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Nonprofit

Integrative Law Institute at Commonweal

Joined in April 2012

About Us

The Integrative Law Institute at Commonweal helps lawyers become problem solvers rather than gladiators. Our mission is to return the practice of law to its original purpose as a healing profession. We provide continuing educational programs grounded in the idea that conflict can best be understood as a manifestation of a dysfunctional human system rather than as a problem that can be resolved through the clash of conflicting legal rights and entitlements. ILI Director Pauline H.Tesler is a pioneer in Interdisciplinary Collaborative Legal Practice who teaches lawyers to be peacemakers.

ILI’s programs bring to lawyers, judges, and law professors:

  • A new science-based jurisprudence integrating emerging knowledge from positive psychology, neuroscience, human needs theory, and body-mind awareness practices
  • Practical interdisciplinary techniques for addressing human conflicts constructively, not solely as legal problems, but across the many dimensions in which conflict impacts the lives of people experiencing it


Our adversarial “winner take all” legal system, rooted in medieval trial-by-combat and 18th century rationalism, too often harms the physical and emotional health of people experiencing ordinary interpersonal conflicts, prolonging the struggle and failing to achieve durable resolution for the disputants. Our courts operate based on beliefs that ignore current scientific understandings about how humans experience conflict and make choices, and the services lawyers and judges currently are taught to provide often work at cross purposes to biological and psychological facts about people in conflict.


This poor fit between human needs and professional legal dispute resolution/conflict resolution services wreaks particular destruction in families, where drawn-out divorce proceedings can destroy ex-spouses’ ability to cooperate in raising their children. Similar unintended harms abound in probate, employment, sexual harassment, medical malpractice and other arenas of litigation. ILI teaches lawyers and judges new and better ways to resolve conflict, heal breaches in the social fabric, and work effectively as our culture’s peacemakers. The methods taught by ILI integrate traditional practices, creative conflict resolution tools, and front line research discoveries from the biological and social sciences.

The Integrative Law Institute at Commonweal helps lawyers become problem solvers rather than gladiators. Our mission is to return the practice of law to its original purpose as a healing profession. We provide continuing educational…

Issue Areas Include

  • Civic Engagement
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Family
  • Policy

Location

  • 38 Miller Ave. #128
    Mill Valley, CA 94941

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