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Attorney Work Life Balance Law Firm Partners

The Role of Mindfulness in Effective and Ethical Lawyering

Beyond Knowledge and Good Intentions

A 2015 Harvard Business Review article, "Mindfulness Actually Changes the Brain," concludes that "Mindfulness should no longer be considered a "nice-to-have" for executives. It's a "must-have": a way to keep our brains healthy, to support self-regulation and effective decision-making capabilities, and to protect ourselves from toxic stress."

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“No,” I replied almost 20 years ago, when the managing partner asked me to arrange an eight-week mindfulness training program for our lawyers. I was a litigator and the partner in charge of attorney training at a large Boston law firm, and I did not want my colleagues to think we were crazy. Fortunately, my forward-thinking managing partner won this standoff, and over 75 partners and associates had an opportunity to learn and practice mindfulness together. Fast forward to 2017, and you will find a growing number of law firms turning to mindfulness training as a foundation for professional excellence. My original “No” is now an emphatic “YES” as I witness first-hand the benefits of this practice for the legal profession.

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