We’re not born with empathy; it’s a useful skill that needs to be developed. Here are a few suggestions on how lawyers can develop this ability.
When U.S. President Barack Obama nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the nation’s Supreme Court back in 2009, he was slammed for making empathy one of his main criteria in the appointment. Obama’s critics say empathy has no place in law because things like politics, feelings, and preferences would make judicial decisions partial.
Obama’s critics say empathy has no place
in law because things like politics,
feelings, and preferences would make
judicial decisions partial.
There seems to be some misunderstanding to what Obama meant by empathy in law. In his book The Audacity of Hope, Obama describes empathy as “a call to stand in somebody else’s shoes and see through their eyes”. Empathy in law isn’t about crying over the consequences of a defendant’s actions in the middle of a trial, or giving certain people an advantage over others because they’re not financially well off. Empathy is the ability to look at the law from more than one viewpoint.
image: Village Lawyer http://j.mp/1gu3BeN