Professor Thomas D. Barton publishes his new book Preventive Law and Problem Solving: Lawyering for the Future


Preventive Law and Problem Solving: Lawyering for the Future explores the complex relationships between legal problems and the procedures employed for their prevention or resolution. It seeks to broaden our understanding of legal risks and the methods by which they may be addressed. Law is viewed as one important part of a system of ideas and methods that protects individuals and their relationships, even while facilitating wider human interactions.

The work traces the intricate connections among the risks and problems that people bring to law; the methods available to avoid those risks or redress those problems; the skills that lawyers employ to use those procedures effectively; the ethics with which lawyers and judges are expected to operate those procedures; the vision of truth that guides the system; and the broader human culture within which law, lawyers, and legal methods are shaped. Gradually, this system of mutually influencing parts is evolving a new paradigm for engaging legal problems. The book unravels the historic trends behind this movement, and suggests some of its many implications for judges, lawyers, and students.

Preventive Law and Problem Solving: Lawyering for the Future is designed for four audiences. First, it introduces a broad, socially connected understanding of legal systems and legal thinking for students who are considering, or just beginning, law study. Second, for those who have completed their first year of legal training, the book reflects on the assumptions that underpin the thinking and methods they have been struggling to master. Third, for those interested in legal theory, the book describes and explains a new paradigm for legal thought. Finally, practicing lawyers are offered examples of using the preventive/ problem solving approach in contract formation, project management, general business representation, domestic violence, and health care delivery.

For more information about the book, please contact Vandeplas Publishing at:

Vandeplas Publishing, LLC
801 International Parkway, 5th Floor
Lake Mary, Florida, 32746, USA
Teltephone: + 1 407-562-1947
Fax: +1 407-218-8966


Problem Solving: An Annotated Bibliography, Cumulative Supplement AUGUST 2000 by Phyllis C. Marion
The author is a Professor and Director of the Library at California Western School of Law. I wish to thank Amy Moberly, of the California Western library staff, for her assistance in proofreading this bibliography.

Click here for the CPS Bibliography here.



By Thomas D. Barton and James M. Cooper

Lawyers are typically regarded, and regard themselves, along only one dimension: the Fighter who advocates zealously toward vindicating the violated rights of a client. The aim of California Western School of Law, its Louis M. Brown Program in Preventive Law, and its McGill Center for Creative Problem Solving, is to explore and promote two other dimensions of lawyering: the Problem Solver and the Designer.

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Hacia Una Nueva Arquitectura:
La Creatividad En La Solución De Problemas Y La Evolución De La Ley (Spanish)

Una gran época ha comenzado.
Existe un nuevo espíritu…
Nuestra época ésta determinada, día a día, en su propio estilo.
Tristemente, nuestros ojos, no pueden todavía discernirlo.

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A Window Opens: Importing Horizontal Systems of Justice during a Time of Judicial Reform
James Michael Cooper

Since the many authoritarian regimes in Latin America came to an end, the U.S. and European governments, international aid agencies, multilateral financial institutions and development banks have assisted many states in the region in the transition towards democratic governance. Generally, lending and granting programs have focused on improving access to justice and promoting the rule of law in two distinct forms: The first is judicial reform, focusing on mechanisms by which the judiciary can exact justice in an independent, fair, and efficient manner, separate from political pressures. Programs in this arena have focused on increasing judicial budgets, training judges and other court employees in new procedures, and streamlining case management and other administration of justice tasks. The second form of rule of law programs relate to legal reform – the drafting of new model criminal, civil and administrative codes for promulgation and implementation in a developing free market economy.

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