Lawyers as Peacemakers Conference at UNISA October 2015

How things are unfolding in the South African world of Integrative Law

UNISA Lawyers as Peacemakers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In September 2012 after my first Skype conversation with Kim Wright, author of Lawyers as Peacemakers, events happily transpired to bring Kim to South Africa so that I could learn about the global Integrative Law Movement and introduce more South Africans to it.  Of course Integrative Law is not specific to any country or region  – it is simply the name for a global movement of awakening professionals throughout the legal system who are asking questions such as:

“What if we aren’t all separate and at odds with each other? What if the corrections system with its focus on retribution is ultimately dehumanizing and damaging to all of us? Maybe we will always have problems and disputes and accidents and crimes but is there a better way to address these problems than suiting up in armour and hacking away at each other, symbolically or otherwise? But how do we get from here to there?”*

* the beautifully phrased questions are by Sheila Boyce, reproduced in Lawyers as Peacemakers by J Kim Wright

In South Africa, we’ve long had a tradition of viewing conflict holistically and of resolving matters in a way that takes the whole community into account. However, indigenous conflict resolution methodology (or African Jurisprudence, which is underpinned by principles such as Ubuntu) has been replaced by the RD Law & English systems. Therefore, like much of the West, SA has moved firmly towards an individualistic, and very much rights-based jurisprudence. The problem is that this has taken us far away from viewing ourselves as part of an interconnected community.

In my own presentation at this conference, I mentioned something Martin Luther King said in 1963:

Over 50 years have passed and now we are in the midst of another crisis, a crisis based on spiritual illiteracy. In today’s worldview there is an impression the universe is not an interconnected, living system, and that life can be exploited. We’ve lost our sense of service to life itself.”   

How the Lawyers as Peacemakers conference came about

During Kim Wright’s 2012 visit to SA, we did a talk at UNISA and the professor introducing us was Prof John Faris who runs IDRA, the Institute for Dispute Resolution in Africa. It led to Prof Faris travelling to the Arizona the following year to take part in the Lawyers as Peacemakers conference there, and finally, 3 years later, led to Prof Faris hosting a Lawyers As Peacemakers Conference at UNISA in October 2015.

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Despite October 2015 finding me heavily pregnant at 33 weeks, I knew I had to attend this event  – my last trip before I stop flying. I am so glad I did. It was an amazingly fulfilling experience to see the effect of the work the Centre for Integrative Law has done over the last 3 years and to have a chance to reflect on the progress.  It has often been incredibly lonely and a tough journey business wise – to talk of a new consciousness in the law and bringing values and humanity back to the profession, to talk of lawyers as healers – often I am met with blank gazes.  Some of the projects I’ve initiated have been very successful, but I suppose I always carry with me the ones that did not come to life, the things that didn’t get funded and the events that never came together!

Although the CIL has held some very successful meetings of SAILA – the South African Integrative Lawyers’ Association, this hasn’t yet become a viable community and certainly not from a financial standpoint…(it will I trust this – particularly after the Lawyers as Peacemakers conference) but as I chatted to lawyers I’ve got to know over the last 4 years and heard where people are coming from now and the work they’re doing, I realised the shifts are enormous. The CIL has achieved much of what I had hoped when I started it and I need to spend a little time acknowledging this, not only seeing the long road lying ahead in terms of all I would still like to achieve.

photo: Prof Faris talks to Pritima Osman from the Justice Department – who works with the rights of the Child. I have work to do with Pritima – she’s a mover and shaker but does so behind the scenes.

Some of the  CIL milestones I’m reflecting on:

 

SEP 2012:  Amanda Lamond & Dr Kim Wright facilitate the First Integrative Law Conference in South Africa with 40 attorneys, advocates, prosecutors and   academics.

SEP 2012  Amanda Lamond & Dr Kim Wright present at UNISA; meet with Judge Edwin Cameron;   meet with Nic Swart, Acting CEO of the Law Society of   South Africa

FEB 2013:   Presentation by Amanda Lamond to LEAD and LSSA members at annual strategy session, on invitation of Nic   Swart, CEO of LSSA/ LEAD.

