Advanced Praise for Lawyers as Changemakers

Lawyers as Changemakers is a quite extraordinary book, written by an extraordinary person committed through example to change the lawyer’s most deeply engrained vices. It exudes optimism and conveys spirituality. It displays a genuine holistic vision based on ecology, system thinking and long-term concerns. It is food for thought and inspiration”.Ugo Mattei, author of Plunder. When The Rule of law is Illegal (With Laura Nader) and of The Ecology of Law. Toward a Legal System in Tune with Nature and Community (With Fritjof Capra).

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Love, the law is inside the heart.
For the ones who can “see” poetry is indeed prophecy.
Like old prophets lawyers are committed to share the law:
the braveness of truth,
the certainty of synchronicity,
the strength of faith,
the devotion to the Self.
We are the Law.

Paolo Urax Bellene is a lawyer-shaman.
A native of Argentina, he is 
pursuing a Ph.D degree

in law and consciousness in Spain.

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I feel very fortunate to have had a chance encounter with Kim Wright early in my legal career. Her generosity of spirit combined with her huge depth of knowledge about the Integrative Law movement has been instrumental on my own path. This book will be like a light in the dark for lawyers searching for a new way of practising and like a mark of well-deserved recognition for those that have already started. —Elaine Quinn, The Conscious Lawyer magazine (London, UK)

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A brilliant and powerful book, and extremely timely.  No one has greater insight than Kim Wright about the critical role lawyers can play in bringing about positive change in society, starting with the legal system itself.  In this groundbreaking book, Kim introduces us to a vast network of lawyers around the world who are already changing and humanizing the legal system. She provides a framework that will inspire other lawyers and enable them to make profound contributions to this global movement.  –  Eileen Barker, forgiveness teacher, forgiveness coach, and a leader in the movement to integrate emotional healing and forgiveness in  conflict resolution.

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As the dawning of a new era in politics in the United States begins to take shape, Kim Wright’s book on “Lawyers as Changemakers” serves as a bulwark against those forces seeking to halt efforts to change law and society to a more just and kind system.  More than just inspiring, this book offers the promise that the winds of change are still blowing, the arc of the moral universe is long but it still bends toward justice and we (as Bryan Stevenson says) should always hope.  Thanks, Kim, for your insight, experience and always and forever, hope for the future, hope for change  – Linda Warren Seely, Director of Dispute Resolution Section at the American Bar Association

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This book is a must read for those lawyers who have always felt a need to change the system that they are a part of, but were overwhelmed by the enormousness of embarking on such a task, for those lawyers who have always felt that they were somehow different to the majority of ‘mainstream’ lawyers, and for those lawyers who have always known, deep down, that there is so much more that can and should be done with those magnificent/transferable/valuable legal skills that they developed. To those lawyers, welcome home – you are not alone.
 

After meeting Kim, and reading this book, I finally felt that I wasn’t alone – that there is a whole movement of lawyers who acknowledged and understood that we are a part of a complex system and world, and that our life purpose didn’t need to be some grandiose idea of saving the entire world – but that our role as integrative lawyers may in fact be our purpose for this lifetime, and that our work as integrative lawyers certainly does help to shift us all (albeit slowly) into a better world. Thank you Kim, for reminding lawyers not to underestimate their value and contributions, but more importantly, reminding lawyers that we can still be our authentic, whole selves, and still be (damn good) lawyers!   – Nancy Bryla, corporate lawyer and Chief Light Officer of The Light Lawyer, Australia.

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If we are to create a more loving and egalitarian world, we must begin to redefine justice itself away from a sole focus on vindicating individual rights in an adversarial context and toward a relational conception that seeks to foster empathy, compassion and mutual understanding. Kim Wright’s book makes an important contribution toward showing us how lawyers can become practitioners of justice of this kind, and chronicles how just such a movement of lawyers is emerging around the world. —Peter Gabel and Nanette Schorr, Co-Chairs, Project on Integrating Spirituality, Law, and Politics

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Over the period of my active legal practise of 22 years, I have found that the education imparted in the Law Schools and Universities especially in India has not changed at the same pace as the development around the world. Further, in the majority of law schools what is being taught is mostly theory and practical exercises are not mandatory.

The above regretting situation made me personally think of doing something to bring the change, at least in India, to start with. In the zeal of this I came across several like minded persons, but the most influential of them was Ms. Kim Wright. The present book is very aptly titled as Lawyers as Changemakers and I am in total agreement with her.

We, the Lawyers, are the people responsible to bring around the change in the legal scenario throughout the world and to invent innovative ways and means to tackle the issues at hand, legal or otherwise. I am also involved with the Collaborative Law Practise. After reading about the Integrative Law movement, I was totally impressed with the subject, methodology, and purpose behind it. It changes ones total approach towards resolving any issue at hand with a holistic mindset. I am sure that all the current lacunae in the societal fabric can be resolved through holistic and sensitive approach of Integrative Law.

I will be certainly get myself more deeply acquainted and involved in the subject field of Integrative law to benefit my clients in particular and society in general.

All my best wishes are with you Kim !!

