Paul L. Caron

Monday, August 21, 2017

Huang: Adventures In Higher Education, Happiness, And Mindfulness

Peter H. Huang (Colorado), Adventures in Higher Education, Happiness, and Mindfulness:

This Article recounts my unique adventures in higher education, including being a Princeton University freshman mathematics major at age 14, Harvard University applied mathematics graduate student at age 17, economics and finance faculty at multiple schools, first-year law student at the University of Chicago, second- and third-year law student at Stanford University, and law faculty at multiple schools. This Article analyzes why law schools should teach law students about happiness and mindfulness. This Article discusses how to teach law students about happiness and mindfulness. Finally, this Article provides brief concluding thoughts about how law students can sustain happiness and mindfulness once they graduate from law school.

I believe that teaching law students about happiness and mindfulness can help them professionally and personally. My belief is based on seeing this happen, student feedback in person, on teaching evaluations, in heartfelt thank you cards, and emails from former law students, some years after they graduated. If law students acquire a taste for learning about happiness and mindfulness, then they may continue to learn about and practice happiness and mindfulness for the rest of their lives. Happy and mindful law professors can teach and inspire law students to be happy and mindful, who in turn become happy and mindful lawyers, who may help their clients be happy and mindful, who in turn may help create societies that are happy and mindful. What a wonderful world that would be to help create and in which to live, flourish, and thrive.

Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink


Wait, I've been told that law school has nothing to do with happiness and can no more affect its students' moods than it can affect their height.

"Happiness often precedes and predicts success, and happiness appears to be strongly influenced by genetic factors.... We would not assume that differences between the height of law graduates and the rest of the population were caused by law school attendance, and we probably should not assume that law school affects happiness very much either."

Obligatory note that the Director of Happiness at the university where this quoted fellow got all his degrees does not share his views:

Laura Kubzansky, PhD, MPH, and the codirector of Harvard's new Center for Health and Happiness: "psychological states such as anxiety or depression—or happiness and optimism—are forged by both nature and nurture. “They are 40–50 percent heritable, which means you may be born with the genetic predisposition. But this also suggests there is a lot of room to maneuver.”"

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Aug 21, 2017 1:03:00 PM