This book is subversive. It aims to undermine the legal profession’s prevailing gladiatorial paradigm. It is, to use Professor Leonard Riskin’s phrase, something off “the lawyer’s standard philosophical map.” It promises a vision of practicing law that is very different than that taught in most American law schools.
There exists tremendous discontent among the practicing bar. Many lawyers have found themselves unhappy or unfulfilled in their practices. Compared to other professionals, lawyers suffer disproportionately from excessive stress, substance abuse, and other emotional difficulties. Many find themselves demoralized or disillusioned about the practice of law.
Here’s the good news: recent years have witnessed a spate of both new and renewed approaches to the practice of law. Disaffected by the adversarial model, many practitioners have engaged in a quiet revolution, a marriage of theory and practice designed to maximize the healing potential of the law. The result has been a variety of approaches such as Therapeutic Jurisprudence, Collaborative Law, and Creative Problem-Solving. Lawyers are cultivating Emotional Intelligence, Multicultural Competence, and Mindfulness. They are developing ways of working consistent with their spiritual and religious beliefs. New pedagogy is informing old courses, and new courses are evolving and taking their places in the curriculums of increasing numbers of law schools. This book bears the fruit of many of these efforts.
The twenty contributors to this book come from widely diverse backgrounds. What they share are visions for more therapeutic, more beneficial, more helping, healing ways to practice law. This book is a resource for law professors, law students, and lawyers who share those visions.
“After nearly forty years of law practice, I still look forward to coming to work every morning. This is because I have had incredible mentors who have taught me to practice law as a healer and peacemaker. Now my heroes of the comprehensive law movement have each spoken in one outstanding collection edited by Marjorie Silver. Their essays provide a road map for any lawyer to re-invent himself or herself and achieve a law practice filled with joy, meaning and passion. I enthusiastically recommend this book.” — John V. McShane, Esq., Dallas, Texas
“Law as a healing profession - Marjorie Silver has collected a series of essays by leading writers engaged in such a career. Readers will find a practical resource to assist in building the emotional competence necessary to practice law in the 21st century. Buy it, read it, and practice in a more enlightened manner! You owe it to your clients, and to yourself.” — G. Andrew H. Benjamin, J.D., Ph.D., Affiliate Professor of Psychology, Antioch University; Affiliate Professor of Law, University of Washington; Director, Parenting Evaluation/Training Program
“This book represents a turning point in the history of thought on how attorneys should be trained and how they should practice law. As is true of all pioneering works, this one will go through several stages. At first, traditionalists may oppose it and even ridicule it. Undoubtedly, however, its sheer wisdom will ultimately prevail and eventually be accepted as self-evident.” — Amiram Elwork, Director of the Law-Psychology Graduate Program at Widener University, and author of Stress Management for Lawyers
“My experience is that it is a marvelous book and helped lay an academically-sound foundation for the content of course. I learned much from it, and I know our students did too.” — Jonathan R. Cohen, Professor of Law, University of Florida Levin College of Law