Stella Rabaut: 21st Century Lawyer
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:
In Part 2, Stella talks about how she integrates contemplative silence into every setting. She talks about the importance of contemplation for twenty-first century lawyering.
In this part, Stella also talks about the importance of context and integrating nature, art and music into the places where she teaches. She talks about influencing settings to access holistic perspectives. How does one embrace the profession and do the analysis that is required and have it tempered with the right brain?
Part 3 continues with Stella talking her work with Andy Benjamin, about possible roots of lawyer distress and dis-ease including unrelenting demand for billable hours, competition-including inside law firms, and encouragement of amoral stances. She speaks of importance of factoring in balance and the ability to talk about and learn from mistakes. She also talks about what she is excited about in the profession, the movement toward the more conscious, contemplative lawyer.
In Part 4, Stella talks about blending this new consciousness into leadership and the influence that lawyers have. She touches on the new skills - emotional intelligence, reframing, etc. - required for this new model of law practice and the need to bring leadership skills into legal training. As she talks about the model of social change taught by Parker Palmer, many of us recognize the path of transformation in the law.