We practise law holistically – Holistic law, according to the International Association of Holistic Lawyers, aims to “promote peaceful advocacy, encourage compassion, reconciliation and healing, advocate the need for a humane legal process and acknowledge the opportunity in conflict,” among other goals.
While each holistic lawyer works in a different way, they draw common inspiration from Eastern traditions, New Age writers, and Native American spirituality. Much like holistic doctors who seek to treat the whole patient instead of the symptoms, holistic lawyers think of their clients as complex people in need of counselling, not entities with narrow legal problems.
This was best described by Gandhi in “The Story of My Experiments with the Truth.” After helping parties settle a case, Gandhi wrote:
My joy was boundless. I had learnt the true practice of law. I had learnt to find out the better side of human nature and to enter men’s hearts. I realised that the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder. The lesson was so indelibly burnt into me that a large part of my time during the twenty years of my practice as a lawyer was occupied in bringing about private compromises of hundreds of cases. I lost nothing thereby – not even money, certainly not my soul.