Psychology for Lawyers



"Positive psychology, the science of well-being and strengths, is the fastest growing branch of psychology, offering an optimal home for the research and application of mindfulness."

—Mindfulness in Positive Psychology: The Science of Meditation and Wellbeing <website of Tom Lomas, author of Mindfulness in Positive Psychology>

"Positive psychology has integrated, more or less clearly, contemplative practices such as mindfulness within the range of grounded and empowering techniques of the positive aspects of being human."

Ausiàs Cebolla,, Ccontemplative Positive Psychology: Introducing Mindfulness into Positive Poshchology, 38 (1) Paychologists Papers 12 (2017) [online text]

"People have in their repertoires thousands of ''scripts' for talk or behavior that they act out when they are cued by something familiar. The array of behavior people can carry out without thinking is enormous."

—Philip J. Hilts, "Scientist at Work: Ellen J. Langer; A Scholar of the Absent Mind," New York Times, Sept. 23, 1997

"Broadly conceptualized, mindfulness has been described as a kind of nonelaborative, nonjudgmental, present-centered awareness in which each thought, feeling, or sensation that arises in the attentional field is acknowledged and accepted as it is . . . . In a state of mindfulness, thoughts and feelings are observed as events in the mind, without over-identifying with them and without reacting to them in an automatic, habitual pattern of reactivity. This dispassionate state of self-observation is thought to introduce a 'space' between one's perception and response. Thus mindfulness is thought to enable one to respond to situations more reflectively (as opposed to reflexively)."

—Scott R. Bishop,, Mindfulness: A Proposed Operational Definition, 11 (3) Clinical Psychological: Science & Practice 231, 231 (2004)

"We live in a stream of events. Something new happens to us every day, but most of us are so caught up in routine that we don't even notice. Consciousness is the result of observing and reflecting on events instead of simply reacting to them. Routine especially gets in the way of being conscious. We can sleepwalk through life . . . ."

—Daryl Sharp, Jungian Psychology Unplugged: My Life as an Elephant 129 (Toronto: Inner City Books, 1998)


Ellen J. Langer, Mindful Learning, 9 (6) Current Directions in Psychological Science 220 (2000) [online text]

Ausiàs Cebolla,, Contemplative Positive Psychology: Introducing Mindfulness into Positive Psychology, 38 (1) Psychologist Papers 12 (2017) [online text]

Edith K. Ackermann, The Craftsman, The Trickster, and The Poet: "Re-Souling" the Rational Mind (2011) [online text] [audio lecture version of the essay :: 25:29 mins.]

Scott R. Bishop,, Mindfulness: A Proposed Operational Definition, 11 (3) Clinical Psychological :Science & Practice 231 (2004) [online text]

R. Lisle Baker & Daniel P. Brown, On Engagement: Learning to Pay Attention, 36 UALR L. Rev. 337 (2014) [online text]

Class Videos

Class Viewing 1: Let's Talk about Mindfulness: An Interview [11:21 mins.] [commentary on "well-being" (a general state of engagement)] [end in-class presentation at 6:32 mins.] [Ellen Langer is a Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, and the author of Mindfulness (1990), The Power of Mindful Learning (1998), and On Becoming an Artist (2006)]

Class Viewing 2: Mindfulness over Matter [22:20 mins.] [end in-class presentation at 12:18 mins.] [Ellen Langer]

Class Viewing 3: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction with Dr. Heidi Walk [29:32 mins.] [class presentation begins at 5:21 mins., ends at 10:18 mins.] [Heidi Walk is a Toronto-based physician psychotherapist and certified yoga instructor] [Heidi Walk outlines Jon Kabat-Zinn's approach to mindfulness defining mindfulness as the practice of paying attention, on purpose, in the present, in a non-judgmentnal way.]

Class Viewing 4: Len Riskin Talks about His Approach to Mindfulness Meditation [9:41 mins.] [in class presentation breaks at 3:16 mins., and resumes at 5:11 mins.]

