Virginia Satir said, “Communication is to relationship what breathing is to maintaining life.” If we treat not only our clients but all parties and attorneys as human beings with equal respect, dignity and compassion, we take the high road and open doors to communication that seemed nailed shut. As a result, the world becomes a more healthy place. The intent is to return the person to a healthy balance.
Eric Sirotkin from
Witness: A Lawyer’s Journey from Litigation to Liberation
Legal Wellness Principles
Legal Wellness™ teaches us that while the competitive win/lose model of lawyering is intrinsic to our culture, it has become obsolete.
By incorporating the nine principles of Legal Wellness into our cases and our relationships, we can view conflict as an opportunity for growth, and transform the legal system for both the lawyer and the client.
Nine Legal Wellness Principles
1. Respect the integrity and worth of each individual.
2. Engage in real dialogue between the parties.
3. Help clients experience more peace rather than guilt or blame.
4. Respond with love rather than fear.
5. Empower clients to shape their destiny.
6. Build rather than destroy relationships.
7. Encourage lawyers to express themselves creatively through the law.
8. Reflect in the law that we are an interconnected, interdependent life system.
9. Release your expectation of the outcome.
If you take the first word from each principle, they form a kind of haiku that can be easy to remember in any situation:
Respect, engage, help,
Respond, empower, build,
Encourage, reflect, release.
Laying out these principles has helped me understand the immense possibilities for our world through a transformation of the legal system. Remembering these nine principles, we can expand the human potential for communication and understanding in all our interactions.