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Contemplative Lawyers Group
“What is This?” Practice and Law Practice

Thursday, September 22, 2011 7:00 pm-9:00 pm

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“What it this?” is not a bad way of describing a traditional contemplative practice of stillness and broad attention. A sustained practice of broad and open inquiry into just this moment – what is this? – what is this? -- provides a valuable adjunct to the demands of the lawyer role. The lawyer / judge / paralegal / law student is often asked to assess a situation and respond to it in accordance with her/ his role, judgment, and obligations. We often characterize a moment of contemplative practice in the midst of our professional day as a pause that refreshes. But we can also understand “What is this?” practice as a pause that assesses. Learning to drop presupposition and urgency for just this moment and just notice can make us keener to the nuances of possibility that this moment of our professional daily life presents.

MARC R. POIRIER, Professor of Law and Martha Traylor Research Scholar, Seton Hall University School of Law