A lawyer friend argues that a malaise is affecting many in his profession – a spiritual crisis, he calls it. The daughter of a friend graduates from a prestigious law school with high marks, practices for several years, then decides that law is not for her. A note from a judge says that he is finding his work meaningless. A zealous death penalty attorney confesses that he feels isolated from the rest of humanity.
Lawyering in America needs a new, life-giving vision and fortunately, there are lawyers and law professors moving in that direction, envisioning lawyers as healers, conflict-resolvers, agents of positive personal change. One such framework for this re-visioning has come from restorative justice. Restorative justice provides a framework for conceptualizing justice that is based on positive values and principles. It also enlarges the scope of justice by encompassing the needs and roles not only of offenders, but of victims and communities. Lawyers from around the United States and elsewhere are finding creative ways to apply this to their practice of law.
Now, in her new book, Artika Tyner, further develops a vision for social justice lawyers as transformative, servant leaders. By inspiring lawyers to see themselves as transformative leaders promoting social change, her work lays the groundwork for a vision of lawyering compatible with the principles of restorative justice.
~ Dr. Howard Zehr, Distinguished Professor of RJ