The Initiative on Mindfulness in Law & Dispute Resolution (IMLDR) serves as a resource for lawyers, law students, mediators, and other professionals interested in learning about and applying mindfulness and other contemplative practices in their professional and personal lives. Through research, education, and collaboration with other organizations, IMLDR aims to foster a broader understanding of contemplative practices and promote continued discourse on their capacity to improve conflict management and resolution skills.
A person cultivates mindfulness through meditation, then applies it in daily life. It can help people deal better with stress, develop self-awareness and understanding of others, improve concentration and creativity, and perform better in their work. It has been used in recent years in health care (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programs), athletics (Chicago Bulls and L.A. Lakers), corporations (Monsanto), law firms (Hale and Dorr; Nutter McClennan & Fish, both in Boston), several U.S. law schools (including Harvard, Miami, North Carolina, Missouri, CUNY and Stanford), and programs for lawyers and mediators across the country.
Mindfulness meditation has helped law students, lawyers, and mediators listen better to clients and litigants and themselves, and gain distance from their own habitual reactions, both of which should allow them to feel better by helping them deal more skillfully with stress and to gain more satisfaction from their work. In addition it can help them perform better by enhancing concentration, creativity, and judgment. The practice can produce similar benefits in one’s personal life.
IMLDR is devoted to exploring the potential benefits and applications of mindfulness (and to some extent related contemplative practices, including yoga and other forms of meditation) to members of the legal and dispute resolution professions and those who use or are affected by those professions. Efforts include research, teaching in law school courses, training through CLE programs, and public service.
Leonard L. Riskin launched the IMLDR at the Center for Dispute Resolution at the University of Missouri School of Law, where it was based until the end of 2006. Professor Riskin currently directs this effort at the University of Florida Levin College of Law.
Telephone: (352) 273-0771
The Initiative on Mindfulness in Law & Dispute Resolution
University of Florida Levin College of Law
P.O. Box 117625
Gainesville, Florida 32611-7625
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