Robert DeRooy1.     What makes your soul sing?

The short answer is spending time with my 8 month old son. The long answer is working with kind people who employ their intellects collaboratively to solve problems.

2.     What led you towards the Integrative Law Movement?

By 2006 I had practised for nearly 10 years, most of which was consumed by litigation and the stresses that go with it. I then heard about mediation and realised that here was a way in which being a lawyer can actually add value.  I also suddenly had the benefit of looking at the legal game that was consuming me from the outside in. Meeting Kim Wright at the Integrative Law conference that Amanda Boardman facilitated in 2012, and reading Kim’s book “Lawyers as Peacemakers” made me realise that apart from mediation, there are many other ways in which I can practise law that has more meaning for me. It was also very encouraging at that conference to meet and hear about other lawyers in all areas of the justice system moving in this new direction.

3.     Can you briefly describe an “aha” moment in your legal career?

Relevant to Integrative law there are two that stand out: 1. When I realised the potential of mediation. I really wanted to become a full time professional commercial mediator! 2.The other was reading the book by Stewart Levine, “The Book of Agreement”. This thoughtful but practical book has inspired me to change the way I approach and draft agreements, and has made forging and drafting agreements a more meaningful profession.

4.     How do you integrate being a lawyer with taking care of your physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual needs?

I used to approach this problem in compartments, trying to make time for these different aspects of my life, but my work always dominated my time at the expense of the other needs. I find now that by trying to spend more time doing the work that I enjoy and has more meaning, I feel less anxious and overwhelmed, and somehow it’s now easier to find the time to do my sport, read interesting articles and sometimes just to go for a walk.

5.     What is the highest vision you hold for the legal profession?

A legal profession that is more concerned with how it can create value for the society in which we live.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *