Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What is a holistic lawyer?

Good question! This has been the question that I've been pondering for the past several years. I've taken advanced collaborative law training and advanced mediation training. Before taking collaborative law training I thought that collaborative law was the answer. Unfortunately, collaborative law is great but not what I was seeking. I'd known about IAHL for many years but 2006 I joined their group and attended their annual convention. I was so impressed that I joined the 2006 board. There are many terms used... therapeutic jurisprudence, restorative justice, and humanistic law. None of these terms seemed to "fit" me. I wanted to use my legal knowledge and training to empower my clients to make their own decisions. I wanted to help my clients in their transformation from being a couple to being a single. I wanted to save my clients money. I wanted to educate my clients about the law. I wanted to work with them to resolve their disputes without bloodshed. I wanted the public to know that judges were not God -- a judge is a "stranger" that will make binding decisions that will impact the adults and their children. I wanted my client to work with their soon to be ex to make the best decisions for their family and their unique situation. Since I've now represented up to 3 generations of the same family and since I've watched my client's children grow up, I felt like extended family. Since most of my clients are younger than my children, I feel like their grandmother. I want to use my life experience and my legal experience to blend. I felt pulled in different directions since I'm an attorney, a mediator, a mother, a mother, a friend, a religious person, etc. I wanted to blend all the parts of myself into one. Therefore, I decided to call myself a holistic attorney.

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