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Listening and Responding Well: Contemplative Practice as Noise Abatement for Lawyers
Contemplative Lawyers Group

Thursday, September 13, 2012 7:00 pm-9:00 pm

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In our work as legal professionals, the ability to listen, to assess the situation promptly and accurately, and to respond appropriately is essential. But noise gets in the way. This could be external noise, e.g., interruptions, physical disorder, or multitasking , or it could be internal noise, e.g., irrelevant emotions, lack of focus, anxiety, stress, exhaustion, or illness. Adopting a contemplative practice of some sort can help one reduce the effects of external and internal noise, and can improve one’s ability to listen and respond appropriately.  Over time, practice builds a solid base from which to observe, and nourishes a habit of noting in-the-moment noise and dealing with it as such. On my office door, I have posted “The Four Rules for Anything.” They are (1) Relax; (2) Pay attention; (3) Acknowledge what has happened; (4) Do what needs to be done. Many legal professionals rush headlong to step four. They would do well to become especially comfortable with the first two steps, relaxing and paying attention, as a platform for effective lawyering. 

Speaker: MARC R. POIRIER, Professor of Law and Martha Traylor Research Scholar, Seton Hall University School of Law, Newark, NJ; practicing Zen and other styles of meditation and body practice since 1981.


Event Location: 42 West 44th St. (bet. 5th & 6th Ave.)