ERIC Number: EJ1004954
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Reference Count: 11
Contemplative Practices and the Renewal of Legal Education
Magee, Rhonda V.
New Directions for Teaching and Learning, n134 p31-40 Sum 2013
In this chapter, the author uses the phrase "contemplative practices" to encompass an array of personal and pedagogical methods that combine training in awareness and first-person epistemological approaches to knowing and being in the world. These practices include mindfulness meditation (Magee 2011). The gradual inclusion of mindfulness training and other contemplative practices for law students and lawyers, and these various critiques of legal education, are distinct in important ways. Yet, on close examination, one may see significant overlapping concerns. Indeed, the movement to include mindfulness in legal education may be an essential foundational step in accomplishing the professionalism and professional identity development objectives at the heart of the major contemporary critiques of legal education (Magee 2011). Perhaps more important, however, the mindfulness movement may be essential to the reconstruction of law in the United States from its original position--one in support of subordination, exclusion, and the denial of human dignity to racial minorities, women, and others--to a new position, in support of inclusion and liberation for all. It may, in other words, portend the renewal of legal education and of law itself for the 21st century. This chapter describes the nascent development of a contemplative approach to law and legal education. It describes some of the notable innovations--inspiring new courses and cocurricular offerings--that have been increasingly observed among law schools and argues that because these reforms respond to a range of criticisms of the legal profession they merit further research and support among legal educators.
Descriptors: Legal Education (Professions), Metacognition, Attention, Lawyers, Law Schools, Professional Identity, Law Students, Professional Development, Human Dignity, Conflict Resolution
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States