Nevada Law Journal


Peter Reilly


This Article suggests that law students and lawyers can be introduced to, and even begin to master, some of the same transformational principles, skill sets, and behaviors that poured forth from FDR as a result of his intense physical and personal challenges. At the core of nearly all great negotiators, mediators, lawyers, and leaders is a person who has learned to connect with other people, that is, to build relationships of trust, cooperation, and collaboration. Additionally, this Article argues that where people first learn a sense of self and others through both theoretical and practical knowledge and understanding of mindfulness and human emotion, connections are more likely to be made and relationships are more likely to be built. Furthermore, the body of scholarship that Professor Leonard L. Riskin is producing in the areas of mindfulness and emotions in law serves an important, foundational role in heeding the calls sounded by Deans Pound and Griswold. Consequently, this Article uses Professor Riskin's wonderful theoretical foundation to begin thinking about ways in which mindfulness and emotions can be translated into practice and manifested into actual behaviors. The Article’s goal, then, is to begin thinking about how one might bring mindfulness and emotions from the “mind level” to what human relations expert Mary Parker Follett eloquently called the “motor level.” Part II of the Article provides some background on emotional intelligence, including the different branches of emotional intelligence. Parts III and IV explore the role of emotions in behaviors, including discussion of various suggestions to teach emotional control and techniques to develop emotional range, maturity, and sensitivity. Emotional contagion is discussed in Part V, covering how emotions are spread and how this phenomenon can be used to increase cooperation. Next, Part VI reviews suggestions from various experts on how to develop a curriculum to teach students emotional intelligence. Subsequently, a specific mental model, the Ladder of Inference, is discussed in detail in Part VII, including examples and exercises for application. Lastly, Part VIII concludes with some final thoughts.

Publication Citation

10 Nev. L. J. 433 (2010)