The Importance of Compassion in Effective Dispute Resolution

An increasing number of studies point towards the integral role that compassion and empathy for others plays in cultivating happiness and well-being. Compassion arises from a felt connection to all of life in the present moment. Compassion lies beyond thoughts and preconceived notions about a person or a given situation.

The typical adversarial approach to conflict resolution that pervades contemporary civil justice in America is rarely effective in cultivating compassion and/or empathy. Instead, one’s thought-driven notions of how things should be most often form the basis of an attorney’s litigation strategy.

Such a failure to elicit compassion and empathy can explain why, far more often than not, legal or “courtroom” victories ring hollow for a prevailing party soon after a fleeting sense of ego gratification dissipates.

In contrast to this prevailing adversarial model, holistic law practice has as a primary objective the cultivation of compassion and empathy prior to the development and implementation of a concrete legal strategy. A fundamental precept inherent in the holistic approach is that optimal, lasting solutions to interpersonal conflict arise from beyond ego, thought, and preconceived notions.

To learn more about holistic law practice, contact Licensed Attorney and Psychotherapist Mike Lubofsky at (415) 508-6263, or visit

The Overemphasizing of Intellect and Importance of Meditation for Lawyers

Human beings have succeeded in evolving as a species largely as a result of unparalleled intellect and problem-solving faculties.  Our abilities to scan our environment for danger, conceive of and implement creative solutions, and learn from our experience have enabled us to thrive on this planet.  We have also been programmed with an internal reward system that produces positive affect when gaining mastery over one’s environment that, arguably, has provided us with sustained motivation to continue to strive for mastery, even long after our basic needs have been met.

This pursuit of environmental mastery, however, has come to dominate behavior is a way that has led to humans perceiving themselves as separate from life as a whole.  This, in turn, has led to an evolutionary point at which humans have begun to destroy fundamental aspects of life, including the physical environment.

What is now critical is that we as a species learn to subordinate our unprecedented intellect to conscious awareness of, and connection to, all of life of which we are all an integral part – not separate actors.  It is the heightening of this consciousness and connection to present-moment experience that can be realized and cultivated through mindfulness and meditation practice.

As a profession, this evolution of consciousness is especially critical to attorneys.  In their primary role of facilitating the resolution of human conflict, lawyers are in a unique position to instigate change that can help move us forward as a species harmoniously with life of which we are all a part.  In the continued absence of this consciousness, civil conflict and criminal behavior will continue to be addressed in ways likely to perpetuate undesirable behavior and further deterioration of the world around us.

My mindfulness and meditation for lawyers programs work to heighten consciousness of lawyers that can lead to not only a more healthy and sustainable society, but to personal transformation for attorneys that can begin to reverse a trend of deep professional dissatisfaction and escalating substance abuse that has persisted in the legal profession for decades.  To learn more about meditation for lawyers, please call Licensed Attorney and Therapist Mike Lubofsky at (415) 508-6263, or visit

Rethinking The Role of Attorneys in Society

For centuries, the function of attorneys in American society has been primarily defined by an ethical obligation to zealously represent clients within proscribed evidentiary and procedural guidelines aimed at eliciting “truth” and, ultimately, some ephemeral notion of “justice.” The more broad notion that attorneys should work towards the overall betterment of society has been subordinated to the ethical obligation to advance the interests of individual clients.

The more broad role in moving society forward in more sustainable directions refers not simply to offering inexpensive legal services to the financially underprivileged, but rather to working to address fundamentally flawed orientations to life that contribute to an overwhelming percentage of legal conflicts and criminal behavior.

Most attorneys may read about serving the more holistic needs of clients and respond that such issues fall within the purview of psychologists, clergy, or spiritual counselors. A law practice that emphasizes mindful awareness of present-moment experience, however, is uniquely positioned to offer fundamental, lasting changes to clients in the context of resolving problematic real-life situations, whereas the work of psychologists and spiritual counselors is often conducted in a more abstract, experiential vacuum.

