This month I’d like to reacquaint you with one of the world’s leading authorities on the science of mindfulness.  Dr. Amishi Jha is a cognitive neuroscientist who, back in 2018 contributed to this column by responding to a reader’s question on the influence of mindfulness practices on the brain.  Her just released book, “Peak Mind: Find Your Focus, Own Your Attention, Invest 12 Minutes A Day,” brilliantly bridges the science and practice of mindfulness, and can be a useful read to better understand the role of mindfulness and attention (she is also an attention researcher) in optimizing cognitive performance, mental health, and social connection.

Over the past decade, I have had the privilege of collaborating with Amishi on numerous research projects exploring the enduring brain and behavior changes that can accompany mindfulness-training programs, and she has generously contributed her time to sharing mindfulness with lawyers and judges at bench and bar conferences, in bar journals, and with students at the University of Miami School of Law.  With the release of her new book, I asked Amishi a few questions addressing the relevance of mindfulness to the work of legal professionals drawing on one of her primary takeaways: that attention is powerful, vulnerable, and trainable.

The ability to focus and think straight is crucial to the practice of law.  How do these capacities get disrupted?