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Preventive law and creative problem solving: Multi-dimensional lawyering

Barton, Thomas D
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) San Diego, CA: California Western School of Law, National Center for Preventive Law

The authors of this essay explore the image of the lawyer in order to advance new dimensions of what it should mean to be a lawyer. If the conventional or traditional idea of a lawyer is that of a fighter (characterized by the authors as vertical lawyering), Barton and Cooper contend for two other dimensions: the lawyer as problem solver and designer (characterized by them as horizontal lawyering). To argue their perspective, they explain the need for the multi-dimensional lawyer in relation to the evolution of legal procedures and lawyering. They also describe the fighter lawyer as operating in rewind mode – trying to reconstruct the past to establish liability and culpability in order to legitimize and win the case. In contrast, the lawyer as problem solver or designer operates in fast forward – trying to design environments and foster relationships that prevent conflict or that creatively resolve conflict.


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