Preventive

Preventive law (PL) primarily addresses how practicing lawyers can proactively improve the practice of law so as to minimize and avoid adversarial legal disputes and increase legal and emotional outcomes through careful client counseling and planning (Brown and Dauer, 1978; Hardway, 1997; Richards, 1992). Like preventive medicine that seeks to keep people healthy, PL seeks to keep people litigation-free (Hardway, 1997). PL encourages periodic 'legal checkups', updates on clients' lives, so as to improve legal planning to prevent future problems and conflicts (Dauer, 1990; Hardway, 1997). PL encourages identification of 'legal soft spots', anticipated legal trouble points, and seeks to develop strategies to avoid or minimize them (Casey and Rottman, 1998; Hardway, 1997). 'It emphasizes the lawyer's role as a planner and proposes that careful private ordering of affairs as a method of avoiding the high costs of litigation and ensuring desired outcomes and opportunities' (Stolle et al., 1997, p. 17). When problems do crop up, preventive law encourages a 'rewind technique' (Hardway, 1997, p. xlii) using the benefit of hindsight to discuss what could have been done at an earlier point to avoid legal problems. When combined with a TJ approach, PL encourages that legal actors look not only to 'legal soft spots' (areas that can lead to future legal trouble) but also to 'psycholegal soft spots' (Stolle et al., 1997; Wexler, 1998). These are areas where legal processes may not lead to a lawsuit, but may instead result in anxiety, depression, hurt feelings, family disruption, or general psychological distress (Wexler, 1998). 'Parallel to the preventive law field, judges who apply therapeutic jurisprudence principles look forpsychojudicial soft spots, areas in which judicial actions could lead to anti-therapeutic consequences. The recognition of these soft spots provides a therapeutic moment—an opportunity to promote a more therapeutic outcome' (Casey and Rottman, 1998, pp. 3-4).

Scholars have integrated TJ and PL to complement the strengths of each approach. 'Therapeutic jurisprudence alone lacks the practical procedures for law office application. Preventive law alone lacks an analytical framework for justifying emotional well-being as one priority in legal planning' (Stolle et al., 2000, p. 9). In combination with TJ, PL allows judges to practice in a way that prevents harm to and encourages healing of litigants, court participants, and the community.

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