As a new practitioner, I will be writing a series I'm calling Taking the Leap about my experiences in starting my own private practice using methods that are not currently the norm in the American legal world. I hope that by sharing my challenges I will be able to help other new practitioners find their own way as well, or at least feel less alone in starting out on their own and trying knew approaches. This is the first part of the series.
Based on these findings, law schools can no longer ignore their moral obligation to produce healthy and satisfied lawyers. It is self-evident that they should begin educating law students on the topic of professional satisfaction by elucidating the importance of making career decisions based on their professional values. By helping them identify their professional values and make individual career decisions that correspond to those values, law schools can help lawyers and law students derive satisfaction from their professional lives.
Today the book is available on line. The publication of Lawyers as Peacemakers, Practicing Holistic, Problem-Solving Law, inspires me to share that it takes a village to write such a book. Below are the contributors and the acknowledgements from the book. Make sure to click through to "Read More" for the complete list.
With deep thanks to my collaborators and contributors:
Michael Matthews, my business partner, dear friend, and wonderful
and wise teacher, who constantly listens to me and holds space better than anyone I’ve ever known.
Editor and friend Sheila Boyce, for her willingness to step on my toes when it was called for, and ABA Editor Erin Nevius, for actually liking what I had to say.
Karen Werve Grant and Michael Grant, great writers and friends, who stepped up to work on the profile vignettes.
Eileen Dunn, Jane Faulkner, and Jill Dahlquist, who helped take care of the parts of me that are not my mind.
Phil Daunt - there are thousands of lawyers who became lawyers because they believed it was a calling to make a difference in people's lives. Transforming Practices encouraged us to reignite our interests and rediscover our passion.
Jill Breslau - an inspiration for years. Steve Keeva's columns were fresh air in the midst of administrative material, talking about the humanity of lawyers and what lawyers need, opening the conversations about the inner needs of lawyers.
Editor's Note: David Wexler is Professor of Law and Director, International Network on Therapeutic Jurisprudence,University of Puerto Rico and a Distinguished Research Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology, University of Arizona. With Bruce Winick, he is the co-founder of the movement of therapeutic jurisprudence. Since we haven't caught up with David to interview him, he has graciously allowed us to reprint a recent law review article. .
It begins below but is attached in PDF form in its entirety so that formatting such as footnotes will be preserved.
At the University of Puerto Rico School of Law (UPR) in the fall term of the 2008-2009 academic year, I offered, for the first time, a sentencing and corrections seminar—approached, of course, with a distinctly therapeutic jurisprudence (TJ) spin. During that term, I was also asked to review a manuscript prepared by Florida Coastal School of Law student Dax Miller. Dax Miller’s paper, prepared for Professor Susan Daicoff’s Comprehensive Law course and published in The Florida Coastal Law Review, did not relate to sentencing and corrections. Rather, it critiqued, from a TJ perspective, the standard Florida divorce agreement form. Moreover, Dax Miller proposed a rewritten form, one highly consistent with TJ principles. At just the time that I read Dax Miller’s paper I came across, in my assigned sentencing casebook, the federal pretrial diversion form,4 and concluded that it too was in desperate need of Daxing. Suddenly, it occurred to me that Dax Miller had opened up a completely new potential branch of TJ scholarship—what might be called Form Reform.
Stephanie West Allen had a guest blogger this week, a student of Susan Daicoff's who wrote lyrics to help her learn law in a fun way:
Susan Daicoff added:
“What would your mother say?”
A Mediator/Educator’s Perspective
Which values and skill sets will best serve us as mediators and perhaps more generally as lawyers? Where do we learn them?
One of our most articulate and centered pioneers, Stella Rabaut spoke to us in Monterey, California in October, 2008. The interview was naturally punctuated with pleasant moments of silence, as we contemplated not only the subject matter but Stella's peaceful way of being.
Stella's diverse career spans three decades in the legal profession, as oil and gas litigator, private practitioner, nonprofit and in-house counsel, law teacher, and retreat leader.
Part 1: Poet, Lawyer, Seeker
In Part 1, Stella talks about her career path and developing her perspective as a lawyer-healer: