Jack W. Burtch Jr. (pictured), an employment lawyer, writes about how lawyers can use the insight of Rogers in "The Lawyer As Counselor," Virginia Lawyer, April 2010. The first lesson: Not every legal problem has a legal solution. When attorneys make this assumption, we restrict our role to that of a technician.
Burtch writes that the Rogers approach compels lawyers to focus on the client's needs, values and attitudes. It forces us to focus on client-centered counseling, not lawyer-centered counseling. He writes: "Rogers believed that human beings seek to become self-actualized --- to achieve their full potential. The counselor's job is to show empathy, respect and understanding so clients can make healthy decisions for themselves and develop their own potential to the fullest extent."
Tomorrow, I’ll share an example when I was able to do this in my own practice.