Susan Daicoff


Below are some lists of reading materials and links you may find useful, as you research the various disciplines making up the "comprehensive law movement" -- law as a healing profession:


The nine main comprehensive disciplines are:   

Therapeutic Jurisprudence ("TJ") 

Preventive Law ("PL")

Procedural Justice ("PJ")

Holistic Justice or Law ("HJ")

Creative Problem Solving ("CPS")

Collaborative Law ("CL")

Transformative Mediation ("TM")

Restorative Justice ("RJ")

Problem Solving Courts or Processes ("PSCs")

Brief Definitions


collaborative law - is a nonlitigative, collaborative process employed mainly in divorce law, where the spouses and their respective attorneys resolve the issues outside of court in a series of conferencdes.  No litigation is usually instituted until settlement is reached and the attorneys are forbidden from representing their clients in court should the agreement process break down.

restorative justice - refers to a movement apparently employed most often in Australia, Canada, and the UK in which criminal justice and criminal sentencing are done by the community, victim, and offender in a collaborative process with all players present, focusing on the relationships between the offender, victim, and community. It is the antithesis of a top-down, hierarchical system where the judge (up) imposes a sentence on the defendant (down).

procedural justice - refers to social scientist Tom Tyler's empirical findings that, in judicial process, litigants' satisfaction depends more on being treated with respect and dignity, being heard, having an opportunity to speak and participate, and how trustworthy the authorities appear/behave, than they do about the actual outcome (e.g, winning vs. losing) of the legal matter.

transformative mediation -  as described in Bush and Folger's book, The Promise of Mediation. In this process, the procedure and the players are dynamic. The parties are moved towards two goals, that of recognition of the other and that of empowerment of self through enhanced moral growth.  It may also foster one’s ability to relate to others.  It does not focus on resolution of one dispute but instead focused on the process of resolution. 

therapeutic jurisprudence - focuses on the therapeutic or countertherapeutic consequences of the law and legal procedures on the individuals involved, including the clients, their families, friends, lawyers, judges, and community. It attempts to reform law and legal processes in order to promote the psychological well-being of the people they affect. From its website: "Therapeutic Jurisprudence concentrates on the law's impact on emotional life and psychological well-being. It is a perspective that regards the law (rules of law, legal procedures, and roles of legal actors) itself as a social force that often produces therapeutic or anti-therapeutic consequences. It does not suggest that therapeutic concerns are more important than other consequences or factors, but it does suggest that the law's role as a potential therapeutic agent should be recognized and systematically studied."

preventive law - explicitly seeks to intervene in legal matters before disputes arise and advocates proactive intervention to head off litigation and other conflicts. It emphasizes the lawyer-client relationship, relationships in general, and planning and is a long-standing, harm-averse movement.

holistic law - "acknowledge[s] the need for a humane legal process with the highest level of satisfaction for all participants; honor[s] and respect[s] the dignity and integrity of each individual; promote[s] peaceful advocacy and holistic legal principles; value[s] responsibility, connection and inclusion; encourage[s] compassion, reconciliation, forgiveness and healing; practice[s] deep listening, understand[s] and recognize[s] the importance of voice; contributes[s[ to peace building at all levels of society; recognize[s] the opportunity in conflict; draw[s] upon ancient intuitive wisdom of diverse cultures and traditions; and [encourages the lawyer to] enjoy the practice of law" (from the website of the International Alliance of Holistic Lawyers). It is explicitly interdisciplinary, allows the lawyer to incorporate his or her own morals and values into client representation, seeks to "do the right thing" for the lawyer, clients, and others involved, and seeks to find solutions to legal matters in a broader, more holistic approach than is traditionally associated with lawyers, like holistic medicine.

creative problemsolving - is associated with an the McGill Center at California Western School of Law - is explicitly humanistic, interdisciplinary, creative, and preventive in its approach to legal problems.  It seeks to find solutions in a broader approach than is traditionally associated with legal work. From the website: " This is the first program in San Diego specifically dedicated to scholarly research and objective practical training in problem solving, dispute resolution and preventative law. As an institutional focal point for the school's overall mission of educating creative problem solvers, the Center explores the processes used by the law to address human and social problems, identify and describe competencies required to help individual, organizations and communities solve their problems effectively, and educates law students, lawyers and others in the skills and techniques of creative problem solving. For students, the Center is a teaching institution for learning the theory and practice of problem solving and conflict resolution. For the academic community, the Center is a vehicle for the production and dissemination of research on conflict theory, dispute resolution and problem solving. For the local and national community, the Center provides a forum for training and dialogue about the resolution of complex socio-legal problems and preventative law."

problem solving courts – refers to the rapid rise of specialized, interdisciplinary, therapeutic-jurisprudence courts such as drug treatment courts, mental health courts, unified family courts, domestic violence courts, and the 2000 joint resolution of the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators explicitly encouraging the development of “problem solving courts.”


