Why Is It Hard for Lawyers to Deal with Emotional Issues?
Suffolk University Law School
Helaine S Golann
Dispute Resolution Magazine, Vol. 9, p. 26, Winter 2003
Lawyers who counsel clients or who mediate disputes are often advised to pay close attention to the emotional aspects of the situation, so as to help parties and clients work through feelings that may be preventing them from making good decisions. Attorneys and other professionals, however, often resist dealing with these issues for a variety of reasons, some conscious and some not. This short article, which takes the form of a dialogue between a lawyer and a therapist, explores some common reasons why lawyers, law students, and other professionals shy away from emotional issues. It also gives suggestions on how attorneys can increase their capacity to deal with the emotional issues that arise in their cases.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 7
Keywords: professional norms, empathy, directive style, avoidance, client counseling
JEL Classification: K41Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: December 2, 2008
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