NAWL Book Club: The Anxious Lawyer Facilitation Kit

Are you interested in starting a local group to practice mindfulness and build community? This facilitation kit will give you the resources you’ll need to start your own mindful lawyers group!

You can start the group in your law firm, law school, or local legal community.

Overview

The goal of the Mindful Lawyer Circle is to create a space for lawyers to engage in both practice and discourse in incorporating mindfulness into our professional and personal lives.

This kit will provide the foundation for organizing and running the meetings. It’s meant to be a guide, a suggestion. Please feel free to modify as you see fit.

Role of Facilitator

The “facilitator” is a guide or “discussion leader” for the group. The process of facilitation is a way of providing leadership without taking the reigns.

A facilitator’s job is to get others to assume responsibility and take the lead.

As a facilitator, you’ll set the agenda, and be a role model of how things are discussed. You do not need to have all the answers, or be an “expert” to serve as a facilitator.

Some critical skills for a facilitator includes:

  • “asking” rather than “telling.”
  • paying personal compliments
  • willing to spend time in building relationships
  • initiating conversation rather than waiting for someone else to
  • asking for other’s opinions rather than always having to offer their own
  • negotiating rather than dictating decision-making
  • listening without interrupting
  • emoting but able to be restrained when the situation requires it
  • curious about people, things and life in general

Facilitation, like all life skills can be improved through practice.

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Structure of Circle

As a facilitator, you’re responsible for securing space, and finding date/time for the circles. We suggest committing to a weekly, 1-hour meeting during the first 8-weeks and engaging in the practices as outlined in The Anxious Lawyer book.

The three Webinars, scheduled on September 7, 2016, October 5, 2016 and October 25, 2016 at 2:00 ET can serve as anchors for the 8-week program.

We suggest finding circle members, securing space, and date/time prior to the September 7th Webinar.

Meeting Agenda (60 minutes)

  • Mindfulness Practice: We suggest setting a timer for 5 minutes and inviting everyone to sit quietly, with the eyes closed. This time can also be used for guided meditation, or movement practice such as yoga. Such practices can be led by the facilitator or another circle member. (5 minutes)
  • Check-In: This time will be used for introduction, and to answer reflection questions as outlined in the weekly worksheet. (10 minutes)
  • Discussion: Each week, the facilitator will lead a discussion related to the topic assigned for that week. (30 minutes)
  • Wrap-Up: What’s next, setting goals, few final words, closing circle (10 minutes)
    Mindfulness Practice: Time for quiet reflection, meditation, movement based practice. (5 minutes)

Weekly Facilitation Guidelines

   Week 1

   Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8