The historically fundamental failure of attorneys to help move society forward and truly help resolve problematic behavior has become patently obvious to society at large. Our system is broken largely as a result of our flawed definition of the role of attorneys as usually little more than “advocates” in a fundamentally misguided “adversarial system” of justice. The term “justice” in itself, embraces a dualistic concept of “right” and “wrong” that serves to drive society in more polarized directions, doing little to promote healing and more desirable, sustainable outcomes.

In time, society will either embrace a more mindful approach towards conflict resolution, or continue to fracture by individual motives driven by self-interest. If attorneys can come to redefine their roles, however, as agents of a fundamental shift towards heightening mindful awareness of present-moment experience in the face of some of life’s most challenging situations, attorneys may begin to truly help move society in more positive, sustainable directions.

To learn more about incorporating mindfulness in law practice, contact Licensed Therapist and Attorney Michael Lubofsky at (415) 508-6263, or visit We also offer professional coaching to attorneys interested in incorporating mindfulness into their individual practices.

Mindfulness in Law Practice

The mindful law practice emphasizes the unique core of each individual client that lies beyond his or her “problematic” legal issues. In cultivating mindful attention on present-moment experience, clients come to face concerns which are typically future-focused, often manifesting themselves in the emotion of fear. This clash between present-moment awareness and projected future concerns, however, can also serve as fertile ground in which to plant the seeds of inner peace.

My holistic practice tends to work simultaneously on two planes: (1) the practical plane emphasizing real-life legal solutions; and (2) the “spiritual” plane which aims to heighten one’s mindfulness and dis-identification from learned conditioning in a way that can facilitate inner peace. Improved mindful attention to the present moment will often lead to otherwise overlooked creative legal solutions as well as a reduced likelihood that clients will repeat decisions, behaviors, and reactions that may have contributed in no small way to the client’s current legal difficulties.

In my initial meeting with a client, there is a focus on understanding his or her current legal situation to ensure that timely actions are taken to preserve and defend the client’s legal rights and/or defenses. A blueprint for addressing the client’s legal issues is laid out so that the client can begin to let go of some of the fear that he or she has come to associate with current legal difficulties. Ideally, from this point forward, meetings become more oriented towards the cultivation of mindfulness. Less time in future sessions is devoted to he practical solution-oriented aspects of representation – the tenor shifts more from attorney to counselor.

As an example, a client facing a divorce involving children may, through our mindfulness sessions, come to identify certain entrenched thoughts which, upon closer examination, are directly contributing to strong “fears” that their legal situation may cause them to “lose everything,” e.g., identity as a spouse, a parent, etc. These fears may be causing the client to react in ways that are actually exacerbating the client’s situation, e.g., “clingy” or obsessive behavior, manipulation of children so as to win their approval vis a vis the other spouse, etc.

Through our mindfulness sessions, however, a client can begin to internalize the notion that he or she need not be defined by his or her thoughts. The client begins to cultivate an ability to connect with a more grounded sense of being that lies beyond his or her conditioned thinking, and beyond the prior importance the client had put on his or her status as this or that. In becoming more present focused, negative thoughts associated with formerly projected negative future outcomes begin to dissipate. The client comes to realize a whole new way of approaching life. The client’s previously destructive behaviors begin to cease.

In this way, the integration of mindfulness in law practice can serve as a unique springboard for truly improving the lives of clients, and society as a whole. To learn more about mindfulness in law practice, visit, or call Attorney and Psychotherapist Michael Lubofsk, at (415) 508-6263.

A Return to Here and Now

The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day can prove particularly challenging for mindfulness practice. Commercial and societal messages of things we should have or want, the way our lives should be, etc., confront us at every turn and through all forms of media. We may feel especially hijacked by thoughts of what we think is or was expected of us by those closest to us now, or those closest to us in the distant past. It is not difficult to imagine how the pull of such expectations can work to extricate us from the present moment and into an unconscious, thought-driven mode emphasizing idealized notions of how things should be.

With the holiday season now behind us, we can begin to settle back into our more familiar routines in an environment somewhat less charged with embedded messages of things we should buy or how our lives should be in some Rockwellian sense. Freed from such learned conditioning and expectations, many may find it easier to reconnect to present moment experience and resume a more mindful approach to daily life.