Class Viewing 5: FloridaBarNews.TV Update: The Mindful Lawyer [1:25 mins.]

Class Viewing 6: Dan Harris: How I Went from Skeptic to Meditator [7:00 mins.] [Harris turns to meditation was prompted by a panic attack] Why Mindfulness Is the New Superpower [3:21 mins.]

Class Viewing 7: Stopping the World [9:29 mins.] [Gary Starnes] [Gerry Starnes is an Austin, Texas shamanic practitioner and teacher] [Starnes Starnes addresses the internal dialog, the incessant internal chatter that most people experience] [class presentation begins at 1:06 and ends at 6:28 mins.]

Reference (Ellen Langer)

Explaining Mindfulness
[11:30 mins.] [comment on the relationship of her work to positive psychology begins at 4:58 mins., ends at 5:58 mins.] [for fuller presentation of the video begin at 0:46 mins. with class screening of video to end at 7:08 mins.]

Ellen Langer on Mindfulness
[5:04 mins.]

Ellen Langer Explains How She Took Up Her Work on Mindlessness
[9:30 mins.] Pt2 [9:30 mins.]
Pt3 [8:55 mins.]

Ellen Langer on Stress
[2:48 mins.] [commenting on mindlessness]

Counterclockwise: The Power of Possibility
[25:33 mins.]

[8:28 mins.] Pt2 [6:26 mins.] Pt3 [8:18 mins.]

Why Mindfulness Should Be Part of Your Life
[11:17 mins.]

The Psychology of Luck
[16:28 mins.]

Mindfulness and the Psychology of Possibility
[1:17:52 mins.] [poor video quality]

Mindfulness as a Way of Being
[48:08 mins.] [lecture] [poor video quality]

Mindfulness and Leadership
[49:35 mins.] [speaking at the ADC Future Summit, Melbourne, Australia]

Mindful Learning and the Power of Possibility
[36:20 mins.] [podcast]

Mindfulness and the Psychology of Possibility
[1:17:52 mins.]

What Is the Measure of a Flourishing Life
[38:54 mins.] [panel discussion: Martin Seligman, Ellen Langer, Ross Gittins] [discussion begins at 2:20 mins. with Martin Seligman; Ellen Langer begins at 4:18 mins. commenting on happiness and carrying on an exchange with Seligman]

Science of Mindlessness and Mindfulness
[53:17 mins.] [audio]

Mindful Learning and the Power of Possibility
[36:20 mins.] [audio]

Reference (Dan Harris)

What Do We Have All Wrong About Meditation?
[4:10 mins.]

10% Happier: Mindfulness Applications at Work
[33:27 mins.]

Meditation for Beginners
[6:37 mins.]

Hack Your Brain's Default Mode with Meditation
[3:43 mins.]

Science of Mindfulness

The Lawyer's Brain on Meditation: Insights from Neuroscience
[52:01 mins.] [a presentation by Emiliana Simon-Thomas, a neuroscientist]

Mindfulness: On Our Mind
[14:11 mins.] [Steve Hickman, Executive Director of the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness joins William Mobley, UC San Diego Department of Neurosciences, for a discussion of how to be present in the moment and leverage the practice of mindfulness to stay engaged, focused, and fulfilled.] [useful video for in-class presentation]

Becoming Conscious: The Science of Mindfulness
[1:14:21 mins.] [Neuroscientists Richard Davidson & Amishi Jha join Jon Kabat-Zinn]

Dan Siegel: Discussing the Science of Mindfulness
[21:10 mins.]

Ron Siegel: The Science of Mindfulness
[1:05:49 mins.]

Cognitive Neuroscience of Mindfulness Meditation
[48:53 mins.] [Philippe Goldin, Clinically Applied Affective Neuroscience, Stanford]

How Meditation Can Reshape Our Brains
[8:33 mins.] [Sara Lazar is a neuroscientist] [TED Talk]

The Science of Mindfulness
[1:06:03 mins.] [lecture, Mark Williams, Oxford University professor]

Understanding the Neurobiological Mechanisms of Mindfulness
[49:22 mins.]

