Michael Thomas Colatrella Jr.
University of the Pacific – McGeorge School of Law
September 13, 2011
Pacific McGeorge School of Law Research Paper No. 11-04
This interdisciplinary Article explores why interpersonal conflict management principles and skills are essential to good lawyering and, thus, why law schools should teach these principles and skills to all their students. In demonstrating the immense practical value an understanding of interpersonal conflict management principles and skills have in the practice of law, this Article examines case studies involving organizations that have dramatically reduced legal costs, among other benefits, by abandoning a solely legalistic approach to conflict and embracing conflict management principles. The lessons learned from these studies and the interpersonal conflict management principles that underlie them support the idea that the legal profession’s transformation from one that emphasizes a narrower legalistic approach to one that embraces a broader conflict management approach applies to all lawyers and benefits all clients.