An Integrative Lawyer’s Creed

It’s always challenging to start a movement that transforms centuries-old systems. We see a lot of the attempts in the United States today. There was #occupywallstreet. Whatever happened to that? The #blacklivesmatter is regrouping and focusing on policy-making. The #womensmarch seems to have come and gone to some degree. As a business owner who advises other businesses, I can’t help but think that some of the loss of power and influence is caused by the lack of a clear mission, vision, and core values. I do not want that to be the experience of the #integrativelaw movement or my #holisticlaw practice. So, I drafted this #IntegrativeLawyersCreed to guide us.

We are leaders of a movement that challenges the status quo. That is rarely a popular position, especially when dealing with those who are benefiting from (or perceive that they are) a long-standing system. A threat on that system will be met with much resistance. We must not threaten. Shaming those who are trying to make it work will rob us of key personnel who can assist with the transformation. We must invite, include, and integrate them. We are, after all, integrative lawyers. Our work is not easy. It requires us to move slowly and mindfully. We must continuously assess others’ impact on us and ours on them. We must recognize our very human tendencies to exclude, discriminate, isolate, and alienate. We must resist them, as they might create obstacles to the transformation and damage our credibility. We must deal with ourselves, our hurts, our disappointments, our implicit biases, and our egos. We must lead, even when we don’t want to, and even when we think it shouldn’t matter. We are holistic lawyers, too, and we know there is more interconnectedness than we fully understand. We err on the side of caution and, when in doubt, we choose compassion.

For those of you who are Integrative, Holistic, Collaborative, or Conscious Lawyers, what do you think? does this capture who you and we are? What would you add or change?

For those of you who are potential clients, is this what you want in a lawyer? Why or why not?

Please respond in the Comments below (which are moderated, so be kind and relevant), or feel free to contact us privately.

Nance L. Schick, Esq. is an attorney, arbitrator, and mediator based in New York City. She is the founder of The Law Studio of Nance L. Schick. Her holistic, integrative approach draws from her experience as a human resources supervisor, as well as her legal and EEOC training. She is creator of the Third Ear Conflict Resolution process, author of DIY Conflict Resolution: Seven Choices and Five Actions of a Master, and an award-winning entrepreneur, who has been acknowledged by the New York Economic Development Corporation/B-Labs (Best for NYC 2015 finalist), U.S. Chamber of Commerce (2015 Blue Ribbon Small Business), Enterprising Women Magazine (Honorable Mention, 2014 Woman of the Year awards), and Urban Rebound NY/Count Me In (2013 Pitch Competition finalist). Most recently, she attained her certificate in Ethno-Religious Conflict Mediation and now serves as the Main ICERM Representative to the United Nations.