Cognitive Neuroscience of Mindfulness Meditation
[48:53 mins.]

Reference (Introductions to Mindfulness & Meditation)

Mindfulness in Dialectical Behavior Therapy
[3:00 mins.] [Marsha Linehan]

A Very Short Introduction to Mindfulness
[4:05 mins.] [animation]

How Mindfulness Empowers Us: An Animation Narrated by Sharon Salzberg
[2:21 mins.]

Meditation for Beginners: Featuring Dan Harris & Sharon Salzberg
[6:37 mins.]

Why Aren't We Teaching You Mindfulness
[14:26 mins.] [AnneMarie Rossi] [TED Talk]

Meditation: Change Your Mind, Change Your Life
[12:07 mins.] [Bodhin Kjolhed] [TED Talk] [focus on Zen meditation]

Don't Try to be Mindful
[11:59 mins.] [Daron Larson]

Debunking the 5 Most Common Meditation Myths
[17:48 mins.] [Light Watkins]

A Cautionary Note

Jordan Peterson Q & As
[59:35 mins.] [Peterson comments briefly on the question: Is mindfulness really beneficial or is it just a trend?] [Peterson's comment begins at 11:29 and ends at 12:12 mins.] [Jordan Peterson is so extremely intelligent on matters of psychology that I find it surprising that he is so dismissive of mindfulness.] [streamed live on July 21, 2016]

On Mindfulness
[0:42 mins.]

Reference Videos

Fearless at Work: Michael Carroll
[2:22 mins.] [author of Awake at Work, The Mindful Leader]

Introduction To Mindlessness and Meditation
[32:33 mins.]

Stopping the World
[9:29 mins.] [Gerry Starnes] [on the practice of being present in the moment; stopping the ceaseless internal chatter]

Mindfulness Discussion: Fleet Maull and Richie Davidson
[1:45:50 mins.] [Fleet Maull and Richard Davidson discuss mindfulness-based emotional intelligence at a University of Wisconsin Health Integrative Medicine event in October, 2016.] [Maull's presentation begins at 5:08 mins.]

This Will Also Pass: An Interview with a Mindfulness Teacher
[21:18 mins.] [Andries J Kroese, professor of vascular surgery and mindfulness teacher]

Our Ego Makes it Difficult to Experience Present Moment Awareness
[4:59 mins.]

Why Meditate?
[1:01 mins.] [Dalai Lama]

Contemplative Science and the Upper Limits of Human Potential
[2:00 mins.] [Daniel Goldman]

Mindfully Managing Stress
[7:52 mins.] [Ronald Alexander]

Can Mindfulness Increase Our Resilience to Stress?
[6:18 mins.] [Richard J. Davidson]

Focus: The Secret to High Performance and Fulfillment
[1:18:17 mins.] [Daniel Goldman]

The Mindful Way through Depression
[18:04 mins.] [Zindel Segal]

Process Psychology and Your Dream Body
[6:19 mins.] [Arnold Mindell] [Thinking Allowed with Jeffrey Mishlove]

Mindfulness & Psychotherapy
[9:57 mins.] [a Buddhist perspective]

Mindfulness in Education, Learning from the Inside Out
[12:48 mins.] [Amy Burke]

Finding a Career by Way of a Panic Attack
[12:29 mins.] [Steven Hayes, University of Nevada]
Full Interview [37:53 mins.] What Keeps Steven Hayes Up at Night? [3:27 mins.]

A Guided Meditation
[8:05 mins.] [Jenn Fairbank]

Mark Williams

Mark Williams on Mindfulness
[54:49 mins.]

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and Depression
[11:03 mins.]

Mindfulness Applications for Depression
[19:28 mins.]

Mindfulness: Mark Williams Lecture
[1:06:02 mins.]

Mindfulness for Life
[1:22:17 mins.]

Finding Peace in a Frantic World
[1:28:36 mins.]

