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Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution

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Tools of Mindful Awareness for Lawyers, mediators, negotiators, judges, arbitrators, and Managers

Faculty: Leonard Riskin and Rachel Wohl

Riskin and Wohl have developed “Taking STOCK” a practical technique that enables conflict resolution professionals to continually integrate mindfulness into their work.

Lawyers, judges, mediators, and managers aspire to provide high-quality service and to derive satisfaction in the process, but often face barriers to fulfilling such aspirations. Stress, our fast-paced lives, conflicting demands, self-doubt and other challenges distract us from bringing our whole selves to bear upon our work and our lives, even when we are trying to do so. The added complication of dealing with conflict is associated with its own distracting welter of thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, and habitual modes of reacting.

Mindfulness, a systematic method of paying attention, deliberately, in the moment, without judgment can help us gain awareness of our mental and emotional processes, our habitual reactions, and their manifestations in our mind, body, and breath. Such awareness opens the door to developing ourselves in ways that will enable us to perform better and to get more satisfaction from our work.

What you will learn:

  • To better understand and deal with your own reactions to conflict
  • Mindfulness meditation, a highly-refined, systematic method of moment-to-moment non-judgmental awareness, which develops both calmness of mind and body and deep insight into an array of mental and physical conditions
  • The Taking STOCK technique, which you will practice to integrate and maintain mindfulness in various negotiation and dispute resolution roles

Leonard L. Riskin, Chesterfield Smith Professor of Law at the University of Florida Levin College of Law and Visiting Professor at Northwestern University School of Law, previously served at the University of Missouri as director of the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution. A practicing mediator, he has taught both dispute resolution and mindfulness around the world. Professor Riskin has a J.D. from N.Y.U. and an LL.M. from Yale. He has published several books and numerous articles on dispute resolution (some dealing with "grids" of mediator orientations-facilitative-evaluative/broad-narrow), and several articles on the potential contributions of mindfulness to law and mediation practice.

Rachel Wohl is the director of MACRO, Maryland's Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office. She is a mediator and attorney who successfully designed and implemented a large-scale (700-person) collaborative process that catapulted Maryland to the forefront of the conflict resolution field. She cochaired the ABA Dispute Resolution Section's Task Force on Improving Mediation Quality and is a founding board member of an exciting new organization, Mediators Beyond Borders. Wohl received the Association for Conflict Resolution's Mary Parker-Follett Award for innovation. She has practiced meditation for over 17 years and has taught mindfulness courses at several law schools and in Scotland.