ABA Journal > Is the integrative law of movement the next ‘huge wave’ for the legal profession?

Posted on July 31, 2013


From Holler Schwartz Temple:

Most lawyers wouldn’t associate estate planning or divorce mediation with tenderness and devotion, but Mason says “helping clients express love for the people who matter most in their lives” is the principle that guides his Santa Barbara, Calif., practice at the Mason Law Group.

Mason is a practitioner of the burgeoning integrative law movement, which views law as a healing profession. He believes that lawyers who adopt the integrative law philosophy enjoy an additional benefit: improved work-life balance.

“There’s a great quote about when someone has passion for the work they do: You can’t tell the difference between whether they’re at work or at play,” says Mason, 51, who meditates daily and went to law school in hopes of becoming a mediator. “That’s what it’s like for me. The passion I have for my work is the fulfillment of who I consider myself to be.”

Unlike traditional law practice, which is often competitive and aggressive, integrative lawyers are trying to simultaneously make a difference in the world, earn a good living and lead satisfying personal lives. According to Pauline Tesler, director of the Integrative Law Institute, integrative law is the “umbrella term for a variety of vectors that have become more widely known” in the past few years. The movement encompasses some forms of mediation, restorative justice, collaborative practice, and even elements of positive psychology and social neuroscience.

Integrative lawyers focus on out-of-court solutions and the well-being of all players in the legal system—lawyers and clients included. Over the past several years, the movement has gained momentum. And Tesler, who has trained more than 6,000 people in integrative law principles over the past 20 years, is convinced it is the next “huge wave coming to the legal profession.”

Read more at ABA Journal .