THINK LIKE A (WHOLE) LAWYER
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reflective tools into the individual experience which provide students with
a framework within which to reflect on their autonomy, self-direction, and
possible transformation, while recognizing that students vary in their desire
to critically reflect and in the confidence they have in so doing
.
16
VI. Dialogue
Dialogue is an essential tool for development and promotion of transforma-
tion. Individual experience and critical reflection play out in the dialogue el-
ement. Conversations with oneself and others about the truth, appropriate-
ness, authenticity, and comprehensibility of new material encourage trans-
formation of habits of mind. Law school administrators, especially those
in student services, may have an edge over law professors when encour-
aging dialogue. Dialogue is not just analytical but rather requires delving
into highly personal and self-disclosing information. Facilitators who have
experience with counseling and dealing with raw emotions fare better at
encouraging transformative dialogue.
The atmosphere surrounding the dialogue is critically important. Focus
should be paid to creating a safe environment, open to the sharing of vary-
ing viewpoints which will be treated empathetically by the others — whether
administrators, faculty, or other students — involved. The facilitator should
ensure that there is equal opportunity to participate and act as a guiding
mentor. Additionally, it is important to note that the student must be will-
ing to share and participate in the dialogue. For instance, Constitutional
Law classes cover many cases that incite strong feelings: for instance
16 See Elizabeth Smith,
Teaching Critical Reflection
,
.
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