Harrison & Smyth, P.A.

What is the Integrative Law Movement

The Integrative Law Movement is an umbrella term and it includes a variety of existing and emerging forms of legal practice, policy initiatives, and legal education aimed at transforming the legal system to more effectively reach its basic goals. Here are the pillars that appear to be the foundation for this movement:

  • Integrative Lawyers are reflective: They reflect on their motivations, their purposes, and the human condition. They bring those reflective skills to their work, and the world around them. They reflect as individuals and together, seeking solutions that works for all. Integrative Lawyers tend to bring their whole selves (body, mind, spirit, and emotions) to work together to create better legal solutions.
  • Integrative lawyers are guided by purpose and values: Their values tend to be intrinsic, not extrinsic. Research has shown that the law school ethos tends to sway students toward the prestige of a big law partnership with its corner office. Integrative lawyers seek to align with important intrinsic principles that guide their lives and how they practice law. Integrative lawyers are inclined to believe that integrity is vital to the well-being of themselves and society. They encourage integrity in their clients’ matters. In the movement, some values tend to appear in a lot of lists. Love is a foundational value for a great number. Compassion, authenticity, openness, connection, harmony, transparency, accountability, trust, and healing are popular among this crowd.
  • Integrative lawyers are design-thinkers and have a systemic view of the world: Integrative Lawyers often have an experience of the interconnectedness of all things. They believe they are part of a system where each person has the power to make a difference. They recognize that society is becoming more complex and that it is necessary to embrace the complexity while seeking to make the law understandable and workable. Many are on a quest to find the pivot points where small changes can lead to big shifts. They realize that there are many stakeholders in every conflict. They see that collaboration and cooperation are more workable than divisiveness and polarization. Integrative Lawyers default to collaborative approaches to problems, but are not afraid to take stands. They understand that full self-expression can lead to conflict, and that, when approached consciously, can be prevented or resolved in ways that are productive and preserve the relationships between all stakeholders. People don’t have to agree on every issue to be kind and civil to each other.
  • Integrative lawyers are leaders in change-making: Integrative Law isn’t just legal procedures. It has to do with a fundamental shift in world view and models that express the shift. Integrative Lawyers are leaders in an emergent worldview which honors the wisdom and best parts of all world views. They are open to exploring and drawing upon many disciplines and the best sources of wisdom. They bring this consciousness into the law and are partners with their colleagues in other disciplines.

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