Are you a lawyer, attorney, counsel, advocate:
actively practicing Law?
formerly practiced Law?
studying to practice Law?
Do you feel:
disappointed or disillusioned by the practice of Law?
frustrated or overwhelmed by the practice of law?
Do you think:
there is inconsistent application of the Law?
there are incongruent principles of Law?
our legal system is ailing, collapsing or breaking down?
the Spirit of the Law is the foundation of our legal system?
our legal system can be transformed?
I am Deanna De Paoli, Spirit Counsel.
I work with legal professionals who are disheartened and disappointed, suffering and struggling with the practice of Law.
Together, we’re reclaiming the Spirit of the Law so you can transform your practice AND influence our profession.
Here’s what I want for you:
- to feel reconnected to the Spirit of the Law and your profession of legal counsel;
- to feel inspired working with your clients and colleagues;
- to be aligned with your integrity in your practice;
- to inhabit the role of Spirit Counsel, using your accumulated wisdom and experience to represent and advise your clients, for their greatest success and prosperity;
- to serve as a pillar of Law in your community, upholding the principles of truth and justice—the true Spirit of the Law
The dehumanizing paradox of conventional law practice:
We study to become lawyers. We’re trained in legal reasoning—how to formulate an argument, and a counter argument. We learn the rules of practice and procedure. When we practice, we find legal fictions operating, leading to unjust results. We do our best to represent our clients who are constrained by the complications, cost, accessibility and unpredictability of the legal system.
But it tears a little piece of us every time.
We know what a good and just result is, whether in litigation or a contract negotiation. And yet, we have to go against what we know is fair, reasonable and just. We have to advise our clients to drop a lawsuit, or settle one. Or cave to unreasonable contract terms and sign because the cost of not signing is greater. We take positions we don’t agree with personally, because that’s what a strong advocate does.
We pervert the Law when sworn to uphold it because that’s what the client demands. And we have a duty to our client.
Every time we’re inconsistent with our own values, we lose a piece of our soul.
Many of us are leaving the practice because we just can’t lose any more pieces of ourselves.
I want something different for us.
I want our most sensitive, ethical, spiritual, just professionals to be able to keep practicing.
I want you to be able to stay in Law
rather than having to leave it.
That’s what this work—Spirit of The Law—is all about.
What is the Spirit of the Law?
Spirit of the Law is the essence of our legal system, expressed as universally recognized principles—the value of life, freedom, equality, respect of the individual, interdependence of individuals and communities, balancing of interests, among others.
These universally recognized principles form the basis of the Law, written as formal code. The Law provides structure and organizes interactions between individuals and groups in our society.
Spirit of the Law is the core meaning and purpose of the Law.
If we’re going to reclaim the Spirit of the Law and transform the practice, we have to get real and honest about its failings.
We have to identify and challenge the legal fictions, acknowledge how we are perpetuating the unfairness, how we are compounding the injustices.
We do that by…
- Remembering our calling to serve;
- Recognizing where we’ve gone off course and where we’ve held steady;
- Reclaiming the Spirit of the Law and envisioning a new way of practicing;
- Gathering together, in retreat;
- coming together in conversation around the counsel table and figuring out new ways forward.
Then, we act.
Empowered by our collective wisdom, experience and counsel, we return to the Spirit of the Law and step into the role of Spirit Counsel. We bring this approach back into our personal practices so we can influence colleagues and clients and transform our profession.
And that’s how we start to transform our personal practices and experiences AND the profession as a whole —with our words, procedures and our approach.