From Conflict to Creativity: Building Better Lawyers Through Critical Self-Reflection

9th International Transformative Learning Conference, Athens, Greece, 2011

7 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2011 Last revised: 18 Dec 2012

See all articles by Jason C. Meek

Jason C. Meek

Berkeley Law; The iDeal World

Date Written: May 29, 2011


Simply put, the legal profession is in crisis. Over the last decade a confluence of disruptive factors has begun to reshape the economic, social and regulatory foundations of the practice of law and the lawyer’s personal experience of it. The entire system of legal advocacy that has existed – in some cases, for over a century – is in the midst of dramatic lasting change. Moreover, scholars and observers have renewed calls for legal education reform, which both widens and intensifies the implications of crisis challenges.

This paper argues that the prevailing pedagogy in law schools within common law countries today prioritizes critical analysis over critical self-reflection, and that both these “content neutral” skills must be integrated into legal pedagogy to equip future lawyers with the tools necessary to see, address, and resolve crisis challenges. It proposes a framework of “viewing” – a certain quality of observation arising from “the inside out” – as both a mechanism of action and a developmental process to engage mindful awareness, shift perspective and cultivate emancipatory learning.

This paper aspires to evoke a curiosity among educators to reflect further upon how transformative learning models can be specifically adapted to train lawyers to think beyond conflict toward creativity and enhanced well-being for themselves as individuals and for the legal profession as a whole.

Keywords: Socratic, law, student, lawyer, legal, profession, education, pedagogy, reform, critical, analysis, self, reflection, teaching, professional, skill, method, case, dialogue, mindfulness, viewing, observing, mechanism, action, development, process, transformative, learning, model

Suggested Citation

Meek, Jason C., From Conflict to Creativity: Building Better Lawyers Through Critical Self-Reflection (May 29, 2011). 9th International Transformative Learning Conference, Athens, Greece, 2011, Available at SSRN: or

Jason C. Meek (Contact Author)

Berkeley Law ( email )

Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

The iDeal World ( email )

182 Howard St. #428
San Francisco, CA 95403
United States
415.371.9139 (Phone)


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