Track 1A
The Psychology of Agency: Implications for Lawyers
Duration: 60 Minutes

We are excited to announce Dr. Martin Seligman as our keynote speaker who will kick off the conference on Wednesday, January 19! Register for any individual Track or the Full Conference Pass to attend this session.

Dr. Seligman, the founder of positive psychology, recently was ranked the #1 most influential psychologist of the past decade. In addition to his work as the director of the Penn Positive Psychology Center, he has authored more than 30 books (including best sellers in the United States and abroad), which have been translated into 50 languages. Among his better-known works are The Hope Circuit, Flourish, Authentic Happiness, and Learned Optimism. He is a leading authority in the fields of positive psychology, resilience, learned helplessness, depression, optimism, and pessimism.

Dr. Seligman’s current focus is on understanding the importance of agency in the history of human progress. He proposes that individuals, organizations, institutions, and even whole societies can become stuck and languish without the confidence, optimism, and imagination (the three elements of “agency”) needed to reimagine a new future and take steps to achieve it. Anne Brafford, IWIL’s vice president and Dr. Seligman’s former student, will join him in discussing how agency might help explain and resolve the current state of “stuckness” that prevents the legal profession as a whole and individual lawyers from flourishing. Questions we’ll consider include:

  • What will the future of the profession look like if old ways of thinking drive out new generations of lawyers?
  • How might agency help individual lawyers better identify and voice their values, preferences, and needs so that they can be their best selves in all domains of their lives?

You won’t want to miss this thought-provoking talk about reimagining our individual and collective future in the legal profession.