FEBR 2013  Prof John Faris of UNISA attends Integrative Law   Conference in Arizona on invitation of Dr Kim Wright

MAR 2013  Collaborative Divorce Trainings (first ever in SA) held in   Cape Town and Johannesburg by Pauline Tesler Director   of   the Integrative Law Institute (San Francisco). 37   attorneys trained

MARCH 2013  Neuro-literacy for Lawyers: the science of conflict by   Pauline Tesler,. Held in Johannesburg (approximately 80   attendees) and Cape Town (30 attendees)

AUGUST 2013  SAILA launch – the South African Integrative Lawyers   Association holds its first meeting (6 meetings held btw 2013 & 2014)

JAN 2014  Amanda & CIL guest-speaker Dr Kim Wright, present 3 day Integrative Law Program to 25 Legal Aid Justice Centre managers

FEB/MAR 2014  SAILA holds its 6th meeting in Cape Town. Interest shown in launching chapters of SAILA in Johannesburg.

FEB/MAR 2014  CIL presents Collaborative divorce training (second time in SA) in Johannesburg and Cape Town by Dr J Kim Wright

MARCH 2014  CIL guestspeaker Dr Kim Wright speaks at Miller du Toit Family Law Conference and UNISA on Integrative   Law & Collaborative Practice.

APRIL 2014  NACP – NATIONAL ACADEMY OF COLLABORATIVE   PRACTICE established in Cape Town.

A lot of projects late 2014 and early 2015 did not come to fruition – but in September 2015 the CIL presented Finding New Ways for Women to Lead in Law to extraordinary feedback and reviews. Please see the video on the CIL’s home page. We’re now launching WOLELA: Women Leading in Law, a new national community of women lawyers seeking to develop themselves professionally and personally over the course of 2016. And Finding New Ways will run in 2016 in both JHB and CT.

LAWYERS AS PEACEMAKERS – UNISA OCTOBER 2015

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Bev Loubser talks to Chamundai Curran.

At this event, it was a privilege to see lawyers I’ve connected with over the last 4 years, who have supported the mission and vision of the CIL, stand up and talk about the legal work and projects they’re now running. These are all extraordinary individuals who are finding the courage to do things differently and bring light & new thinking to the areas of law in which they practice. They include:

Robert DeRooy, mediator and lawyer in Cape Town who’s developing visual contracts for domestic workers as well as drafting contracts using systems thinking and non-adversarial approaches – very pioneering work.image1

 

That’s me talking to Robert De Rooy.

 

 

 

 

Gaby McKellar, magistrate at the Wynberg Court who does extraordinary caring and compassionate work with families and children. I gave her talk a standing ovation! 

Bev Loubser – trained in Collaborative Divorce, helping establish this new methodology as a viable and family-saving way of approaching divorce. 

Jacques Joubert, mediator who dedicates enormous time to teaching mediation skills and showing litigators that there is another way.

Sheena Jonker, a restorative justice peacemaker who does amazing work whenever there is conflict in any community, she jumps in and helps – often in very volatile situations where her own safety is at risk.

It was also a privilege to meet Chamundai Curran, a lawyer turned spiritual healer from Australia, who I hosted for an introductory session (and healing) with a few lawyers the following week in Cape Town.

And of course to finally meet Peggy Hora, the judge who is famous for pioneering specialist Drug Courts in the US. I have long wished these courts would be established in South Africa, removing from the criminal justice system, those drug addicted offenders who have a good chance of rehabilitation.

And of course, it’s always like a home-coming to spend time, though this was very very little time, with Kim Wright, who is the global connector of people committed and interested in Integrative Law everywhere. 

It was eye opening to hear Judge Bosielo share his forward-thinking views on integrative law & it gave me much to hope for in our SA justice system if we have more judges like him.

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Talking to Judge Bosielo, with Nic Swart, director of the LSSA behind us.

 

 

 

 

I am grateful to Prof Faris and his team at UNISA – as they are the only other organisation in South Africa currently  using the term “Integrative Law, other than the CIL. Thank you for bringing together so many open hearts and minds under one roof at the Lawyers as Peacemakers conference so that we can continue to inspire and encourage each other to bring a new consciousness to the legal system.

