Someone called me the other day to ask me to recommend them a lawyer. After describing to me the issues at stake, they said, “I want a real pitbull — someone who’ll go straight for the jugular and show no mercy.”
Believe me, a pitbull was not what this particular case warranted. It’s too bad that so many people think that’s what they need in a lawyer. Not a principled defender of justice, nor a skilled negotiator who can broker a winning deal, nor a charismatic leader who can influence others. Thanks to the media, which rarely depict this side of lawyering, most people fail to see, let alone celebrate, the art in the lawyer’s craft.
J. Kim Wright, who describes herself as a “pioneer, catalyst and leader in a new paradigm of law”, has launched CuttingEdgeLaw.com, an online community and magazine that seeks to show lawyers in a very different light:
Rather than focusing on the latest litigation victories and defeats, we will focus on the roles of lawyers as healers, peacemakers, problem-solvers, and champions for justice. We aren’t looking for the “Super Lawyers” who made $6MM on moving money between two behemoth corporations over a technicality but rather the lawyer who healed a conflict between two parents in a custody dispute or a lawyer who helped a murderer come face to face with the family of his victim and give them the gift of a sincere apology. We’re here to support the explorations and promote the most workable and inspiring options for the legal system. Imagine the legal system as a resource for creating whole, vibrant, loving communities? If we transform our practices, how do we reach clients? How do we earn a living on healing and peace-making when the world is used to viewing lawyers as a polarizing force?
CuttingEdgeLaw.com is still under construction, so not all links on the site are operational. In the meantime, however, you can view video interviews with lawyers who are themselves leaders in the “new paradigm of law”.
A big hat tip to Stephanie West Allen for alerting readers to the launch of this site and Wright’s work.