Thursday, October 25, 2018
R. Lisle Baker (Suffolk), Designing a Positive Psychology Course for Lawyers
"Legal education is slowly beginning to include not only education in critical thinking and legal knowledge, but also education in complementary qualities of personal conduct and early professional formation. Positive psychology, with its emphasis on the evidence-based study of how people can thrive, not just be treated for mental illness or emotional difficulty, can aid these additional educational objectives. This Article examines some of the ongoing pedagogical choices involved in creating a law school course on positive psychology oriented around experiential student learning. Highlighted are a few key insights from the field, including resilience, character strengths, positive values, and enhanced relationships with other people. While only an introduction, this course is designed to help law students become sufficiently grounded in these insights and others from positive psychology to continue their education after law school. Because the course is experimental, the hope is that it will lay the foundation for initiatives by other law professors to make the application of positive psychology more broadly available to law students in general. "