Mindfulness for Law Students

August 20, 2015 by School of Medicine Webmaster

by Susanna Williams

In addition to offering Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction classes, the Mindfulness Center also creates programs that integrate mindfulness into various disciplines.  For the past two years, the University of Virginia’s Law Library has sponsored a Mindfulness for Law Students program, offering a program each fall and spring led by Susanna Williams of the Mindfulness Center. This 8-week program is geared to not only help the students deal with the remarkable amount of stress they experience as law students and UVA students amidst challenging times, but also teaches skills which will be useful in their careers as lawyers. Mindful communication, stress reduction, emotional intelligence and focused attention are some of the skills the students learn that correlate specifically to the skills they must cultivate as lawyers.

This past year Dr. Williams did research on both sections of the program to assess the impact of mindfulness training on the students. The results were very encouraging – mindfulness and awareness increased 35%; the students rated their quality of life as improving over 24%; and their positive coping skills increased 20%, while their negative coping skills decreased over 15%.

The program was presented at the Teacher Resource Center’s annual Innovations in Pedagogy Summit in May. Kristin Glover, the research librarian who initiated the request for mindfulness in the Law School and Sawson Gharaibah, a graduate law student who participated in the program joined Susanna Williams in describing the program and sharing some mindfulness practices that can be integrated into the classroom.

Filed Under: Monthly Musings