This article demonstrates the usefulness of an innovative framework called "Relationship-Centered Lawyering" to enhancing real world legal practice. It uses the example of lawyers, particularly criminal defense lawyers, who often deal with clients with cognitive challenges. The article developed out of a series of workshops conducted jointly by the co-authors, an American law professor with a social work background, and a Canadian criminal defense lawyer and family mediator who is an international expert on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and other Neuro-Behavioral Disorders (FA/NB). The paper describes the relational theory Brooks developed (along with Robert Madden), along with the science of cognitive impairments, with a specific focus on FA/NB. The paper provides two illustrations of the relational framework by explaining Boulding's strategy of creating what is called the “external brain” and his techniques of relational interviewing.
Boulding, David Michael and Brooks, Susan L., Trying Differently: A Relationship-Centered Approach to Representing Clients With
Cognitive Challenges (November 11, 2010). International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 2010; Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law Research Paper No. 2010-A-17. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1707618