'What's Going On?' - The Psychoanalysis Metaphor for Educating Lawyer-Counselors

33 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2012 Last revised: 1 Jan 2013

Date Written: July 26, 2012


In this essay prepared for the Connecticut Law Review’s 2012 symposium, Reform of the Legal Education System for the 21st Century, I propose an alternative to the dominant metaphor of “lawyer as warrior” for educating the many lawyers whom clients will seek out as counselors even at early stages in their careers. My preferred metaphor is “lawyer as psychoanalyst” because it invokes the need for lawyer-counselors to understand clients’ idioms and meanings, or more generally “what’s going on” beyond the mere analysis and application of the rules of positive law. Like lawyers, psychoanalysts learn a technical discipline (whether either discipline constitutes a science) but need to apply it non-technically in the process of counseling patients. I consider implications of the metaphor for lawyer-counselors and their education, concluding with some preliminary and modest suggestions about how reflection on the “repressed positivistic” and “courting surprise” might benefit our students in the “what’s going on” aspect of client-centeredness.

Keywords: lawyers as counselors, metaphor, warrior, psychoanalyst, repressed positivistic, courting surprise

JEL Classification: K10, K20

Suggested Citation

Lipshaw, Jeffrey M., 'What's Going On?' - The Psychoanalysis Metaphor for Educating Lawyer-Counselors (July 26, 2012). Connecticut Law Review, Forthcoming, Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 12-28, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2118266

Jeffrey M. Lipshaw (Contact Author)

Suffolk University Law School ( email )

120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States

HOME PAGE: http://ssrn.com/author=381790

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