It is now time I step back for a few months, despite being in the middle of birthing WOLELA – Women Leading in Law – because I am about to birth my own little boy due on 1 December.

There is so much I still want to achieve with the Centre for Integrative Law, but above all, I know I need to be a role model for the concept of integration. And right now, that means putting my family first for a while.

With thanks to all that have helped get the Centre for Integrative Law where it is today, and all those who work tirelessly to heal the legal profession and help the world see lawyers in a new light.

Amanda Lamond

(PS. for those who don’t know, my name happens to mean “the worthy of love lawyer”. Pretty apt!)

Evolutionary Leadership for Lawyers Program

Sand spiral darker LEADERSHIP

 

“What kind of person the lawyer is matters equally as much as the power of the lawyer’s intellect.”

~ Pauline H. Tesler, Director of the Integrative Law Institute in San Francisco

There is a growing body of research on leadership indicating that the leader’s worldview and level of consciousness will shape the organisation that he/she leads. In the same way, a lawyer’s worldview and level of consciousness will shape the work he does, whether in trials, or contracts or negotiations. Therefore who the lawyer is, his or her own level of development, will impact the thousands of relationships encountered through his practice. The Centre for Integrative Law is developing cutting edge leadership materials for both law firms, and individual lawyers ready to connect who they are with the work they do. The era has come to embrace the concept of Multi-Dimensional Lawyering.

All too often lawyers working in large firms are unable to bring their full selves to work which greatly diminishes their personal effectiveness and results in many disheartened lawyers leaving the profession. Many lawyers study law with a sense that it is a profound tool for societal change. Yet after a few years in a private practice, whether it is 5 years or 10, they are disillusioned with their inability to make a difference and dissatisfied that the financial rewards have ceased to function as a motivational drive. Large numbers of these lawyers, unable to find outlets for their creativity and entrepreneurial mindsets, leave the profession to start their own businesses or join organisations that recognise people are motivated by very different things. But the profession cannot afford to lose the lawyers it needs the most –the creative lawyers, the entrepreneurial “rule challenging” lawyers and those who work from a place of sensitivity and intuition.

The CIL Evolutionary Leadership for Lawyers program (currently in development) consists of various modules, aimed at different levels of practitioner, covering a range of competencies identified by global experts in leadership for lawyers. The program focuses on skills required to be an integrative or Multi-Dimensional Lawyer: a “Problem Solver” and “Designer” in addition to the established “Fighter” role.

The program aims to

  1. Help lawyers find greater satisfaction in their work, connecting with why they became lawyers in the first place and working to uncover their purpose. Helping lawyers understand the idea of multiple intelligences and that it does not serve us to develop our cognitive ability to the exclusion of all other intelligences.
  2. Develop lawyers’ interpersonal skills which will affect their interactions with their clients, their colleagues, other lawyers and their communities.
  3. Assist lawyers to see the enormous responsibility that comes with legal practice and encourage them develop their personal leadership capacity, based on a deep understanding of themselves, their organisation and the legal system. This is done through lessons on worldviews, values and levels of consciousness.

As lawyers tend to be very short on time, the CIL is investigating ways of making the majority of the modules available online and through webinar format so that participants can do the coursework from the comfort of their own offices.  This also allows for video clips from legal pioneers globally who are assisting the CIL in the development of the materials.

If you or your law firm is interested in Leadership for Lawyers or in being part of trial groups to test the materials, please contact the Centre for Integrative Law.

J Kim Wright, the author of Lawyers as Peacemakers* will be coming back to South Africa to work with the Centre for Integrative Law during the first 3 months of 2014. If your organisation would like to take advantage of this amazing opportunity to be trained by a global leader of the Integrative Law Movement, please send an email to events@integrativelaw.co.za specifying the kind of training you are interested in.