Sameer Shah, Advocate, Arbitrator, Mediator,
Director-CIArb, India branch, Secretary, Gujarat State Committee, SCL, India.
Fellow, World Mediation Organisation
and Chairman – India Branch, Global Collaborative Law Council

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Lawyers, in general, are an unhappy lot. They drink too much; suffer high rates of mental distress; and, are generally undervalued and overworked. This description does not hold true for lawyers who practice “changemaking.” J. Kim Wright, a self-described “nomad,” has literally traveled the world seeking a new way to practice — integrative law. Just as in her first book Lawyers as Peacemakers: Practicing Holistic, Problem-Solving Law she gives a comprehensive view of unconventional ways to approach lawyering then provides a forum for those actually doing it in the field. The global community is well represented here and this book should be tucked alongside Fodor’s when travelling. It lends itself to both a comprehensive philosophic view of a new legal order but also to perusing a chapter or two on subjects such as “The Cop (and Lawyer) Turned Buddhist Teacher” or “Rob de Rooy and Comic Contracts.” And, as Jack Nicholson said to Helen Hunt in “As Good as it Gets,” it makes you want to be a better [wo]man.-Judge Peggy Hora. Judge Hora retired from the Superior Court of California after serving 21 years. She is the President of Justice Speakers Institute, an international speakers’ bureau.

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Having read J.Kim Wright’s first book “Lawyers as Peacemakers” I was more than intrigued and excited to know that a second torch for lawyers was about to be published.quilt-spiral

Once again J.Kim Wright has broken the traditional boundaries of law.

Lawyers as Changemakers is a wonderful tapestry of emerging approaches, stories, commentaries and newer age theories woven together to form a legal quilt that warms, enlightens and empowers paradigm shift thinkers.

This book is a powerful reminder that law is not just based on fact, it is a blend of IQ and EQ and now SQ (spiritual quotient) joins the fold.

A new light is descending on the legal profession and this book is a must have if you want to be part of this legal enlightenment.

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars is a collaborative family law lawyer and mediator with a holistic approach to resolving  family transitions. Nicolle is also a Mindfulness in Law Teacher and Practitioner and is breaking new ground to help those in the legal profession better equip themselves for work/life stresses to learn how to lead happier lives. She lives in Ontario, Canada.

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Kim Wright’s Lawyers as Changemakers is a transformative exemplar of a globally shared passion to transform the legal profession on a foundation of mindfulness, integrity, reflection, consciousness, values and purpose, whilst skilfully marrying the ideologies of the traditional legal profession with humane, less adversarial methods of practice. It is a breath of fresh air that challenges the status quo of traditionalist perceptions of the legal profession and what it could be as opposed to should be. The book navigates a vibrant and compelling landscape of stories and experiences of legal professionals that evoke a plethora of introspective ‘AHA’ moments and invites the reader to step out of their perceived linear molds of the traditional legal profession into a space of reflection and collaboration. As a legal educator of 15 years, I was enthused by the theme that the transformation of the legal profession for future generations of legal professionals begins with the transformation of legal education through alternate pedagogy, which not only develops the requisite skills in law students for the purposes of legal problem solving, but also equips them with the soft skills to harmoniously interact with peers and clients, whilst not compromising their self- worth in practice. A must read for legal practitioners, legal educators and law students!Neetu Chetty is the Programme Manager of the School of Law, IIE Varsity College Westville, Durban, South Africa

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Dipping into J Kim Wright’s book spun me back to when I was part of the ‘lost generation’. I had decided to go back to school to restart my legal studies in 1995. “Law should be a tool to achieve justice and provide people with a means to realise their rights.” was a resounding theme in times of Apartheid. In this book law -the tool- and the persons who use it, and the pathways which lead practitioners to understand that allowing themselves to be feeling human beings makes them better, more humane, grounded practitioners are the heroes.

Great strength to Ms Wright as she creates a sense of Ubuntu by providing examples and platforms so that lawyers can take their place as peacemakers in a world of contestation and strife.  —Pritima Osman, Senior Legal Administrative Officer at Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, South Africa

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Eight years ago I had almost quit my work as a lawyer, because I found out that my professional life was not meaningful. I came to understand that success in life would be way much more than winning some cases, earning some money, and making my law firm grow. For me, to succeed in life, as a lawyer, suddenly became a way of finding out the better side of human nature in order to unite parties driven asunder, especially by helping them to communicate their needs, interests, fears, concerns and dreams. In my personal journey to change the way I work, I have met incredible people. Kim, for sure, is one of the most devoted and inspirational professionals that I have found. She is pure light in the path for those who seek for guidance in a world full of options. A world that – if you look closely – gives you at every second a chance to understand how great is the universe and the human potential to flourish and live in joy. –Marcello Vieira Machado Rodante, Rodante & Scharlack, Advogados, São Paulo / SP / Brasil

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In some ways, “Lawyers as Changemakers” is not new. We have always been counselors, in addition to our roles as zealous advocates. Above all, lawyers are part of a profession that is engaged in helping clients with legal issues. Many of us, however, tend to forget that arguing and winning is not the best outcome, even when your client has “won”.

Having been in Legal Education for over thirty years, I think I can say that Integrative Law is the Law of the future. I say this not only because Integrative Law incorporates the concept Kim helped develop, that of the Holistic Lawyer employed to facilitate the legal client’s well being, but also because the Lawyer as Changemaker is part of this wonderful global community.

Kim Wright, first with “Lawyers as Peacemakers” helped me to teach my students alternative skills to add to the lawyer’s “toolbox” and now with “Lawyers as Changemakers” has demonstrated that there’s a huge legal global community committed to these values. She has given us hope in our profession. And I am excited to be part of the Integrative Lawyers community. Here’s to the future!  —Paula Kaldis, Professor of Law, Assistant Dean, Massachusetts School of Law