Empathy: an essential element of legal practice or ‘never the twain shall meet’?

WESTABY, Chalen and JONES, Emma (2017). Empathy: an essential element of legal practice or ‘never the twain shall meet’? International Journal of the Legal Profession, 25 (1), 107-124.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1080/09695958.2017.1359615
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In a climate where the work of the legal profession is changing and evolving rapidly, this article considers the potential for empathy to be incorporated as an essential element of legal practice. This challenges the conceptions of legal practice held by many legal professionals and law students but draws on increasing scientific evidence demonstrating the interaction between cognition and affect and reflects the emotional realities of life in practice. This article will consider the different definitions of empathy and argue that it is necessary for it to be conceptualised in a way which draws upon both cognitive and affective elements. When empathy is interpreted in this way it can provide both a more effective form of practice and a deeper appreciation of ethics and values. This article will argue that to incorporate empathy in this way requires a richer, more nuanced consideration of the benefits and challenges involved in its use. However, embedding it throughout legal education, training and legal practice would more than reward such a careful evaluation of its role.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From Crossref via Jisc Publications Router.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Strategy and Management, Law
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities > Department of Law and Criminology
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/09695958.2017.1359615
Page Range: 107-124
SWORD Depositor: Jill Hazard
Depositing User: Jill Hazard
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2017 09:10
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 01:10
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/16544

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