In the context of dealing with legal problems which may have been avoided or left pending during the holiday season, now may be an opportune time for re-grounding in a mindful sense of being that is far more conducive to identifying optimal solutions to these challenges. My holistic approach to law practice can help reestablish a fundamental connection to present-moment experience and, in the process, facilitate identification of how to best approach the most vexing issues in your life.

If you are facing a legal issue and are trying to identify how to best proceed, contact Licensed Attorney and California Psychotherapist Michael Lubofsky at (415) 508-6263, or visit website at

Attorney Satisfaction Now Highly Dependent on Non-Monetary Factors

In addition to my law practice, I have provided consulting services to law firms for over fifteen years. Often, especially when dealing with partners who have been practicing for more than twenty years, a complaint commonly expressed is that associates (and employees in general) fail to take initiative to cultivate new business for the firm. This is often expressed as a shortcoming or sense of entitlement of younger generations.

In addition to the reality that the legal profession is now far more competitive for young attorneys, law practice today is substantively far more complex than it was twenty years ago. But perhaps this gap between older and younger attorneys represents a more fundamental shift in priorities among generations – a shift emphasizing greater inner peace and relegating material wealth as an end in itself to subordinate importance.

If this is true, then in order to retain talented associates, law firms must begin to devote more time and attention to more spiritual needs of their employees. More progressive companies such as Google are now incorporating mindfulness training into the daily work lives of its employees. Google realizes that emotional intelligence – cultivated through mindful awareness of present-moment experience – is at least as important, if not more so, than the intellectual capacity of its employees.

By emphasizing mindfulness, holistic law practice begins to shift the focus of attorneys toward the more foundational needs of clients as well as other attorneys. To learn more about how holistic law practice can help you, visit, or contact Psychotherapist and  Lawyer Michael Lubofsky at (415) 508-6263.

Making Work Work

Whether one is a small business owner, entrepreneur, or employee, the search for a truly satisfying work life can seem constantly elusive. From a holistic perspective, this challenge can result from one or both of the following factors: (1) the goal of your enterprise or organization, or company for whom you work, is fundamentally at odds with a grounded sense of interconnectedness with being that we all share; an/or (2) the ways in which you are going about or performing your work are lacking in consciousness or present-moment awareness.

The unhappiness of people enmeshed in the above-described scenarios day after day permeates contemporary American society and is manifested in myriad health problems, substance abuse and other addictions, and lost productivity. In the context of legal problems, people in unhappy work situations are more prone to disputes with their employers, problems in their relationships, and financial difficulties.

For business owners, entrepreneurs, or others with ultimate enterprise control, the key is to cultivate a high degree of mindful attention to the present moment when contemplating the organizational mission. In developing mindfulness, one can come to dis-identify from conditioned, mind and ego-driven thoughts about what external factors can bring about “happiness” (e.g., personal wealth, power, control, etc.), and begin to connect with a more fundamental, innate sense that what one is doing is connected to the wider, all-inclusive concept of life in some meaningful way.

For employees who lack control over the mission of their employer, this exercise can become more challenging. It is becoming increasingly common, especially in this recessional economy, for workers to be interminably stuck in positions with misguided employers ou of sheer financial necessity. The lives of such workers, however, can be significantly improved by cultivating a more mindful approach to daily life. In this way, the how someone is doing a particular job is more important than what that person is doing. One who is tying his or her shoe with a high degree of mindfulness can realize far more inner peace than someone driving a Lamborghini on a freeway while talking on a cell phone.

My holistic law practice works with clients to not only solve their legal problems, but to also cultivate mindful awareness in a way that can improve their lives long after their legal issues have been resolved. To learn more about holistic law, call Licensed Attorney and Psychotherapist Michael Lubofsky at (415) 508-6263, or visit

Mindful Lawyering

Traditional legal training, from the first LSAT prep class to the final bar exam question, heavily emphasizes one’s ability to intellectually discern differences and analyze those differences in a most logical and detached fashion. Through immersion in this process over several years, one comes to almost exclusively engage intellectual faculties in the practice of law. We become especially attuned to differences among situations and, if one is not careful, among people.

