This course will teach students contemplative practices, including formal meditation and post-meditation practices that will assist them in developing essential lawyering skills. The skills underlying effective lawyering include reading and analyzing, interviewing, counseling, negotiating, litigating and mediating disputes. These lawyering skills in turn require the underlying skills of focusing without distraction, listening, explaining, facilitating communication between others, compassion or empathy for others, accurately defining the issues and needs of others, self-critique, and dealing with conflict. The skill of dealing with conflict in turn requires understanding the roots of conflict as well as the roots of the emotions of conflict in order to be able to help others resolving conflict.
In this course, students will learn contemplative practices designed to develop these skills through promoting present non-distracted awareness and through generating compassion and empathy. In addition, students will learn practices that analyze the nature and source of negative emotions, making it possible to work skillfully with the emotions of conflict, including attachment, anger, pride, jealousy, greed and fear. Students will be required to read a variety of materials on contemplative practice and its relationship to law practice. They will also be required to apply what they learn in meditation in the real world of reading, analyzing, interviewing, interacting with others, counseling, negotiating, making moot court arguments, etc. Students will report what they learn from these exercises in a journal format.