University of Miami School of Law CourseLink Course Description - Online System
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Fall 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
08-23-2021 - 12-01-2021   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: No
Prerequisite:
Grading: Graded
Method of Evaluation: Paper and class participation
Graduation Requirements Fulfilled By Course:
Writing Requirement
Special Attributes: None
Course Delivery:
Residential
Special Restrictions:
Law Track(s): None
Bar Subject(s): None
Concentration(s): None
Course Book(s): TBD/None      
First Class Assignment(s):
  • Assignment: Readings (both attached): —Kabat-Zinn, J.,"Mindfulness for Beginners" pp. 9-10 —Keeva, S., “Practicing From the Inside Out,” 7 Harv. Negot. L. Rev. 97 (2002). After reading both pieces, see if you can draw connections between "beginner's mind" and what Keeva means by "drop below the surface." Write a one page reflection on a connection you see between Beginner's Mind and what it means to "Drop Below the Surface" that relates to your life as a law student and future lawyer. Be prepared to discuss the two articles in class. Please e-mail you assignment directly to me srogers@law.miami.edu by Thursday August 26 at 5:00pm.

    Material:
    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 and online)

    TWEN/Blackboard/Course Webpage Link:
    TBA

    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 (srogers@law.miami.edu) or Samantha Gonzalez (sgonzalez@law.miami.edu).
      

    MIL_Keeva_210827.pdf
    JKZ_Beginners Mind_210827.pdf

 
Professor(s)

ROGERS, SCOTT


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