‘Holistic law is hard to define. It often seems more a process than a particular method of practising law. However, there seem to be some common threads among holistic lawyers, which may lead to a practical definition of holistic law. IAHL weaves these threads together and finds that many of its members are committed to “PEACELAW” as defined below’:
Promote peaceful advocacy and holistic legal principles.
Encourage compassion, reconciliation, forgiveness, and healing.
Advocate the need for a humane legal process.
Contribute to peace building at all levels.
Enjoy the practice of law.
Listen intentionally and deeply in order to gain complete understanding.
Acknowledge the opportunity in conflict.
Wholly honor and respect the dignity and integrity of each individual.
A holistic lawyer:
- Seeks to maintain the dignity of the people involved and to maintain justice without bitterness
- Acts with integrity and honesty
- Sees the practice of law as a healing profession
- Works to empower and heal himself and his clients and to spread civility and good will
- Works to resolve legal problems in an interdisciplinary fashion, referring her clients to other professionals – mental-health experts, divorce coaches, child specialists, and financial planners – to obtain the best counsel for them
- Tries to reach early and satisfactory settlements, instead of drawing out cases for long, painful, and often expensive years
- Addresses her clients’ legal issues in a way that benefits them in mind, body, and spirit
- Emphasizes mediation for his clients as opposed to fueling the conflict with opposing parties
- Will go to court to argue but will do so in a more civilized, respectful, and humane way and puts a premium on behaving respectfully toward clients
- Looks for resolution rather than loopholes
- Prefers the win/win philosophy that both parties get something of interest, instead of simply fighting for a piece of the pie.