This presentation focused on when, where, why and how mindfulness can be taught and used in law schools and law practice environments – and where it might not fit. About 40 U.S. law schools now offer training in how, why and when to control the focus of your attention through a process called mindfulness (as do law firms, corporations, sports teams and other organizations). Mindfulness, which a person cultivates in silent meditation, can help law students and lawyers deal better with stress, increase satisfaction, and improve their performance in any student or lawyering activity.
Joseph Singer’s presentation addressed regulatory law. Since 1922, the Supreme Court has interpreted the U.S. Constitution to require just compensation to be paid when a regulation affects the practical equivalent of a taking of property. And since 1978, it has applied a multi-factor test to determine when a law “forc[es] some people alone to bear public burdens, which, in all fairness and justice, should be borne by the public as a whole.” Many scholars have criticized the resulting law of regulatory takings as incoherent, unpredictable and insufficiently protective of property rights.