Vanderbilt Law Review


James R. Elkins

First Page



Shaffer suggests a new paradigm for law practice that is not based on rigid control of clients in an impersonal attorney-client relationship. He argues forcefully that disregard for the client's emotions ignores important "facts" that can be used in the law office and the legal process. Shaffer's work suggests the possibility of gaining personal satisfaction and of providing more adequate legal services by actively counseling and understanding clients. Such a humanistic approach to the practice of law can be rooted only in an awareness of the psychological and social defenses erected against both the attorney's clients and the attorney's impact on society. Attorneys must learn to deal with the human emotions and feelings of clients primarily through managing their own greatest fear-the fear of knowing who they truly are. Shaffer's prescription for law practice allows attorneys to ground and center themselves in "authentic" human experience through their work with clients. Legal Interviewing and Counseling offers a preliminary blueprint for that process.