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June 3, 2015


Why Every Lawyer Should Care About Neuroscience

by contributor


Digital illustration of woman's brain
A CLE for anyone interested in how hidden biases influence thinking and drive behaviors.

Digital illustration of woman's brain

“Neuroscience, Decisions and the Law.” Looking at the topic, one might think that the seminar speaker will be wearing a white lab coat and showing slides of CAT scans and lab rats. However, this seminar is actually an insightful presentation on how unconscious preconceptions and predispositions dramatically influence decision-making.

This seminar is for anyone who cares about how hidden biases influence thinking and drive seemingly unconnected behaviors. If you care about any of the these topics, then you should go:

  • Understanding how people react to race, ethnicity, and gender
  • Understanding how deeply hidden preconceptions instantaneously influence perceptions at subconscious levels
  • Understanding why certain groups are profoundly underrepresented in the top ranks of the legal profession despite years of efforts by the Bar, bench, and society in general

Kimberly Papillon is a great speaker: dynamic, witty, and entertaining, even when communicating potentially heavy topics. She has a knack for putting the teachings of neuroscience into perspective and explaining how unconscious biases profoundly influence everything from hiring decisions to how police officers respond to black men.

Ms. Papillion will explain how neuroscience has uncovered that we all carry a large load of deep preconceptions, and how those deep preconceptions nudge our decision-making in ways that we are unaware of — ways that we would vehemently deny are occurring. Her seminar will help you understand, for example, how police officers who bear no apparent racial biases nonetheless end up targeting certain racial and ethnic groups for harsher enforcement. It’s a timeless topic, yet utterly current.

I went to her seminar last year and it was worth every minute. Ms. Papillion is extremely knowledgeable and, to repeat myself, a great speaker. I have been involved in legal hiring for almost three decades, and trying to improve diversity in the legal profession for at least that long. I wish I had heard her speak 30 years ago.

Interested in this CLE? Register now for this June 23 seminar, in Seattle or via webcast.

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