Teaching Relational Lawyering in Corporate Law
Posted: 6 Oct 2019
Date Written: October 6, 2019
Relational lawyering is both a theoretical model of ethical law practice, as well as a framework for developing the legal competencies that every lawyer needs to be effective, regardless of his or her type of practice. Both center their focus upon the dynamic relationship between an attorney and client, and have broad applications serving clients who are both individuals and organizations. Relational lawyering as a model of law practice views individuals and organizations as both having agency and existing within webs of relationships; accordingly, it requires that lawyers’ counsel to their clients must consider not only the impact of such counsel upon the client, but also those with whom the client is in relationship. Relational lawyering as a pedagogical technique emphasizes (a) understanding theories about the person-in-context, (b) promoting procedural justice, and (c) appreciating interpersonal, cultural, and emotional issues. To date, scholarship has explored relational lawyering as a model of law practice in serving both families, corporations and individuals; meanwhile, relational lawyering as a pedagogical technique emerged from the area of family law, but no scholarship has explored its application to corporate law and practice yet. This Article seeks to fill such gap -- especially in light of the broad similarities between families and corporations as analogous organizations of people, relationships, and resources -- and extends the insights gained from applying relational lawyering as a pedagogical approach in family law to corporate law.
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