Wow! This took me by surprise. I thought I was up to date on most of the
trends in my quest of the paradigm shift, but somehow I missed this one.
There is now the IAHL (International Alliance of Holistic Lawyers). What
is holistic lawyer you ask? William van Zyverden, the founder of the IAHL,
answers this question by comparing it to holistic medicine.
In medicine, the traditional doctor looks for the problem by focusing
on a part of the body, and then tries to solve the problem by cutting
it out, controlling it or medicating it. The holistic doctor on the other
hand looks at the whole person, i.e. the mind/body/spirit.
The traditional lawyer, Zyverden says, sees a client with a problem and
says "Okay, who can we blame?" In contrast, the holistic lawyer
looks beyond the illusion of separate interests for the shared or common
interest that forms the basis of resolution. The holistic lawyer helps
the client delve beneath the surface of the dispute to its underlying
cause. He also says that —like a holistic doctor- a holistic Lawyer
helps the clients help themselves.
Zyverden says that he has regular counseling sessions with his clients
and explores their feelings and beliefs to help them understand the antecedent
that lead them to the trouble they are in now. He has been accused of
stepping outside his role and being a therapist, but he says that he does
not get as involved as a therapist and is only dealing with the legal
problem his client has. He said that he didn’t "win" as
many cases in the traditional sense but that he has created more win-win
A poll in California indicated that 70% of the lawyers in the state are
either dissatisfied or highly dissatisfied with their work. Another lawyer,
J. Gary Gwilliam travels around the country doing seminars to lawyers.
He says that his focus in the seminars is ethics, but he approaches it
in the broadest sense, defining ethics as a set of values, which we live
by. He tries to get the lawyers in his seminars to talk honestly and openly
about vulnerability. This is where the true power comes from he says,
it is not about pushing people around and showing you’re tough.
It comes from an inner strength, from being in touch with your own soul
and spirit, and dealing with people in a loving and compassionate way
instead of an angry and hostile way.
Holistic law is just in it’s infancy but look at how far holistic
medicine has come since the seventies. Today 70% of medical patients have
been to see some type of alternative healer. Now here is another sign
of a paradigm shift. You can get more information about IAHL by calling
William Van Zyverden at 802-388-7478, or fax 802-388-4079, or email firstname.lastname@example.org