Interview on Mindfulness
[21:38 mins.] [radio interview]

Diana Winston

Diana Winston: The Practice of Mindfulness
[17:18 mins.] [TED Talk]

Introduction to Mindful Awareness
[1:16:00 mins.] [Diana Winston, UCLA]

Diana Winston Exercises

Breathing Meditation
[5:00 mins.] [audio]

Relaxation Meditation
[3:06 mins.]

Bringing your Attention into your Body and Feeling
[2:15 mins.]

Loving Kindness
[4:56 mins.]

Guided Breathing Meditation
[10:51 mins.] [Kim Eng]

Reference (Mindfulness & Lawyers: Charles Halpern)

Mindfulness is Growing in the Legal Field
[15:34 mins.]

Building Mindfulness in a Law Program
[28:41 mins.]

On Empathy, Meditation, Barrack Obama, Justice and Law
[39:04 mins.]

Mindfulness in Law
[14:20 mins.] Pt2 [14:58 mins.] Pt3 [14:22 mins.] Pt4 [14:02 mins.] Pt5 [14:50 mins.] Pt6 [14:13 mins.] Pt7 [12:02 mins.]

Workshop on Mindfulness in Law at University of Amsterdam Faculty of Law
[1:56:41 mins.] [Halpern's presentation begins at 2:23 mins.]

Reference (Mindfulness & Lawyers)

Len Riskin on His Turn to Mindfulness Practices [9:18 mins.] [begin class presentation at 1:10 mins.; end the presentation at 4:28 mins.]

Len Riskin: Mindfulness in Alternative Dispute Resolution
[22:36 mins.] [Riskin talks about his first days in humanistic legal education and mediation]

Mindfulness in Legal Education
[1:05:39 mins.] [2013 Workshop on Mindfulness in Legal Education students and recent graduates discuss their perspectives on mindfulness courses]

Bringing Mindful Awareness into the Law School
[56:37 mins.] [Scott Rogers with Barbara Bernier, Todd Peterson, Michael Goldman] [panel discussion]

Mindfulness and the Practice of Law
[6:26 mins.] [Rebecca Baird]

Mindfulness for Lawyers
[13:08 mins.] ["cutting out the noise"]

Mindful Lawyer Conference Videos (2010)

The Case for Mindfulness and Wisdom in Law
[1:36:01 mins.] [Jack Kornfield]

The Art and Science of Mindfulness in Law
[1:01:43 mins.] [presentation by Shauna Shapiro]

The Lawyer's Brain on Meditation: Insights from Neuroscience
[52:00 mins.] [poor quality video]

Mindfulness for Lawyers
[1:02:58 mins.]

Mindfulness for Lawyers
[1:02:59 mins.] [Will Kabat-Zinn]

Mindfulness for Lawyers
[13:09 mins.] [dealing with "internal noise"]

Jeena Cho: Lawyer and Author of The Anxious Lawyer (ABA,2016)
[2:46 mins.] [finding your "authentic" self]

Reference (Mindfulness & Lawyers: Scott Rodgers)

Mindfulness for Lawyers: An Introduction
[8:14 mins.]

Advice for a Stressed Out, Overworked Young Lawyer
[2:30 mins.]

How Does "Thinking Like a Lawyer" Affect Stress?
[5:31 mins.]

How Busy Lawyers Can Practice Mindfulness to Reduce Stress
[5:13 mins.]

Practicing Mindfulness During a Busy and Stressful Workday
[4:32 mins.]

How Lawyers Can Take Care of Their Mind and Body for Optimal Performance
[5:24 mins.]

Scott Rogers on Mindfulness and Law
[9:51 mins.] Pt2 [9:06 mins.] Pt3 [9:59 mins.] Pt4 [9:59 mins.]

Mindfulness & Neuroscience for Lawyers
[4:57 mins.] [2009, Florida Bar Convention] Pt2 [7:17 mins.]

Mindfulness and Stress Reduction
[6:14 mins.]

Train Yourself to Be Mindful
[4:55 mins.]

Open Monitoring Practice
[5:59 mins.]

