Program for Certifying Integrative Lawyers Announced by Integrative Law Institute

PROGRAM FOR CERTIFICATION IN INTEGRATIVE LAW

Certification in Integrative Law

ILI’s program for certifying integrative lawyers has two purposes:

  • to encourage and recognize lawyers who engage in significant continuing education study aimed at developing the skills and understandings that support practicing law as a healing profession, and
  • to provide a means for members of the public to locate and identify lawyers who are committed to providing professional services  that address human conflicts constructively, not solely as legal problems but also across the  many other dimensions in which conflict impacts lives.

The core of the certification program is ILI’s own workshops and programs for practicing lawyers.  The hallmark of ILI programs is that they integrate creative conflict resolution tools, traditional understandings and practices, and emerging research discoveries from the biological and social sciences in a manner that lawyers, mediators, and judicial officers can use right away in their work.  ILI’s workshops and trainings include hands-on experiential components wherever possible.

Applicants for ILI certification will be asked to provide documentation of at least 40 hours of continuing education course work consisting of at least 25 hours of  workshops and trainings provided by ILI, with the balance consisting of approved courses provided either by ILI or by its partner organizations and colleagues.

Lawyers who have earned ILI’s certification in integrative law will be listed on ILI’s website and social media sites with links back to their own websites, and will be permitted to display ILI’s certification badge on websites, social media sites, and on professional materials.  Under development is a plan to provide Certified Integrative Lawyers with an online participatory virtual community.

The certification program, some components of which are still under development, is  being launched in phases beginning in early 2013,  so that participants in current ILI workshops  who have interest in certification can be aware of this option as they plan their ongoing continuing education.

 Earning Certification Credits

For 2013, continuing education credits as follows may be submitted for purposes of certification.  New  ILI courses and a limited number of select additional continuing education partners will be added to this list from time to time. The courses will be offered in major U.S. cities during 2013 and 2014.  By 2014, ILI also expects to offer some courses online.

Invitations to bring any ILI program to your city are welcome, as are program co-sponsorships.

ILI workshops and courses (as of January 2013)

Pauline Tesler Presenting at Integrative Law Workshop


  • Law and the Human Brain: Neuro-Literacy 101 for Lawyers, Mediators, and Judges. A complete description of this course is available at  http://is.gd/NeuroLiteracy101 (6 hours)
  • Money, Law, and Values. An investigation of how money, law, and values intersect and sometimes collide in legal negotiations, and an exploration of pathways through the challenges.  The workshop is described in more depth  at  http://is.gd/MoneyLawValuesWorkshop  (6 hours)
  • Weekend Workshop:  Becoming an Integrative Lawyer.  (Attendance at a weekend workshop is required for certification.)  This is a  highly personalized workshop with limited enrollment, offered in a variety of peaceful locations convenient to major cities. Included in the workshop is  facilitated personal self-reflection and strategic planning for achieving a law practice that supports working as an integrative lawyer.  The workshop curriculum  provides an overview and introduction to integrative law vectors, including: therapeutic/integrative jurisprudence and ethics, communications, narrative and re-storying techniques, body-mind awareness practices and tools, human needs theory, positive psychology,  negotiations theory,  systems theory and team practice,  behavioral and neuro-economics perspectives, collaborative practice, apology/forgiveness,restorative justice, integrative and values-based transactional practice, interest-based negotiations.  The fee for the workshop includes one hour of follow-up individual practice development consultation with Pauline Tesler, either via video conferencing or in person.  (15 to 18 hours)

Continuing Education Partners (as of January 2013)

  Lawyers may submit for certification purposes proof of in-person attendance at approved continuing education courses offered by these organizations and individuals.  Ordinarily, courses submitted for certification must carry  either state bar approved continuing legal education credit, or alternatively,  APA, state, or similar approved  CEU credit intended for other professions, such as psychologists, psychotherapists, or health care professionals.  Courses offered by ILI partners that do not carry such approved credit or that are attended online will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

ILI welcomes certification partnership inquiries from workshop leaders, trainers, and organizations that provide high quality continuing education in the vectors recognized by ILI for integrative law certification.  We consider for certification partnership programs that offer substantial original material developed by the presenter.

To be included in ILI’s mailing list, click here:   For more information, contact Pauline Tesler:  phtesler@integrativelawinstitute.org

Living and Working in your Full Self: a Very Accessible Mindfulness Tool for Conflict Resolution Professionals

Did you ever get up from your desk after a long day of drafting documents, batting back emails, and talking on the phone with clients and other lawyers,  to discover that you are exhausted in both body and mind, noticing only then how much stress and tension your body is carrying? Sore back, stiff neck,  aching shoulders, weary spirit…..those seem to come with the turf of legal conflict resolution work.  The way I think of this is that I’ve spent another day living in my neocortex. Forgot again to remember that I am a fully embodied human primate with a triune brain that can bring far more than pure reason to the table. Forgot about embodied emotion as a tool and resource. Forgot I even have a body, below my neck. Forgot about how stress diminishes my creativity, my ability to empathize and to harvest valuable cues from interactions with others.

Maybe you do that, too? Here is an idea that I’m finding to be useful: stillnessbuddy.com offers free trials of several different applications that will pop up on your screen for a few seconds at intervals you set, reminding you to stop, breathe deeply, become aware of your body, notice your sense perceptions, let go of specific tension points.  Slightly longer stillness moments prompt with simple mindfulness/awareness exercises for letting go of thoughts and relaxing both body and mind.  If the pop-ups arrive at really inconvenient times,  one click makes them disappear immediately.  

I’m noticing that I like these mindfulness moments most when I least need them, and least when I most need them. That in itself is food for thought.

Our Brains Want to Control Anger and Aggression

In a new study researchers found that when insulted to the point of anger, we humans experience activation in the areas of the brain associated with negative emotions and arousal (the limbic brain) but that at the same time, healthy brains experience similar arousal in the parts of the frontal lobes that regulate emotion and provide cognitive control over reactions.  Thus there is  tension and interplay between our urge to let the anger rip, and our thinking brain’s wish to remain in control.

This provides cues  for conflict resolution professionals about how to help our clients recognize and manage anger and other negative emotions during negotiations.  In later posts we’ll direct you to research and writing about techniques for quieting the aroused limbic brain and for helping the cognitive brain in its efforts to calm the storm.

The study is:

“Self Control and Aggression”

Denson, T. F., Dewall, C., Finkle, E. Current Directions in Psychological Science, Vol. 21 (1), February 2012, 20-25
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