*“Lawyers as Peacemakers follows the ABA’s tradition of publishing cutting-edge books that meld the goals of helping lawyers develop practices that provide competent, profitable, client-centered services and increasing the public’s access to justice. Building on the new paradigm shift of increasing a consumer-oriented, nonadversarial approach as pioneered by mediation, unbundling, and Collaborative Law, Kim Wright challenges lawyers to encourage peace, healing, conciliation, and sustainable human relationships within heartfelt client connections and needed new service products. Perhaps most important, to prevent career burnout and encourage lawyer self-care, this book is a must read just for its tips how to balance important, stimulating careers while maintaining a meaningful personal and home life. This book can truly help make peacemaking your life’s work.”
—Forrest (Woody) Mosten, author of Collaborative Divorce Handbook, Mediation Career Guide, Unbundling Legal Services, and Complete Guide to Mediation, recipient of the ABA “Lawyer as Problem-Solver” Award, ABA Lifetime Legal Access Award, and 2009 ABA Frank Sander Co-Lecturer

PLEASE TAKE 2 MINS TO LET THE CIL KNOW WHAT ASPECTS OF INTEGRATIVE LAW INTEREST YOU! CLICK HERE: What do YOU want from the Centre for Integrative Law?

All the nice lawyers love a SAILA!

SAILA statue image

 

 “About 20% of lawyers, or one in five, are ‘walking wounded’, meaning functioning and practising law while attempting to cover up, hide, or camouflage his or her psychological distress.”

~ Professor Susan Daicoff in Lawyer, Know Thyself.

What’s SAILing got to do with lawyering? Southern Africa’s Integrative Lawyer’s Association (SAILA) has come into existence because of an emerging need for a space in which lawyers, who are ready to talk about the interior experience of being a lawyer, can connect and support each other. While the Centre for Integrative Law is a consultancy that provides workshops and training in Integrative Law, it appeared that informal gatherings were required for those lawyers wanting to dip a toe into the water of Integrative Law without signing up for a full day workshop just yet… and so SAILA was born.

Most lawyers are not even aware of this oddity – that in South Africa, in our law schools, law firms, law societies and in legal publications, rarely if ever is regard paid to what it is like to be a lawyer. What do lawyers experience, what do they feel? How do they set aside the trauma they may witness during the day, when it’s time to go home to their families at night? There may be the occasional mention of stress but aside from this, all focus is on the law and what lawyers do, and how far up the ranks they are climbing, and certainly not how they feel about it. Nor do we see stories about what lawyers do aside from legal work. Heaven forbid we should talk about women lawyers who are balancing motherhood and law or male lawyers who have spent so many hours at the office they no longer no know who they are supposed to be when they do spend time at home. Does it matter that there’s no public discourse about how it feels to be a lawyer, you may ask?

There is a chapter devoted to Lawyer and Law Student Distress in Lawyer, Know Thyself by Professor Susan Daicoff, which is reviewed here.  Daicoff’s research shows that:

 “About 20% of lawyers, or one in five, are ‘walking wounded’, meaning functioning and practising law while attempting to cover up, hide, or camouflage his or her psychological distress.”

Therefore it does matter that we continue to ignore lawyers’ experiences of practising law. If you look at global statistics for substance abuse and depression in the legal profession, you’ll see that they are approximately double that of the non-lawyer population.   It matters because if you happen to be a young associate who’s currently receiving psychiatric treatment, you may be thinking that you are at fault for not being tough enough to be a lawyer. It matters because research shows that the legal profession has higher levels of VT – Vicarious Trauma, than other counselling and advisory professions. It’s been put forward that this is largely as a result of lawyers never receiving any counselling themselves. While other professions provide training in managing trauma and ongoing supervision, the legal profession, for the most part, turns a blind eye and insinuates the lawyer is to blame for not handling the job. This applies not only to lawyers who deal in the devastation of divorce and abuse cases but also to those who work in high-stakes commercial litigation.

So yes, it is time we start talking about this issue. SAILA is just one avenue, among the many initiatives the Centre for Integrative Law is working on, where lawyers can start to talk to others in their profession about how it feels to be a lawyer. To date SAILA has had two meetings in Cape Town and there is interest in the Eastern Cape to start meetings and in Johannesburg. How exactly SAILA is going to be structured and what it ultimately would like to achieve are all up for debate. For now, it’s hoped that the forum will grow and that all lawyers who’ve attended a SAILA meeting will come again and bring a friend or two so that together we can find ways

  • to meet our own needs as lawyers so we don’t burn out
  • to discover the parts of the law that inspire us to continue practising
  • to re-connect with why we became lawyers in the first place
  • to find ways to bring more of who we are to the work we do

Please email events@integrativelaw.co.za if you wish to be notified about SAILA gatherings. The next Cape Town gathering is on Wednesday 16 October 2013 from 5-7pm.

PLEASE TAKE 2 MINS TO LET THE CIL KNOW WHAT ASPECTS OF INTEGRATIVE LAW INTEREST YOU! CLICK HERE: What do YOU want from the Centre for Integrative Law?

Um, Remind Me What is Integrative Law about again?

Lawyer as Gladiator
Lawyer as Gladiator

The Integrative Law Movement is an international movement of 1000’s of lawyers, legal advisors, judges, mediators, law students who are questioning the existential environment surrounding the legal system. We are asking: What if we aren’t all separate and at odds with each other? What if the corrections system with its focus on retribution is ultimately dehumanizing and damaging to all of us? Maybe we will always have problems and disputes and accidents and crimes but is there a better way to address these problems than suiting up in armour and hacking away at each other, symbolically or otherwise? But how do we get from here to there?*

* the beautifully phrased questions are by Sheila Boyce, reproduced in Lawyers as Peacemakers by J Kim Wright.

You must’ve noticed that there are a lot of unhappy lawyers out there. Perhaps you are one of them? You’ve probably also noticed that public perception of lawyers is poor. Been subjected to any lawyer jokes recently? You know there is a growing sense that the legal system no longer represents societal values. You see clients turning to alternatives other than litigation and avoiding the costs of legal consultations by downloading contracts off the internet. In response to the growing dissatisfaction of both clients and lawyers and to address the fact that our legal system just isn’t meeting the current needs of society, the Integrative Law Movement has developed. It is a movement which integrates the existing system with new models and ways of practising law. It integrates learning from other disciplines like psychology and organisational development. It integrates integrity and purpose into the practice of law. If you haven’t heard about Integrative Law yet, you need to get on board.

The world is shifting radically as we all realise the systems we’ve created over the last few centuries are not really working for us. Globally we are seeing the unrest and overthrow of old systems as people question the economic systems, the political systems, food systems, health systems, education systems and legal systems. Increasingly, educated and aware clients are choosing mediation over litigation. These clients are also asking for value-based billing systems over the traditional billing by the hour method. Cutting edge law firms are responding to these requests. One such firm is Marque in Australia. This is how Marque differentiates itself:

“Marque is a law firm that does not measure the value of its people or its clients in 6 minute units of time. We do not charge by the hour. We do not charge you when we pick up the phone or send you an email. We do not charge you for taking you to lunch or travel time or any of that kind of stuff that is disconnected from the real value of what we do. We invest in long term relationships with our clients, and we measure the value of our services in the same way that you do. We have a lot to offer, and we provide it in a way that doesn’t hurt. That’s a small part of the Marque difference.”

Understanding the Integrative Law Movement can be tricky because it encompasses a wide range of different concepts and developments that at first glance, seem not to have anything to do with each other. Here are a few parts of the Integrative Law Movement.

  1. There are new models and new areas of legal practice. Examples of these include specialised Drug Courts and other Problem Solving Courts (eg Gambling Court); Preventive Law; Collaborative Divorce; Restorative Justice and Transformative Mediation. The Centre for Integrative Law is trying to network South African lawyers who are naturally gravitating towards these types of practice and to provide training in new models that do not yet exist here yet.
  2. Law firms are beginning to break away from Centuries-old traditions.  Developments include introducing flexi-time, remote working and new billing practices.
  3. Lawyers are doing personal development work. It is not by accident that we’ve ended up with a system in which most lawyers live exclusively in their intellectual zone, with no time or inclination to explore the emotional and spiritual aspects of their lives. It is not by accident that law schools teach that emotions and feelings are irrelevant and irrational to the practice of law. And it is not an accident that in order to live up to the stereotype demanded of the successful lawyer, hundreds of thousands of lawyers are suffering from chronic depression and substance abuse. All over the world there are programs being developed to help lawyers connect who they really are with the work they do. The Centre for Integrative Law is developing its own programs in conjunction with world leaders in Legal Leadership. Some of these are online programs that allow lawyers to coach themselves from the comfort of their own offices.
  4. Lawyers are beginning to take up contemplative practices to help them cope with stress and to be more present to their clients. 13 Bar Associations in the US now offer Continuing Legal Education points for lawyers who do Mindfulness Training. Law schools and universities all over the US, Europe and Australia now offer meditation courses to law students and faculty. The CIL has partnered with ex Human Rights lawyer, now Director of Mindfulness Africa to bring Mindfulness to South African lawyers.
  5. Humanizing Legal Education is a major aspect of the Integrative Law Movement. There’s a critical need to change the way we educate lawyers if we wish to bring more humanity to the legal system.

I recently chatted to a wonderful Portuguese holistic lawyer who is also a motivational speaker and the creator of a non- profit organisation dealing with domestic violence. She is of the view, along with many Integrative Lawyers, that the role of lawyers is fundamentally one of peacemaker.  She explained to me laughing that “when clients come to me and it becomes clear that they want a gladiator, I tell them they’re in the wrong century!” She is one of many amazing lawyers I meet every week, both inside and outside South Africa,who are deeply compassionate people, committed to making a difference in the world by supporting their clients. Yet these lawyers don’t fit the stereotype and they struggle to survive in a profession that an often hostile profession that rejects the notion of lawyers as emotional beings.

There is still a time and place for gladiator lawyers ready to go to battle. But it’s a limited one. The world is calling for lawyers who are not only Fighters, but who are Problem Solvers and Designers too. We are moving towards an era of Multi-Dimensional Lawyering.

“This is the place to begin: with a new mentality for lawyers and the public about the possibilities in law for securing human interaction and fulfillment in solving problems. To make that new mentality real, lawyers must develop new skills of listening, of identifying interests, of framing and investigating problems, and of finding solution systems that offer mutual gain. As lawyers use these new skills, new legal structures will evolve around them. When that happens, the law will have re-invigorated its historical function of helping to secure human goals.” ~ Thomas D. Barton and James M. Cooper

If any of this resonates with you, please get in contact with the Centre for Integrative Law and make sure you read about SAILA. 

PLEASE TAKE 2 MINS TO LET THE CIL KNOW WHAT ASPECTS OF INTEGRATIVE LAW INTEREST YOU! CLICK HERE: What do YOU want from the Centre for Integrative Law?

A Call for Drastic Changes in Educating New Lawyers

 

Student Falling Asleep While Cramming

It seems SA is actually in a very similar boat to the US regarding changes in legal education:

The American Bar Association’s Task Force on the Future of Legal Education, gathered in Dallas a few days ago (FEBRUARY 2013)  for a public hearing at the association’s midyear meeting to talk about

profound and seemingly irreversible shifts facing the legal profession – and the need to contemplate radical changes to its educational system

READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE HERE. 

Here are some extracts:

“Paula Littlewood, a task force member and the executive director of the Washington State Bar Association, put it this way to her colleagues: “There’s a time for incremental change and a time for bold change. This is the time for bold change.”

Nicholas W. Allard, who became the dean of Brooklyn Law School in New York last summer after a career in government and private practice, said that in the past, graduates of elite schools arrived at major law firms with little knowledge of the actual practice of law. As a result, corporations hiring those firms felt that their large hourly bills were in effect going to train those graduates, who were assigned some of their work. Mr. Allard said those corporations are no longer willing to do that.”

As a result, he said, law schools need to have far more practical training and closer ties to the legal profession. That has led a number of schools to choose deans from within the profession, like Mr. Allard, rather than from academia.

“The problem is that we have been selling only one product,” Mr. Moffitt said. “But if you are getting a business degree, you need to know about contract law. City planners need to know about land-use law. So we at Oregon are educating not just J.D.*  students.”

[*LLB in South Africa]