When Gandhi was a lawyer: Integrative Law Milestones

M. Gandhi, Integrative Lawyer

Mohandas Gandhi is well known and even revered for pioneering the  use of non-violent passive resistance for large-scale political purposes.  Less well known is his early career as a London-trained lawyer, captured in this remarkable photograph.

He rejected “business as usual” adversarial litigation, in favor of looking to heal the roots of conflict in the hearts of his clients experiencing personal disputes.  It was in the course of fighting as a lawyer for the civil rights of Muslim and Hindu Indians in South Africa that he was given a copy of  Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience to read while in jail.  Out of this grew Gandhi’s development of new techniques for mass nonviolent civil disobedience that became his life work.

We at ILI are putting together a gallery of  contrarian heroes of the legal profession who understood, long before mediation or ADR had names, that the highest and deepest calling of a lawyer working in the realm of personal disputes is to heal breaches in the social fabric that manifest as legal issues but gather their destructive force from fractured human relationships.

We begin with Gandhi, and we invite you to send us quotations and links to your personal favorite legal heroes in the evolution of what we now call Integrative Law. We’ll add those we especially like to the ILI Gallery.

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3 Responses to When Gandhi was a lawyer: Integrative Law Milestones

  1. Flynn says:

    Thanks for this wonderful post! My social enterprise, SAMYA Practice, is dedicated to this field, and I actually wrote a similar piece highlighting Gandhi, non-violence (ahimsa), yoga, Eastern philosophy and the law (link below), so I am happy to see this beautiful tribute to pioneers and heroes, such as Gandhi, in the realm of integrative law as a healing profession of service.


  2. A leading edge and source of delight for me (Linda) is the Integrative Law movement. In Australia the phrase Collaborative Law is used. Still a very new field. Do you know of or have any experience of this?

    • iliadmin says:

      Yes; I’m deeply involved in collaborative practice, which is what led me to integrative law. I am sometimes called the “godmother”of the field. I wrote two of the major books and innumerable articles on the subject and I’ve trained all over the English speaking world, since the late 1990’s. I’m the co founder and first president of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. I’ve done several trainings in Australia–Sydney twice, Brisbane once. Check out my law firm website and my profiles on google and linked in for more info about my work in establishing collaborative practice worldwide.

      Collaborative law is one of a large number of “vectors” included under the concept of integrative law. It is one aspect of a larger and more inclusive movement.

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