Judi Cohen practiced law for nearly thirty years and has taught law since 2000. In 1989, to survive the 80-hour workweeks, Judi began practicing yoga poses in the empty dining room from Mr. Iyengar’s book, Light on Yoga. Four years later, her very focused and calm two-year-old daughter inspired her to take a mindfulness course from Insight meditation teacher James Baraz, and she has been studying with James ever since. Judi has also participated as student or teacher in dozens of mindfulness workshops and retreats, including close to 100 days of silent practice, with teachers from various traditions. In 2003, Judi joined a group of other lawyers, judges, mediators, and law professors meeting with Zen teacher Zoketsu Norman Fischer as the Bay Area Working Group for Law and Meditation, to practice mindfulness and discuss its importance to the law. Realizing how essential mindfulness could be to the profession, in 2009 Judi founded Warrior One and created the Essential Mindfulness for Lawyers® programs. A fourth generation San Franciscan transplanted to Sonoma, when Judi isn’t working she’s usually biking, doing yoga, traveling with her husband, Carl Speizer, a physician and yoga instructor, growing tomatoes, or tossing a tennis ball for the family’s mini-labradoodle, Bleue.
Since the mid-1980’s, AJ Kutchins has had a law practice specializing in appeals and other post-trial work in serious criminal cases and in complex civil matters.He has also done extensive work in legal education, authoring a number of award-winning film and video scripts used for training judges, lawyers and legal workers regarding ethics and bias and discrimination issues, on behalf of organizations including the California State Bar, the Bar Association of San Francisco, the California Judicial Council and California Continuing Education ofthe Bar.
During that same period, AJ has also devoted himself to a mindfulness and meditation practice, principally rooted in Zen Buddhism. He has completed five lengthy periods of intensive monastic practice here in the United States, and one in Japan. In the Fall of 1012 he served as the Head Monk (the traditional gate for serving as a Zen teacher) during the monastic practice period at San Francisco Zen Center’s Green Dragon Temple in Marin. He has also provided “non-religious” mindfulness training to groups at schools and elsewhere.
AJ’s deepest concerns now are with integrating mindfulness practice and the wisdom that arises from it with everyday life as a practicing lawyer and a householder – and with his family. He lives and practices in Berkeley with his wife, Mari Mayeda, and their two children, Jake and Miya, and (like Judi) with a mini-labradoodle – but his is named Satchel.
Alisa Gray is an AV-rated partner at Tiffany & Bosco, P.A., where she practices in the areas of probate litigation and mediation. She is also a long-time yoga practitioner and teacher with a special interest and many years of experience in teaching yogic practices and principles to lawyers. Alisa is also an advisor to Warrior One. You can read more about Alisa on our Advisors page.