If you are planning to attend this conference and are coming from outside South Africa, please let me know! We are planning a special event for international visitors.
The College of Law and the Institute For Dispute Resolution in Africa (IDRA) invite you to attend the LAWYERS AS PEACEMAKERS CONFERENCE 14-15 October 2015, Kgorong Function Hall, Unisa Main Campus, Pretoria.
UNISA’s Institute for Dispute Resolution in Africa is pleased to host this exciting conference on the trends, models and approaches that are transforming the legal profession into a peacemaking, problem-solving and healing profession.
In times of challenge, systems change and ecological crisis, the world needs a legal system that strives to resolve core problems, acts as a catalyst for societal transformation, promotes access to justice and engenders lawyer and client satisfaction. Legal models need to be developed that reflect our interconnectedness and create a culture of harmony.
The conference brings together leaders in the international Integrative Law Movement, including many South African innovators.
The objective is to educate, inspire, encourage, and support judges, magistrates, attorneys, advocates, law academics, mediators, policy makers and other legal professionals in gaining perspectives on the progressive shift from adversarial to non-adversarial lawyering.
The central theme of the conference explores the potential for lawyers to become peacemakers, healers, helpers and friends.
It’s funny. I remember drafting some first posts on this blog where alignment was an organizing force for my writing. To stay focused, I used anatomy drawings I sketched during my yoga teacher training years ago. I had actually never been able to draw anything in a literal way before that training. Anything I created artistically tended towards the abstract. And for those who know me well, this is not surprising. Yet, the concentration I was able to develop through my yoga teaching course allowed me to explore what it meant to have my body, including my brain, aligned. Not just my thinking mind. Not just the physical parts of myself. But everything. And amazingly, this allowed me to grow patience. It allowed me, as I said, to focus. It allowed me to draw figures realistically, and to express myself in a way that felt balanced (not overly expressionistic, but not frustrated in a sea of technicality).
So I used those drawings I produced in such a balanced state as inspiration in law school. I remembered what it felt like during yoga teacher training in order to connect with a state of mind/state of being that allowed for both the technical skills to come through and the emotion, the self that needs spaces of freedom in order to create. I had to find that within myself because it’s not how I was taught to function in school, but I have to say it allowed me to take ownership of my studies in a way that both felt authentic for me and that resulted in grades I could live with (striving for As in everything regardless of how the process of preparing for those As feel has never been something I’ve been willing to accept, that’s just me).
The summer is moving right along and my to-do list is getting longer. How does that happen? The more I work, the more there seems to be to do.
What is Integrative Law? The Emergence of a New Legal System
Recently, there has been a lot of attention on lawyers and meditation. Several people have asked me to talk about how meditation is related to the Integrative Law movement. I have a book coming out that covers that topic later this year. [It is in the editing process with the American Bar Association and is tentatively entitled Lawyers as Changemakers, the Emerging International Integrative Law Movement]. It seems that the topic is alive now and rather than wait for the book, I have written this to answer some of the questions and to share with the broader community.
Who am I to say?