BUFFALO, N.Y. — A new University at Buffalo Law School course will use an innovative technique called “mindfulness reflection” to help students cultivate honesty, wisdom and humility, values central to the classical tradition of lawyers who saw themselves as public servants devoted to a public purpose, along with skilled advocacy for their clients.
The course, offered this semester, is called “Mindfulness and Professional Identity: Becoming a Lawyer While Keeping Your Values Intact.” It will be co-taught by Angela P. Harris, visiting professor from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, and Stephanie L. Phillips, professor of law, UB Law School.
“We’ve come to think about lawyers in our society as ‘hired guns’ who fight for their clients with no holds barred and without regard for the consequences,” says Harris. “As a profession, we need to connect back to that older sense of public purpose. Lawyers are essentially problem-solvers, and some of the problems we face today — terrorism, global warming, natural disasters and global economic crises — are among the most serious the human race has ever had to face.”