Humane law school


I use the term the humane law school to describe holistic legal education that emphasizes happiness ("eudemonia") in the classic sense of leading a good life for oneself, one's clients, and one's community.

What should the humane law school be teaching? I welcome your thoughts.

Knowing Yourself

  1. Self assessment and reflection
  2. Emotional regulation
  3. Mindfulness
  4. Yoga/tai chi/meditation/dance/breathing/movement
  5. Intro to holistic psychology
  6. Integrating your past training and experience (e.g., undergrad degree, prior work, military service)

Managing Life

  1. Life planning
  2. Time management
  3. Stress management
  4. Financial management
  5. Crisis management
  6. Managing fear and shame
  7. Addiction and substance abuse
  8. When and how to seek help
  9. Contingency planning
  10. What to do when you make a mistake or do something wrong
  11. Compartmentalizing, boundaries, their necessity, and their risks
  12. Managing and addressing professional burnout

Expressing Yourself

  1. Improv and acting
  2. Storytelling
  3. Telling your story
  4. Saying no
  5. Setting and maintaining boundaries
  6. Speaking to nonlawyers
  7. Non-verbal communication (including using and reading body language)
  8. Virtual interactions
  9. Self defense
  10. Taking initiative
  11. Asking questions

Empathy and Understanding

  1. Your clients and their trauma
  2. Know people whose lives are different than your own
  3. Things you're not used to (for example, poverty and wealth -- since lawyers may need to navigate both)
  4. Diversity, equity, and inclusion generally
  5. Recognizing bias
  6. Empathy
  7. Pro bono culture


  1. Networking
  2. Sharing your network with others
  3. Navigating professional happy hours
  4. Teamwork
  5. Local community
  6. Finding and managing mentors
  7. Healthy personal and professional relationships
  8. Building your community
  9. Making friends as an adult


  1. Classic ethics
  2. Reconciling your personal beliefs and your professional obligations
  3. Dispute resolution
  4. Trust and trustworthiness in the law
  5. Lies in the legal system (e.g., plea bargaining)
  6. When, how, and why to use your power

Fundamentals of Practice

  1. How to read
  2. Legal technology
  3. Human rights law
  4. Interdisciplinary law (finding and working with other professionals)
  5. Models of lawyering (guide, governor, guardian from NYU's lawyering program)
  6. How to use (and how not to use) Google, Wikipedia, and generative AI in legal research and writing