October 20, 2013
We had New York Times journalist Tina Rosenberg visit the law school this week in honor of the ABA’s Mediation Week and she was fascinating. First, she is a recipient of the MacArthur “genius” grant which she used to travel to South America and lived there for several years. Second, she won a Pulitzer Prize for her second book, written about the fall of communism. And those were not even the reasons we invited her! Her “Fixes” column in the Times focuses on “solutions journalism”–the idea that journalists can cover what works as well as what the problems are around the world. In her talk to students, she discussed how solutions journalism is one response to the “argument culture” also shared by lawyers and we talked about how the ADR movement is similar in many ways–trying to create a shift in how lawyers think of themselves and their role. Tina’s most recent book–Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World–focuses on another type of persuasion that relates to lawyering and mediating skills. Really eye-opening in a variety of ways–and I am coining the phrase Solutions Lawyering right now. I am also going to read Join the Club and think more carefully about how we teach ethics–Tina would argue that only pointing out the bad behavior might not be nearly as persuasive as celebrating, and making normal, the good behavior. Hmmmm–much to contemplate. Link here to a blog post about her visit with our own distinguished journalist in residence–Mike Gousha–and here is a link to the video of her visit with him.
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