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Mindfulness for Lawyers


   What is Mindfulness in Law?

  • The mindful lawyer or "contemplative" lawyer is a phrase that was first introduced into the literature by Professor Leonard Riskin: see 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), available online here

  • Mindful lawyers cultivate an active attention and awareness of their individual interactions with their clients, other lawyers, and the Court.   Mindful lawyers are equipped to respond to their clients' needs in particular through the practice of "deep listening" or "active listening".  They also continually observe their thoughts, intentions and feelings with an attitude of non-judgment and equanimity.

  • In this way, mindful lawyers are poised to respond to any moment in their legal practice without reacting from a place of fear, doubt or rage.  Rather, the mindful lawyer responds to the moment with resilience, compassion, and groundedness


Professor Rhonda Magee

  • Rhonda Magee, JD, is Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco. She is also Chair of the Board of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, a member of the Project for the Integration of Spirituality, Law and Politics, and a contributor to

  • At USF, Magee teaches Contemplative Lawyering, Immigration Law, Insurance Law, Race Law and Policy, and Torts. She is an expert in Contemplative Pedagogy, Race Law, Identity-Sensitive Pedagogy, Critical Race Perspectives on the Intersection of Race and Immigration.

  • Here is Professor Magee's definition of "contemplative" (minute 6:20):



Jon Krop, Harvard-educated lawyer and mindfulness expert

  • Jon Krop is the founder of the website 
  • Mindfulness workshop offerings for law firms available 
  • Krop has published a timely Youtube clip that address how mindfulness can respond to the "How Much Longer" Thought: 


  • Jeena Cho is the co-author of The Anxious Lawyer, An 8-Week Guide to a Joyful and Satisfying Law Practice Through Mindfulness and Meditation(ABA).
  • Cho is a partner at JC Law Group PC, a bankruptcy law firm in San Francisco, CA.
  • Cho is a regular contributor to ABA Journal, and Above the Law. Her writings cover such topics as: resilience, work/life integration, and wellness in the workplace.
  • Cho regularly speaks and offers training on women’s issues, diversity, and inclusion, well-being, mindfulness, and meditation.
  • Cho also has a podcast on her website, which you can check out here
  • Cho was a presenter at the National CBA Conference in Ottawa in 2017
  • Cho's Vimeo clip on working with negative "self-talk" has immediate import to all practising lawyers: 

Cho also has a new "6 Minutes to Better Lawyering" offering: