“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
- 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.
- Develop lawyers’ interpersonal skills which will affect their interactions with their clients, their colleagues, other lawyers and their communities.
- 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 email@example.com 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
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