Italy CLE Reflections
We are grateful to the following past participants for sharing their thoughts about our Italy Civility Promise CLE/CJE for Legal Professionals. Please click a thumbnail below to view the complete entry.
Read what participants are saying about "The Civility Promise" in Italy
“A fantastic, rich, thoughtful program with solid materials, teaching aids and seasoned presenters. A 'MUST TAKE' seminar.”
“Yes, I would recommend this program to anyone from any field. We all know a lot less about humanity and ourselves than we think we do.”
“Incredible experience. Best CLE I have ever attended. This is training for the soul.”
“One of a handful of life experiences I believe to have been personally and professionally transformative.”
“You never could have convinced me in advance that the art sessions would have had such an impact on civility. I’m very proud of my art work.”
“My participation gave me a goal of somehow getting engaged to mentor young lawyers”
"The trip is a great balance of excursions and classes. Got to know others and myself really well. Overwhelmed by the beauty of the area. Realized civility goes deep and is quite complex.”
“You guys nailed it. To bring a group of seasoned attorneys together and facilitate their growth as better human beings is pretty powerful stuff.”
From a spouse/significant other:
“The trip exceeded my expectations in every way. Location, food, gelato, people, art, food, food, food.”
Civility in Sovana
Written by James E. Hadley
Being in Sovana, in this beautiful setting, provided an opportunity for such contemplation that was enhanced by the quality of discourse shared with the other participants. This time away -- away from families, clients, the stress of legal practice -- creates a window to reflect, to contemplate, and then to explore new or altered ways of conducting ourselves and influencing others in our chosen profession.
Civility and the law
Written by Stacy Heard, Esq.
Published in the January 2012 edition of the Washington Chapter Association of Family & Conciliation Courts.
In October 2011, I had the extraordinary opportunity to attend and participate in an eight-day CLE in Sovana, Italy, with approximately 40 other attendees. The program is called “The Civility Promise in Italy: Experience Consciousness, Creativity, and Community,” conducted by the Seattle University School of Law and Robert’s Fund, founded by the president of Robert’s Fund and Seattle University Law School Professor, Paula Lustbader. The seminar is particularly unique because the participants stay in a small Tuscan town, one block long.
Civility: Life lessons in Tuscany
Written by Karen Murray, Italy CLE Participant October 2011
After having several months to reflect upon both my seminar take-aways and the ten relaxing days I stayed in the beautiful countryside of Tuscany, I fully realize that the civility promise could not have happened in Seattle or any other place that I or the other participants reside. It was crucial for all of us to travel across an ocean in order to immerse ourselves in the conversation of civility without any distractions in order to begin our exploration into the civility promise of consciousness.
Reflections on "The Civility Promise" in Italy
Written by Karen Taylor, Italy CLE Participant October 2011
You’re doing what? When I told people I was traveling to Italy to take a CLE on “Civility in the Law,” the response was a smile and a knowing look that I was off on a junket. It couldn’t have been further from the truth. The way we practice law affects outcome, and this CLE proved to be an incredible opportunity for learning and reflection—a place ideal for focus and relaxation—and a chance to reconnect and consider not only the value of civility in the legal profession, but also in other professions and in every part of our lives. Although most continuing legal education classes are held in a law school classroom or a meeting room of a hotel or convention center, choosing to hold “The Promise of Civility in the Legal Profession” in the small medieval town of Sovana, Italy provided a respite from grinding work and a fast-paced world. Steeped in history, culture, and art, Sovana gave us a greater opportunity to quiet the noise in our lives and consider how to make the legal profession and our world more civil.
Under the leadership of Seattle University’s law professors and staff, our class of twenty-two embarked on this journey exploring the themes of consciousness, creativity, and community under the umbrella of civility. Given that many attorneys work in a world filled with intense conflict, the classes offered many tools for remaining respectful while effectively advocating for others—the idea harkening back to “counselor at law.” Through group interaction and individual reflection, we identified and practiced ways of engaging in more civil behavior and considered ways to bring civility to the forefront in our lives. The CLE helped us realize that in all stages of legal practice inviting collegiality sets the tone for a greater chance of respectful advocacy and successful outcomes for both parties. These benefits of civility further proved enlightening, especially when considering that living within the parameters of more civil behavior improves physical and mental health.
As a complement to classroom work, along with several spouses and significant others, we were able to go on several excursions. These experiences allowed us to connect and enjoy each other’s company—to join in quiet conversation as we engaged in art, discovered Etruscan ruins and visited ancient hill towns, and ate many wonderful meals together talking about our various jobs, the daily classes, and our lives. So while this CLE enhanced our ability to foster a better legal community by giving every participant a chance to be more aware of civility, it also gave us a chance to build relationships.
On a personal level, this CLE was very meaningful; it was conducive to reflection and confirmed my belief that advocacy does not have to equate with hostility and that practicing law does not have to lead to the many health and social problems that afflict attorneys. Through a more respectful practice so many aspects of the negative can be decreased or avoided. There is hope for a more civil profession. The civility movement, thanks to Robert’s Fund under the direction of Paula Lustbader and the foresight of Seattle University School of Law, is just the place to get onboard.