Reference (Mentalization)

What Is Mentalization?
[20:00 mins.] [Peter Fonagy]

What is Mentalizing & Why Do It
[10:59 mins.] [Jon G. Allen] [relates the concept to mindfulness]

Mindfulness & Gestalt Therapy

"Gestalt therapy focuses on process (what is actually happening) over content (what is being talked about). The emphasis is on what is being done, thought, and felt at the present moment . . . rather than on what was, might be, could be, or should have been. Gestalt therapy is a method of awareness practice (also called "mindfulness" in other clinical domains), by which perceiving, feeling, and acting are understood to be conducive to interpreting, explaining, and conceptualizing . . . . This distinction between direct experience versus indirect or secondary interpretation is developed in the process of therapy. The client learns to become aware of what he or she is doing and that triggers the ability to risk a shift or change." Gestalt Therapy, Wikipedia

"Focus on 'Here and Now': Gestalt therapy places emphasis on the current content of a situation in addition to the process of the circumstance as it unfolds. Rather than forming conjectures or assumptions as to the unknown, this method involves staying in the present and becoming aware of the feelings and emotions associated with the moment. Gestalt therapy teaches the client how to define what is truly being experienced versus what is merely an interpretation of the events. When the client becomes fully aware of this difference, he or she is able to identify the patterns and behaviors that need to be changed." —Gestalt Therapy,

Fritz Perls & Gestalt Therapy
[collected web resources]

Reference (Articles & Book Chapters)

Leonard L. Riskin, The Contemplative Lawyer: On the Potential Contributions of Mindfulness Meditation to Law Students, Lawyers, and Their Clients, 7 Harv. Negotiation L. Rev. 1 (2002) [online text]

______________, "Awareness in Lawyering: A Primer on Paying Attention," in Marjorie Silver (ed.), The Affective Assistance of Counsel: Practicing Law as a Healing Profession 447-471 (Durham, North Carolina: Carolina Academic Press, 2007)

Colin James, Law Student Wellbeing: Benefits of Promoting Psychological Literacy and Self-Awareness Using Mindfulness, Strengths Theory and Emotional Intelligence, 21 Legal Educ. Rev. 217 (2011) [online text]

David M. Zlotnick, Integrating Mindfulness Theory and Practice into Trial Advocacy, 61 J. Legal Educ. 654 (2012) [online text]

Scott L. Rogers, The Mindful Law School: An Integrative Approach to Transforming Legal Education, 28 Touro L. Rev. 1189 (2012) [online text]

Daved Barry & Stefan Meisiek, Seeing More and Seeing Differently: Sensemaking, Mindfulness, and the Workarts, 31 (12) Organizational Stud. 1 (2010) [online text]

Jan L. Jacobowitz & Scott L. Rogers, Mindful Ethics: A Pedagogical and Practical Approach to Teaching Legal Ethics, Developing Professional Identity, and Encouraging Civility, 4 St. Mary's J. Legal Malpractice & Ethics (2014) [online text]

Rhonda V. Magree, Educating Lawyers to Meditate? From Exercises to Epistemology to Ethics: The Contemplative Practice and Law Movement in Legal Education Reform, 79 UMKC L. Rev. 535 (2011)

Nathalie Martin, Think Like a (Mindful) Lawyer: Incorporating Mindfulenss Professional Identity, and Emotional Intelligence into the First Year Law Curriculum, 36 U. Ark. Little Rock L. Rev. 413 (2014)


Natalie Faria, Positive Psychology and Student Success: How Flow, Mindfuleness, and Hope are Related to Happiness, Relationships, and GPA [online text]

An Adjunct to Mindfulness: Paying Attention

Lisle Baker & Daniel P. Brown, On Engagement: Learning to Pay Attention, U. Ark. Little Rock L. Rev. 337 (2014) [online text]

Reference (Ellen Langer)

Ellen J. Langer, Mindfulness (Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley Publ. Co., 1989)

___________, The Power of Mindful Learning (Boston, Massachusetts: De Capo Press, 1998)

Contact Professor Elkins