This May marks the Florida YLD’s second annual Health & Wellness Month. This initiative is designed to bring awareness to mental and physical issues that affect the quality of life of lawyers. Last year’s goal was to start a conversation about the importance of mental and physical health as a critical part of a young lawyer’s practice. This year, the YLD is bringing you two webinars on the tools you can use to maintain your physical, emotional, and psychological health. We’ll be focusing on two important tools: mindfulness and resilience.
The importance of having mindful and resilient lawyers is obvious. The Florida Bar Journal interviewed both lawyers and judges on the importance of having a mindfulness practice. Robert Coppel, from Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office shared:
I have found mindfulness to be especially helpful when talking to clients, be it an interview in my office or in the courtroom, so that I am able to truly listen to what the client has to say. There can be so many things going on, and so many thoughts in my mind, that I find myself struggling to be in the moment. This is when taking a few deep breaths has proved invaluable. Even after only taking a few breaths — aware of the sensations of breathing — I find myself becoming more present and attentive. This practice has also been helpful when in trial, especially during jury selection and prior to cross examination, two areas when keen observation and listening skills are crucial.
Judge Chris McAliley shared her perspectives on the importance of having mindfulness on the bench:
Mindfulness practices are designed to enhance our ability to be present, in the moment, to our experience. The practice is one of focusing our attention on what is happening in our perceptions, thoughts, emotions, and body, without judgment. We simply observe. Anyone who has tried knows this is simple, but not easy. Over time we notice a shift, an opening, in our perception of outside events, and our internal experience. As Jon Kabat-Zinn famously wrote: “Wherever you go, there you are”; and for those who go to work as judges, mindfulness has clear benefits at work.
—Judge Chris McAliley
U.S. Magistrate Judge
Southern District of Florida
Date: May 4, 2016 and May 18, 2016
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 EST
- May 4: Better Lawyering Through Mindfulness [Register] [Additional Information]
- May 18: Work Your Resiliency Muscle! Ten Tips to Becoming More Resilient [Register] [Additional Information]
Credits: 2.0 Florida Bar CLE credits
Presenter: Jeena Cho