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Georgetown University Law Center

Georgetown University Law Center

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Georgetown University Law Center

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  1. Georgetown University Law Center Implementing a contemplative “Lawyers In Balance” Practice for Law Students Chris Hall, MA, Director of Residence Life and Student Programs, Georgetown University Law Center Amy Cavanaugh, Assistant Director of Residence Life and Student Programs, Georgetown University Law Center

  2. Presenting Problem • A 1990 Johns Hopkins University study of 104 professions indicated that lawyers were the most likely to suffer from depression. Eaton, Mandel, and Garrison, “Occupations and the Prevalence of Major Depressive Disorder,” 32 J. Occupational Med. 1083-1132 (1990)

  3. Presenting Problem - Continued • Study reported by 2 institutions (2004) indicate that 20 - 40% of law students exhibited significantly higher levels of depression in their final year than in their 1st year. Kennon M. Sheldon and Lawrence S. Krieger, Does Legal Education Have Undermining Effects on Law Students? Evaluating Changes in Motivation, Values, and Well-Being, 22 Behav. Sci. & L. 261 (2004) (longitudinal study of entering law students at two law schools conducted by a psychologist and a clinical law professor)

  4. Law Students “Risk Factors” • Grade competition • Job opportunities – economic climate • Financial Difficulties – student loans • Relationship problems • Concerns about seeking counseling could adversely affect career opportunities and acceptance into the Bar Association.

  5. NEEDED:A Collaborative Approach to implementing a campus-wide Mindfulness program • How to establish the members of the collaborative: • Identify the individuals capable of initiating the program • Presented the Dean of Students with a proposal including: • mission • program plan • financial details

  6. Mission • To prepare students to cope with the stressful lifestyle that often accompanies a career in the legal profession.

  7. Program Plan Lawyers in Balance (LIB) • Adapted from the Georgetown School of Medicine – “Mind, Body Medicine” Course. • NIH grant enabled the medical school to hire a certified mind, body/medicine professional. • LIB created under the guidance of MBM creator.

  8. Program Plan (cont.) Course adapted for law school calendar (8-week course instead of 12-week course)

  9. Program Participation

  10. Program Participation - Continued

  11. Program Participation - Continued

  12. Program Cost To begin the program at the Law Center the following initial costs were: • Basic Training for 2 facilitators/yr $3,000 • Advanced Training for staff/yr $2,000 • Supplies $1,000 • Total Cost $6,000 Today, we operate on a budget of $3,500/yr, training one new facilitator and reducing our advanced training costs.

  13. Initial Stakeholders

  14. Initial Stakeholders (cont.)

  15. Objectives • Students will: Understand the importance of self-awareness and self-care for personal health and well-being and of maintaining a balance between the intellectual, emotional, physical, social and spiritual aspects of their lives.

  16. Objectives – Continued • Further develop the skill of metacognition • Appreciate the value of an ongoing commitment to personal growth as fundamental to the practice of law.

  17. EATING MEDITATION

  18. Class Sessions

  19. Long-term Vision • Course offered for credit • Option 1: Semester-long course meeting approx. 11 weeks • Option 2: Intensive 1-week course offered during January “Week One” program • Admissions recruitment – marketing • Alumni Program

  20. Lawyers in Balance (LIB) Mindfulness for Law Students Program LIB was introduced at the Law Center in the Spring semester of 2008. Thus far, approximately 215 have taken the course and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. The following testimonials capture the students’ favorable sentiments: • “In many ways I am more relaxed, happier, a better listener, and feel like I can take on anything that comes my way.”

  21. Lawyers in Balance (LIB) Mindfulness for Law Students Program LIB was introduced at the Law Center in the Spring semester of 2008. Thus far, approximately 215 have taken the course and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. The following testimonials capture the students’ favorable sentiments: • “Overwhelmingly wonderful. This experience showed me the human side of lawyers, law students, and others who work in our Law Center. I think about the lessons I learned during the seminar daily and try to instill them into my everyday life.”

  22. Lawyers in Balance (LIB) Mindfulness for Law Students Program LIB was introduced at the Law Center in the Spring semester of 2008. Thus far, approximately 215 have taken the course and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. The following testimonials capture the students’ favorable sentiments: • Exceeded my expectations by providing me with a safe space to be vulnerable in addition to providing me with the tools to recreate that safe space for myself in the future.”

  23. Lawyers in Balance (LIB) Mindfulness for Law Students Program LIB was introduced at the Law Center in the Spring semester of 2008. Thus far, approximately 215 have taken the course and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. The following testimonials capture the students’ favorable sentiments: • “LIB provided a wonderful opportunity to connect on a truly meaningful and unparalleled level with students and staff at the Law Center. To have the opportunity to reflect each week and to learn the importance of staying in the moment was invaluable.”

  24. Recommended Reading • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression. Zindel V. Segal, Williams, Mark, Teasdale, John (2002) The Guilford Press. • Full Catastrophe Living (1990) Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. • The Mindful Therapist: A Clinician’s Guide to Mindsight and Neural Integration. Siegel, J. Daniel (2010) , W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. • Mindfulness for Law Students: Using the Power of Mindfulness to Achieve Balance and Success in Law School Scott L. Rogers M.S. (2009) Mindful Living Press