Mediator’s Corner

Resolving It: Being Mindful


Read “Lawyers Go Zen With Few Objections”. The Garrison Institute (a former Franciscan monastery and now a mediation center on a hilltop near West Point) was recently the site of a mindfulness retreat for about 80 lawyers that was organized by UC Berkeley School of Law. One of the participants reported that it was “quite refreshing [to see] a bunch of lawyers in a room and no one was talking.” Well, it’s certainly different alright!

There are now about two dozen laws schools in the United States that incorporate mindfulness exercises into their curricula. And the unhappiness of seasoned lawyers with the pressure to bill hours and to keep up with the fast pace of law practice has led to “mindfulness coaching” for law firms and legal departments.

Not everyone will buy into this “mindfulness thing,” and a little of it should go a long way. But it shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. There may still be some hope for civility and professionalism after all.

* Michael P. Carbone is a dispute resolution specialist based in Point Richmond who handles all manner of civil cases throughout the Bay Area. He was a founder of The Mediation Society and served as its third president. For more information, go to

To view previous Mediator's Corner articles please click here