This intellectual orientation, while honing one’s analytical acumen, can often lead to a spiritual void in which we come to completely overlook the commonality and connection that we all share. In losing this sense of connectedness, we can easily lose the ability to connect with clients in a meaningful way. Opportunities are lost to make a real difference in client’s lives.

Holistic practice has at its core a primary emphasis on the connection that we all share to simple present-moment being. In developing a practice of mindful lawyering, attorneys can become far better able to identify and address core client issues in a way that can help the client move forward more successfully in his or her life long after the resolution of legal issues.

In spiritually-engaged mindful lawyering, one’s intellectual and analytical faculties are somewhat relegated to the function of “tools” to be deployed once the unique life situation of the individual client has come to be understood. Through more mindful lawyering, attorneys can come to play an important role in the social transformation that they may have directed their course to law as a profession in the first instance.

To learn more about integrating mindful lawyering into your practice, contact Holistic Lawyer Michael Lubofsky, Esq. at (415) 508-6263 or visit

When Legal Practice Becomes “Ego” Practice

In traditional legal education we are taught how to identify issues, adopt positions, and create logical arguments to advance and defend these positions. In the process of creating these arguments and in preparing to verbally defend our adopted positions, we begin to internalize a notion that our position is “right” and the position of the other is “wrong.” To some extent, this polarization is necessary to inject needed passion into an oral argument.

After immersing ourselves in this process of polarization for three years in law school, most of us enter a profession calling on our acquired ability to identify and advocate adopted positions on behalf of clients for most of our waking hours.

Problems soon arise, however, when that dualistic orientation becomes a way of life extending beyond professional environments. In my experience as an attorney and in interactions with other attorneys for almost 25 years, this problem seems very common among attorneys.

What often happens as legal training takes root is that an attorney begins to lose touch with the truth that life tends not to reduce itself to ideas of “right” and “wrong.” Life pretty much just “is.” The extent to which we try and get life to adopt our ideas of right and wrong, in the same way that we might approach a judge, will largely dictate our degree of unhappiness in life.

It is a real challenge for an attorney to dis-identify from the conditioned way of seeing the world as “right” or “wrong,” and from the tendency to advocate and defend one’s mental positions. I speak from personal experience in reflecting back on the myriad situations in my life in which I have been confronted by another person or life situation that failed to square with my egoistic notion of how things “should” be, and how I reactively, with little consciousness, dug my heels in and embarked on a mission to prove how I was right and how the other was wrong. Most often, this exercise has done little more than cause the situation before me to further deteriorate.

The antidote for this tendency can be found in mindfulness training. Through this training, one can begin to again connect with the real nature of things as they are, and begin to break the grip of the polarized orientation instilled by legal training and practice. This mindfulness training is an integral component of my professional coaching services for attorneys. To learn more, visit or call Michael Lubofsky, Esq., at (415) 508-6263.

How to Better Connect With Clients

Most law clients fit into one of two categories: (1) individuals facing consequences involving perceived loss; or (2) individuals or corporate entities looking to maximize material or financial wealth. In either case, most clients are likely struggling to some degree to accept the impermanence of certain aspects of their lives that they had come to incorporate into a thought-based or egoistic sense of self (e.g., a significant relationship, a job, personal safety, freedom, etc.). While an attorney’s learned expertise lies in a working knowledge of laws and procedures necessary to advance or defend a client’s legal rights, in most cases clients can reap far greater benefit (and be far more satisfied) with counsel able to truly connect with the client’s inner core of being.

This connection manifests itself when an attorney deals with client from a foundation of heightened present-moment awareness. When the relationship springs from this point, the usually disconnected attorney/client relationship dissolves. The client begins to deal with the attorney in a far more honest and authentic fashion. New, creative solutions become possible that would never have surfaced in the traditionally disjointed attorney/client relationship. In this way, the client is far more likely to realize a true, lasting benefit from the attorney’s services.

Though seldom taught in law schools, a practicing attorney can cultivate an ability to connect with clients in this way through mindfulness training. To learn more about mindfulness training for attorneys and how this can benefit your practice, visit or contact Michael Lubofsky, Esq., Holistic Lawyer at (415) 508-6263.