Before attending his first meditation session, employment lawyer Robert Waldeck told himself, “If these people are into crystals and new age, I’m out of here.” That was 11 years ago. Today, Waldeck, an associate at the Washington, D.C.-based law firm of John Berry, meditates twice a week.

How do lawyers, who measure time in billable hours, adjust to an activity like meditation, which demands that they sit still and turn inward for, oh, hundreds of dollars’ worth of time off the clock? Can something as intangible and elusive as meditation really work for those whose professional life centers on rules? Is the idea of a meditating lawyer a contradiction in terms?

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