Tips to Help Stressed-Out Law Students Unclinch

Many law graduates feel burned out. It’s challenging finding motivation to clear one of the biggest hurdles between them and their careers—passing the bar exam. During bar preparation this summer, law grads are isolated and their anxiety runs high, creating an experience that noticeably impacts their mental health, according to Chris Ritter, staff attorney with the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program, which helps law students, lawyers and judges who struggle with mental health and substance abuse issues. Texas Lawyer asked Ritter—who wrote a white paper of 10 tips to help law students find relief from stress, mental health and substance use issues—some questions about how law graduates, while studying for the...
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‘Mindful Leadership’ Transforming Law Firm Culture

A personal development coach has explained the business and personal benefits of mindful leadership for law firms. Speaking at the Australasian Legal Practice Management Association’s (ALPMA) Leadership and Culture seminar, held at the Sydney offices of Brown Wright Stein Lawyers in May, business coach Petris Lapis explored the importance of mindful leadership in law firms. Ms Lapis began her career as a tax lawyer before a stress-related liver tumour caused her to rethink her priorities. Now she delivers personal development programs internationally, teaching lawyers and other professionals how soft skills and mindfulness can help them succeed while maintaining their mental health. Click here to continue reading this article by Tom...
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Helping Those Who Keep Us Safe

On a daily basis, first responders — police, firefighters, EMTs, corrections officers and military personnel — put their lives on the line to protect others. Their professional training equips them with the skills they need to save others from danger, but when it comes to seeking help themselves, taking the first step can be challenging. Unfortunately, the consequences of not seeking help can be dire. Princeton House Behavioral Health, a unit of Princeton HealthCare System, provides First Responder Treatment Services to meet the unique needs of first responders and help them develop healthy ways to cope with the chronic and acute trauma associated with the critical incidents they handle.  ...
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Mindfulness in Policing Builds Resilience, Empathy

The Hillsboro Police Department in Oregon experienced a crisis in January 2013, when a 13-year veteran officer, drunk and armed with a rifle, frightened his wife into calling 911. What followed was an hour-long standoff at his house, ending in a shootout with 10 of his fellow officers. Fortunately, no one was injured, but former officer Timothy Cannon was later sentenced to 10 years in prison. Events like these have made Lt. Richard Goerling of the Hillsboro Police Department acutely aware of the impact stress can have on law enforcement officers. Click here to continue reading this article by Sarah Le in the Epoch Times.

CT First Responders Learn Mindfulness From 5th Graders

GREENWICH — Ten men sat at a conference table, their backs straight and eyes closed. The chatter of their radios had ceased and their deep breaths caused the insignia on their jackets — Greenwich Police, Greenwich Fire and Rescue or Greenwich Emergency Medical Services — to rise and fall. “Breathe in through your nose,” Jaden Scott, a fifth-grader at Julian Curtiss School, said, directing the men to feel the breath as it traveled to lungs, belly and out through the mouth.  On Thursday, Jaden and his classmates, fifth-graders Lauren Resnick, Jake Tisler and Logan Jozwiak, taught Greenwich first responders the mindfulness techniques that they use in school. Click here to...
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Meditation Proves Secret Weapon in Courtroom

Picture yourself walking into court, ready to give a closing argument on what has been a lengthy and challenging trial. You know the facts inside and out — you’ve been living and breathing this case, this argument, this moment in front of you for weeks, perhaps even months. Then as you begin speaking, the words flow smoothly — with good pace, tone and rhythm. The judge is listening intently and following everything you are saying. When you finish, you know you communicated exactly the message you intended to convey. Meditation is one tool that can help attorneys have this type of experience. Click here to continue reading this article by...
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Brain Health as a Dallas Police Line of Defense

Dallas Police officers are receiving additional defensive training, not in the use of firearms or bullet proof vests, but how to better use what is perhaps their best defensive weapon – their brains. The Center for Brain Health, part of the University of Texas at Dallas, and its Brain Performance Institute, are now collaborating to provide potentially critical training in tactical decision-making, real-time problem solving, and better managing their emotional response to stress. The Brain Performance Institute will offer officers Strategic Memory Advanced Reasoning Training (SMART) and a mindfulness program specific to law enforcement. SMART strengthens the brain’s frontal networks — regions that support planning, reasoning, decision-making, judgment, and emotional...
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Mindfulness Training Reduces Stress in Police

Police officers face unique challenges everyday: departmental politics, pending litigation, irregular shifts. And on the street, they come face-to-face with criminals, violence and death, and situations that threaten their own safety. This stress is often experienced with excessive hostility, which impairs officers’ well-being and can negatively impact their behavior with the public. This stress is also reflected in depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and suicide —in higher rates than in the general population. Mindfulness-Based Resilience Training for law enforcement is now coming to light with the first empirical research on the program. Click here to continue reading this article in Project Censored.

Quiet Justice

When I tell people that I teach a class in law and meditation at UC Berkeley’s law school, I often hear snorts of disbelief. “It’s easier to imagine a kindergarten class sitting in silence for half an hour,” a friend said to me, “than two lawyers sitting together in silence for five minutes.” But the class is no joke. In fact, it’s part of a ground-breaking movement that has quietly been taking hold in the legal profession over the past two decades: a movement to bring mindfulness—a meditative, moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, relationships, and external circumstances—into the practice of law and legal education. Judges have been meditating before taking...
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