Cooperative Lawyering and Problem Solving Courts: Lawyers as Peacemakers – 6928
This is a non-traditional seminar for students who are interested in exploring a manner of practicing law broader than the win/lose paradigm of the adversary system. The instructor is a Hennepin County judge with extensive experience in problem solving courts and with the benefits of collaborative law and restorative justice.
The course will explore peacemaking opportunities for lawyers at several levels. Practicing lawyers engaged in several varieties of cooperative lawyering will make class presentations. In addition, because effective peacemaking requires personal awareness and self-control, the course will provide an introduction to mindfulness, a fundamental tool for peace of mind, as well as instruction in basic skills in peaceful communication. The course will examine how some of the lessons about peacemaking apply to political and religious conflict. The early class sessions will introduce students to some of the developments in neuroscience and evolutionary psychology that help explain the dynamics of human conflict.
In addition to background reading to prepare for class sessions, students in this seminar should be prepared to spend 10-15 minutes each day in mindfulness exercises, to observe two out-of-class peacemaking activities, and to participate in experiential exercises in class. Short written assignments are designed to promote growth of the student’s peacemaking skills. The class requires an open mind and a willingness to share personal thoughts and experiences.