rogers, "Mindfulness for Law Students," (MLP, 2009)

    Additional readings made available throughout the semester via Blackboard.

    Additional Information:
    Dear Class: I am very much looking forward to meeting you on Friday the 29th at 10:10 and to exploring mindfulness together over the semester. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at any time. You can always call or text me at 786-239-9318. With much gratitude, Scott
      

    MIL_S2021_Readings_Kabat-Zinn_Mindfulness for Beginners_210129.pdf
    MIL_S2021_Readings_Rogers_GP_Solo_210129.pdf

 
Professor(s)

ROGERS, SCOTT


Biography
Contact Information:
Email: srogers@law.miami.edu
Phone: 305-284-5527
Office: A315