“I stay calm myself to get the best out of my clients, to get the best out of opposing counsel,” says Tosta, now a partner at McKenna Long & Aldridge who writes and speaks about applying a contemplative perspective to the law.
As Tosta was learning to still his mind, a similar shift was occurring across the profession as a growing number of lawyers discovered mindfulness practices and, more important, began talking to each other about it.
The late Steven Keeva, an editor at the ABA Journal, wrote about it in his book, Transforming Practices: Finding Joy and Satisfaction in the Legal Life. Law professors began teaching their students to meditate. New studies were released suggesting meditation may strengthen the brain. And as economic pressures mounted in the past few years—and concern about anxiety and depression among lawyers grew—so did interest in these practices that were said to sharpen decision-making skills and combat stress.
“The recession was really an important catalyst,” Tosta says.