Holism is the view that an integrated whole has a reality independent of and greater than the sum of its parts. Holistic lawyers understand that law provides the form and structure for society. We also recognize that laws made in one area impact and influence other areas of law and life, and that external factors influence law and our clients’ lives and businesses. That’s the theoretical view.
In practice, holistic attorneys look beyond the narrow legal issue a client brings to us to see what else is going on. Sure, we look at the obvious peripheral issues such as taxes and finances. But we aren’t afraid to dig deeper when it appears there’s more going on. Are there emotional or health issues? Is there fear of moving forward? A midlife crisis? Overwhelm? Lack of expertise or capital? Lack of support at home? You get the idea. Once we understand what’s really going on, we can better advise our clients. For example, perhaps a client wants a partnership agreement for a business venture. Some lawyers will merely take the information from the client, draw up the agreement and be done with it. In contrast, a holistic lawyer will take the time to understand what the client wants to accomplish. Maybe a partnership isn’t the best option or maybe there are red flags that taking on this particular partner would not be a good choice. We help our clients step back to see the big picture and their motivations so they can fully evaluate their options before proceeding. A holistic attorney might recommend the client consult with a business consultant or coach, accountant, planner or other person if it appears there are peripheral issues that need to be explored before moving forward. Doing so can save our clients time and money in the long run and perhaps avoid a costly mistake.
Holistic attorneys know the decisions our clients make impact their lives and the lives of others. We encourage and support our clients in taking the high road wherever possible. For example, the decisions a client with children makes when going through a divorce will impact that family unit. Choosing to let go and move on produces growth, healing and an opportunity to co-parent with a former spouse, while engaging in blame, vengeance or victimhood produces quite different results. Similarly, the decisions made by a client who wants to construct a new building for her business will impact her customers, employees and loved ones as well as the environment and the local economy. As holistic lawyers, we help our clients identify how their choices will impact their lives, the lives of others, and society as a whole. In this way, our clients comprehend the consequences of their choices before they make them and thus choose consciously after weighing the pros and cons of all possibilities.
Most importantly, holistic lawyers understand the strength, power and wisdom that come from aligning the head (lineal thinking) with the heart (intuition). As guardians of the law, we have chosen to use law for healing, growth and service.