Welcome

In an era too often marked by acts of incivility, Robert’s Fund aims to elevate the way we treat one another in the legal profession and to inspire acts of courtesy, kindness, and compassion among members of the profession. Increased civility demonstrably improves outcomes for legal professionals and the people that they serve. And because legal professionals profoundly influence society, even outside their formal work, their behavior often sets the tenor of corporate, political, and social interactions. View information about who we are and what we do

Civility Speaks: Articles & Essays

Resources and media on civility

Robert’s Fund has created a resource bank of abstracts, essays, articles, and other media on civility from thoughtful leaders and eminent thinkers from across the country.

View the articles below, or search by clicking a category tag:

Civility Center ArticlesCharacteristics of CivilityCosts of Incivility Pillars of CivilityStrategies to Foster CivilityEthics and CivilityAll Articles

 


Entries in ABA Journal (3)

Thursday
Apr092015

Be Nice: More States Are Treating Incivility as a Possible Ethics Violation

G. M. Filisko, Be Nice: More States Are Treating Incivility as a Possible Ethics Violation, A.B.A J. (April 2012)
View the full article.

Summary

Issues of incivility in the legal profession are becoming a greater concern given the heated general tone of public discourse.  Incivility may be on the rise because of the increase in pleadings and discovery, the pressure lawyers are under to bill their hours, and the media portrayal of lawyers that give clients an idea of how their lawyer ought to behave and give the lawyer an idea of how he/she ought to behave.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar202015

Lose the Box

Steven Keeva, Lose the Box (Sept. 12, 2004, 11:46 AM CST), A.B.A. J.
View the full article.

Summary

Mr. Keeva explores the loss of creativity in law school. He observes that when law students’ motivations shift from internal to external ones — a well-documented process in the first year of law school — they often lose their creativity at the same time.

The California Western Law School’s focus on solving legal problems is a valuable shift in sustaining the creative juices for law students. Thomas Barton, who teaches creative problem-solving and preventative law at Cal Western, believes our communities require well-solved problems. In addition “doing creative work feels great.”

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar202015

Law Prof Teaches Meditation Techniques for Lawyers

Leslie A. Gordon, Law Prof Teaches Meditation Techniques for Lawyers, A.B.A. J. (Feb. 1, 2014)
View the full article.

Summary

Professor Charles Halpern is currently a scholar in residence at University of California at Berkeley’s Boalt Hall and director of the Berkeley Initiative for Mindfulness in Law. He is a pioneer in the contemplative law movement, having led meditation retreats for law professors and law students in the 1990’s for Yale Law School. He currently teaches a course on effective and sustainable law practice at Boalt Hall and offers retreats for legal professionals in Marin County, California. 

Prof. Halpern explains that through a regular practice of reflection and meditation, lawyers learn

“a cluster of emotional intelligence skills that are undervalued in legal practice and education.”

In addition, such practices enhance “listening skills, improve…focused attention in complex situations and enable…attorneys to make empathetic connections with others.”