Annotated Bibliography

Comprehensive Law Movement:

Susan Daicoff, Afterword:  The Role of Therapeutic Jurisprudence Within the Comprehensive Law Movement, in  Dennis P. Stolle, David B. Wexler, & Bruce J. Winick, eds., Practicing Therapeutic Jurisprudence (Carolina Academic Press, 2000).  This book contains articles by various authors on how to practice law therapeutically in criminal law, family law, client interviewing and counseling, and other areas of the law.  The final chapter discusses the comprehensive law movement.


Lawyer Distress and Personality (last chapter on the Comprehensive Law Movement):

Susan Daicoff, Lawyer, Know Thyself:  A Psychological Analysis of Personality Strengths and Weaknesses (APA Books, 2004).  This book reports on and synthesizes forty years’of empirical research on the personality traits, preferences, decisionmaking styles, and characteristics of lawyers, and then relates these findings to the state of the legal profession. The final chapter discusses the comprehensive law movement.


Legal Profession Generally and New Forms of Law Practice:

Steven Keeva, Transforming Practices: Finding Joy and Satisfaction in the Legal Life (Contemporary Books 1999).  This ground-breaking book details how the practice of law can be transformed into a more satisfying, helping, healing profession.



Daniel Bowling & David Hoffman, Eds., Bringing Peace Into the Room: How the Personal Qualities of the Mediator Impact the Process of Conflict Resolution (Jossey-Bass, 2003).  This book challenges mediators to learn to be peace builders in the mediation process.


Barbara Ashley Phillips, The Mediation Field Guide:  Transcending Litigation and Resolving Conflicts in Your Business or Organization (Jossey-Bass 2001).  This book covers changes in the area of mediation towards a more holistic practice.


Therapeutic Jurisprudence:

David B. Wexler, Therapeutic Jurisprudence:  The Law as a Therapeutic Agent (Carolina Academic Press 1990).  This book introduced the concept of “therapeutic jurisprudence.” 


David B. Wexler & Bruce J. Winick, Essays in Therapeutic Jurisprudence (Carolina Academic Press 1991).  This is a collection of essays on how therapeutic jurisprudence can be applied in a variety of areas of the law.


David B. Wexler & Bruce J. Winick, Law in a Therapeutic Key:  Developments in Therapeutic Jurisprudence (Carolina Academic Press 1996).  This collection of essays adds to the 1991 collection and extends the application of therapeutic jurisprudence to new areas, such as employment law.


Dennis P. Stolle, David B. Wexler, & Bruce  J. Winick, Eds., Practicing Therapeutic Jurisprudence:  Law as a Helping Profession (Carolina Academic Press, 2000).  This book is intended for practicing lawyers as a guide for how to practice law therapeutically. 


Collaborative Law:

Stuart G. Webb & Ronald D. Ousky, How the Collaborative Divorce Method Offers Less Stress, Lower Cost, and Happier Kids Without Going to Court:  The Smart Divorce (Hudson Street Press, 2006).  This book is co-authored by the founder of collaborative law and is primarily intended to speak to potential clients of collaborative lawyers.


Pauline H. Tesler, Collaborative Law:  Achieving Effective Resolution in Divorce Without Litigation (American Bar Association 2001).  This book is authored by a pioneer and trainer in the collaborative law field, speaking primarily to lawyers who wish to become collaborative lawyers.


Transformative Mediation:

Robert A. Baruch Bush & Joseph P. Folger, The Promise of Mediation (Jossey-Bass Publishers 1994). While this book has a second edition, I really enjoy the first edition.  This book is the primary resource for understanding transformative mediation, written for mediators.  It is now in its second edition.


Preventive Law:

Robert M. Hardaway, Preventive Law: Materials on a Non Adversarial Legal Process (Anderson Publishing Co. 1997).  This book is a revision and update of preventive law founder Louis Brown’s classic textbook on preventive law. 


Spirituality and Law:

David Hall, The Spiritual Revitalization of the Legal Profession: A Search for Sacred Rivers (Edwin Mellen Press, 2005).  This book, written by law dean and university president David Hall, examines the need for a spiritual base in the practice of law.


Organizations and Websites


Please let me know any links that no longer work, thank you!


Therapeutic Jurisprudence: International Network on Therapeutic Jurisprudence Therapeutic Jurisprudence


Holistic Justice:  International Alliance of Holistic Lawyers (now dissolved)


Transformative Mediation:

Creative Problem Solving: McGill Center for Creative Problem Solving at California Western School of Law, San Diego, California CWSL Problem Solving Site


Collaborative Law:  International Academy of Collaborative Professionals’ website is the first link: (Minnesota)

Preventive Law: The Louis Brown Center for Preventive Law --


Problem Solving Courts: Center for Court Innovation -

Restorative Justice: 

Cutting Edge Law:         


Renaissance Lawyer Organization:


Daicoff’s article on the Comprehensive Law Movement:


Humanizing Legal Education website: Humanizing Legal Education Bibliography

Law student listserve:


Ethical Wills:

© Susan Daicoff, 2019.



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