Workshop on Mindfulness in Legal Education

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Welcome

Thank you for your interest in the Workshop on Mindfulness in Legal Education, taking place June 6-9, 2013 at Berkeley Law. The Berkeley Initiative for Mindfulness in Law is pleased to host this first in-depth, national conversation on integrating meditation into law schools. We will build on the work we began together at the 2010 Mindful Lawyer Conference and strengthen, support, and launch new efforts to promote the meditative perspective in legal education.

Below please find basic information on the Workshop. We look forward to seeing you in June!


Workshop details

Who: We want to bring together those law teachers who have been pioneering the mindfulness courses, and those other law teachers, administrators, and students who would like to expand the number of these courses and the law schools offering them. 

The goals of the workshop are:

–to share and analyze our experiences to date, both in offering for-credit mindfulness-based courses and, in other ways, bringing a meditative perspective into the law schools;

–to provide encouragement and support for teachers who want to design new courses or bring a meditative perspective to the courses they are already teaching;

–to build, expand, and strengthen the community of law teachers who have an interest in this area;

–to engage together in this enterprise in a mindful fashion, with opportunities to deepen our meditation practice and explore its connections to our work in legal education;

–to explore the ways that a meditative perspective can, over time, affect legal institutions, processes, education, and doctrine, and our understanding of the lawyer's roles.

Schedule: The Workshop officially begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 6, and ends around noon on Sunday, June 9. There will be an optional, half-day meditation retreat on Thursday afternoon (2-6 pm), which we encourage everyone to attend. Over the three and a half days, we will have a series of conversations on topics such as comparative perspectives on teaching mindfulness in law school; obstacles and solutions to overcoming institutional resistance; student perspectives on mindfulness programming, and others.

One of our goals for the workshop is to develop a mentorship system between experienced teachers and those who are new to this venture

The Workshop schedule will include substantial time for meditation practice, as well as for networking and informal conversation. More details will be made available in the coming weeks.

Teachers: We will bring together teachers who have been teaching courses on mindfulness for a period of years who will share their experiences in the classroom and in dealing with law school administrations. Zoketsu Norman Fischer of Everyday Zen and Mirabai Bush, Founding Director of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society will lead meditation practice throughout the weekend, and will reflect on the connection between mindfulness, law, and higher education.

Registration: To register, we ask that interested participants first fill out the application available here and submit it to BIML@law.berkeley.edu. We will be in touch with further registration instructions once we have had a chance to review applications. Early-bird registration, available until March 15, will be $400, and $450 thereafter. Student registration will be $50. We have a limited number of reduced-cost registrations available for $250 each, reserved for those for whom cost is an obstacle. Please email BIML@law.berkeley.edu if you would like to be considered for one of the reduced-cost slots or simply include a note with your application. Please contact BIML@law.berkeley.edu with any questions. And we encourage you to pass this announcement on to those on your faculty and others who might be interested.

Getting here: The law school is located at 2850 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94720. For those who are flying in, both Oakland and San Francisco Airports are an easy BART (subway) ride away. From SFO the BART ride is about 1 hour 15 minutes, and from Oakland about 35 minutes. To plan your trip, we recommend visiting www.bart.gov. From the Downtown Berkeley BART stop, the law school is a short cab ride or walk.

Meals: Workshop registration includes catered lunch on Friday and Saturday, as well as a group dinner on Saturday.

Accommodations: We have reserved a block of rooms at the Bancroft Hotel, for $129/night plus tax (mention "Mindfulness Conference.") The Berkeley Faculty Club also has a number of affordable rooms available (prices range from $110-285/night). Both hotels are conveniently located to the law school. We invite you to call the hotels directly to make reservations. Another, potentially less-expensive option is to find a room on AirBnB, a popular website for finding guest rooms.

We hope to see you in June.

Charlie Halpern, Workshop Chair

Dan Carlin, Workshop Coordinator

For the Workshop Planning Committee: Leonard Riskin, Northwestern University School of Law and University of Florida School of Law; Rhonda Magee, University of San Francisco School of Law; Mirabai Bush