IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

Even Lawyers?

I came across this story and it made me think about the whole area of lawyers and alternative dispute resolution.  This passage is a fairly typical introduction to the topic:

“Within the last two decades a quiet revolution has been occurring in the legal profession. Largely ignored by the media, it began when various pioneers around the country got to the point that they just couldn’t practice law in the typical polarizing, adversarial way any more. Innovators like Stu Webb, a family lawyer who lost his best friend when they were on opposite sides of a contentious divorce, created Collaborative Law and other new approaches and models to law. Judges like Peggy Hora and Len Edwards couldn’t stand putting the same people behind bars time after time and transformed their courts into problem-solving courts that got to the root cause of the criminal behavior and supported defendants in becoming responsible citizens. Lawyers began to inquire into what it was to be a conscious lawyer, exploring meditation, well-being and balance.”

OK…well and good; but those of us who have been watching this also know that some of this new activity got started simply because court dockets were overloaded and the legal process was taking a ridiculously long time.  Still, if that was the catalyst which opened up a new direction, who am I to complain :-).   And if you look at this site , it looks like things are moving along with some serious momentum.  Here are the goals:

“Mission & Goals of CuttingEdgeLaw.com:
To shift the consciousness of what it means to be a lawyer, to have the legal profession recognized as an agent of transformation with lawyers as peacemakers, problem-solvers and healers of conflicts.

In supporting this movement, the goals of CuttingEdgeLaw.com are to:
• Support and promote positive innovations in law, particularly those related to the peaceful, healing and problem-solving approaches to law.
• Let lawyers who are pioneers know they are not alone, that others are using their legal training in creative and non-traditional ways that are more satisfying and contribute to making a positive, healing difference in the world that also improves their career satisfaction and life balance.
• Educate mainstream lawyers about new concepts and enroll them in adopting them, moving beyond pioneers and early adopters.
• Share tools to more fully integrate transformative and comprehensive law concepts into day-to-day legal practice.
• Encourage holistic thinking in the law including lawyers living balanced, fulfilling lives.
• Provide a forum for discussing hot topics on the cutting edge of law as a healing profession.
• Promote products, services, and events that support positive and productive transformation in the legal system.
• Connect lawyers using new approaches with clients seeking those services and educate the public about the non-adversarial methods.
• Support transformation of legal education and judiciary
. Be a catalyst for shifting the expectations and experience of clients around the legal system.”

I admit to some cynicism and skepticism when it comes to the legal system and profession; however, I’m willing to be convinced that the picture is more nuanced and dynamic than I at first thought.   I guess, all the jokes aside, lawyers are also human beings and have spiritual needs like anybody else

Lawyers as healers?  How very unexpected!  🙂


August 27, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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