Harvard Law Professor and Collaborative Attorney David A. Hoffman recently lectured on “Lawyers as Peacemakers.” He now describes his occupation as “full-time peacemaker”. More and more attorneys, forensic accountants, business valuation experts, CPAs and other professionals are embracing this same job description. Collaborative law, or the practice of peacemaking, is a fast-growing movement with deep historical roots.
Abraham Lincoln (as an attorney) once said: “Discourage litigation. Persuade neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of becoming a good [person].”
Mahatma Gandhi was also a lawyer. He said, after learning he could settle cases, “My joy was boundless… I realized that the true function of a lawyer is to unite parties riven asunder.”
Chief Justice Warren Burger warns: “The entire legal profession has become so mesmerized with the courtroom contest that we tend to forget that we ought to be healers of conflict”.
As forensic accountants, attorneys, and all of us as professionals and as citizens of this great country, may we all strive to become greater peacemakers and healers of conflict.