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REVIEW: The Anxious Lawyer by Jeena Cho and Karen Gifford


Five Stars

“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” — Dick the Butcher, Henry VI by William Shakespeare

With famous quotes like that one floating around, it’s no wonder that members of the esteemed legal profession need a little encouragement now and then. Sadly, the above quote is NOT disparaging lawyers or expressing Shakespeare’s true thoughts on the profession; the character who speaks it is actually saying that lawyers and judges are the mighty hand that holds justice–and therefore, society–together, and that the only way to achieve their goals of utter lawlessness will be to get rid of every last attorney.

But that doesn’t stop the quote from appearing on coffee mugs, or stop people from making shark jokes whenever lawyers are in the room. One noted cafe across from a Southern courthouse had a permanent sign in the window that advertised “chum” as the special of the day.

Poor lawyers…they really do want to be a force for good, but their role in society is often a thankless one.

But the best thing about The Anxious Lawyer by Jeena Cho and Karen Gifford is that anyone–shark profession or not–can benefit from the information on centering yourself, finding and relying on an air of gratitude every day, and incorporating meditation into your daily regimen. While it bills itself as an eight-week course to a “joyful and satisfying law practice,” its benefits will go on far past those mere two months, and can improve anyone’s daily life, work place relationships, and job satisfaction.

One of the most crucial perceptions that the authors address is also the most incriminating. Imagine walking into a lawyer’s office, knowing that your life may very well hang in the balance due to criminal charges, an insurmountable lawsuit you face, or other grave situation, and seeing a yoga mat spread out on the floor, incense burning on a nearby table, and whale song music playing softly through hidden speakers. You’ll probably back away slowly, then bolt for the nearest law practice that isn’t run by hippies.

Yet, medical professionals and speakers alike have supported the benefits of meditation for so long that everyone from preschools to prisons are incorporating yoga and deep breathing time into their daily routines. So why shouldn’t the people who stand before a judge and argue for our best interests also benefit from a healthy body and a clear, centered mind? Meditation should be a requirement for high-stakes professions, not the butt of a joke. Hopefully works like this one will bring that notion into the mainstream.

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