Mindfulness and the Law – a different approach to sustainable and effective lawyering
AbstractStudy after study has identified that lawyers tend to be unhappy in their work, suffer high rates of depression, anxiety, divorce and substance abuse and have difficulty balancing work and family life. In the face of overwhelming evidence of a mental-health crisis in the law, various legal institutions, including professional associations, individual firms and law faculties both in Australia and overseas, have responded by offering programs to improve mental health. These have included counselling and debriefing services as well as programs to encourage better work practices and to raise awareness and to remove stigma traditionally associated with mental health issues. Mindfulness, or mindfulness-based meditation, has been one tool offered to lawyers and law students as a way to better manage their stress and be more effective and balanced practitioners. But what is mindfulness and why is it is particularly suited to legal practice?
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