Bruce Winick: An Agent of Social Change
Bruce J. Winick is Director of the Therapeutic Jurisprudence Center, Silver-Rubinstein Distinguished Professor of Law and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, where he has taught since 1974. He is an internationally known scholar and lecturer. Winick also has had a long career as a civil rights lawyer, and frequently serves as an expert witness on a variety of law-related issues. With David Wexler, he is co-founder of therapeutic jurisprudence, an interdisciplinary field of legal scholarship that has a distinctive law reform agenda. Winick has authored numerous books and more than 100 articles in law reviews, interdisciplinary journals, and books.
Professor Winick has received numerous awards, including the University of Miami Provost’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship, the Thurgood Marshall Award of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and the Human Rights Award of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. He is chair of the AALS section on Balance in Legal Education.
I have omitted several prestigious positions, publications, and honors to save space but please visit his web site at http://www.brucewinick.com/ to learn more about this accomplished and inspiring pioneer. His interview is in seven parts.
(If viewing from the home page, click on the title or the featured video graphic to go to the videos.)
Part 1: Professor Winick talks about his early days as a young lawyer, winning a case which shut down the electric chair in New York, working inside government in New York, and after becoming a professor at the University of Miami Law, being ACLU counsel, working in the forefront of the gay rights movement, representing Haitian refugees.....
Part 2: In this part, we learn about the genesis and development of therapeutic jurisprudence.
Part 3: Lawyers and Judges as Therapeutic Agents. Professor Winick talks about his association with Judge (ret.) Peggy Hora and how therapeutic jurisprudence in action has transformed the courts, giving judges a lens for addressing the psycho-social problems which are dumped at the doorsteps of the courthouse. He discusses the role of the lawyer as a therapeutic agent and the importance of teaching relational skills to law students and lawyers and for lawyers to recognize that clients aren't "bankruptcies" or "divorces" or whole people with a legal problem.
Part 4: Therapeutic Jurisprudence in Legal Education: Once we learn that, like it or not, we are therapeutic agents, it is transformative. Professor Winick talks about how such ideas are permeating legal education. He encourages law students to be moral agents and to consider ethical issues from the perspective of morality and fairness, to look back at the dreams of saving the world that inspired them to come to law school in the first place. He encourages law students to be in touch with the intrinsic values they wrote about in their law school admission essays.
Part 5: Therapeutic jurisprudence in divorce is the first topic, including the intersection of collaborative law and therapeutic jurisprudence. Like so many of our interviewees, Bruce also talks about Steve Keeva, author of Transforming Practices.
Part 6: Professor Winick talks about living life to the fullest as a legally blind person.
Part 7: Professor Winick talks about the new AALS section on Balance in Legal Education, how pleased he and David Wexler are about the reception of TJ and mentions several names along with an important award he was to receive a few months later. He talks about his yoga practice which brings balance,strength and a sense of spiritual connection that inspires his work.