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The CIL has launched WOLELA 2016!

Women Leading in Law

WOLELA is a national network of women lawyers committed to their personal and professional development. Lawyers who join the network sign up for a year long process in a new paradigm of leadership development for the legal profession: integrative and authentic female leadership. This process takes place in 10 evening sessions held once a month over the course of the year as well as in formal and informal conversations and networking opportunities between sessions.
WOLELA is run on a yearly subscription basis. You can join at any time, and pay a prorata fee for the remaining months of the year. 
WOLELA is a community of lawyers who undertake the WOLELA leadership journey together. We encourage members to attend as many of the 10 sessions as you are able to, although we understand sometimes you might not be able to make it. In between sessions you will have access to the online platform to stay connected with the other members and be offered webinars with international experts in Integrative Law. We’ll also send you resources and articles related to the year program. WOLELA members will have access to executive coaching at a reduced cost and the choice to attend the Centre for Integrative Law’s annual women lawyers’ conference: Finding New Ways for Women to Lead in Law.
Visit the WOLELA WEBSITE now to register or to find out more.
 WOLELA was created as a result of what the delegates asked for at our 2015 Finding New Ways for Women to Lead in  Law conference. See the video of the conference below.

Finding New Ways for Women to Lead in Law 2015 Final from Amanda on Vimeo.


The Centre for Integrative Law & UCT’s Law@Work Division would like to express our deepest thanks to all our sponsors, speakers & delegates for the magic that happened on Friday 18 September at the first Women in Law & Leadership Summit: Finding New Ways for Women to Lead in Law.

There’s no doubt the event was ambitious: to create a conference intended “to provide the space physically, intellectually and emotionally in which women lawyers can work together to effect much needed changes in their teams, their organisations and in the legal system” – it was a huge goal.

But the feedback we received tells us that somehow we managed this.

The speakers were applauded for their courage, their bravery and their vulnerability. We were humbled by the sharing that took place and so encouraged that we keep hearing over and over again how much it meant to the delegates there that the speakers felt able to share their authentic selves. What happened in that room was unheard of at a legal conference. As one delegate said: “Calling what happened on Friday a conference doesn’t do it justice. It was about healing.”


WHAT PEOPLE SAID: (a few of the testimonials)

“Absolutely mind-blowing! Everything and more that I needed right now. Eye-opening, heart-warming and a soul-searching experience”.

“The conference afforded all of us an opportunity to interact, to tell untold stories, to share our vulnerabilities and to allow our deepest feelings, thoughts and emotions to break through the surface. We left the Summit feeling refreshed, awakened, inspired and empowered. We are still carried by the power of resilience and radiating positive energy. This was a great step for deep healing in body, mind & soul.

“Cannot believe how much value/thought/perspective I got out of your fabulous summit on Friday and how I nearly didn’t get there!”

“Inspirational. I cannot believe a 1 day session changed what I think about myself”.

“Informative. The panelists were awesome.”

“Awesome. Worth every minute”.

“Dynamic and blew me away.”

“I am so thankful for the way women shared their personal experiences. Thank you.”

“Amazing. Very insightful and relevant to what women are experiencing in law”.

“I would like to take this opportunity extend my heartfelt appreciation to you and your team for hitting the mark over the Women in Law Conference.”

“Amazing! On point!”

We will definitely be running Finding New Ways in 2016. The Centre for Integrative Law is looking at running the event in Johannesburg next year too. Already we have had requests from current and new sponsors to come on board.

By request the CIL will be running “Lean-In” groups monthly based on the content, style and methodology of Finding New Ways. It will be on a subscription basis for the year (10 sessions a year, you pay for 8 and come to those that are of interest/ timing works for you) They will be run by our facilitators and feature topics such as:

  • coaching vs mentoring
  • understanding sponsorship
  • Mindfulness training for lawyers
  • Business development skills for the would-be partner
  • Managing a team
  • Maternity leave & your career: get the support you need

If you personally or your firm would like to be involved in these groups, in JHB or CT please contact us.


UCTLaw@Work in partnership with the Centre for Integrative Law are excited to present South Africa’s first Women in Law & Leadership Summit: Finding New Ways for Women to Lead in Law. This groundbreaking, long overdue event has been structured to provide a space in which women lawyers can be inspired, uplifted, supported and challenged to reach their full potential personally and professionally. The Women in Law & Leadership Summit convenes preeminent women in law including law firm partners and associates, in-house counsel, judges, government officials, law school professors, and law students.

Finding New Ways for Women to Lead in Law is an interactive summit, providing the space physically, intellectually and emotionally in which women lawyers can work together to effect much needed changes in their teams, their organisations and in the legal system. Through real-life examples from business, academia, government, and law practice, participants will examine a wide range of issues including how they can successfully lead their legal institutions to get results in critical areas such as parity in compensation, best practice and innovation around mentoring, sponsorship, business development, networking and leadership. This is an opportunity for younger women to learn from the experience of senior level attorneys.




“Tomorrow’s world of law will be so different to yesterday’s and today’s that the contrast will be psychologically and organisationally disruptive.”

 Tomorrow’s Naked Lawyer by Chrissie Lightfoot

 (extract from foreword)


We are at a moment in legal history that requires a fundamental re-organization towards problem solving and a new operating system to successfully address our global epidemic of chronic conflict.

Anyone who is working to transform the legal system and legal profession so that it can meet the goals a legal system is intended to meet, may fall under this umbrella term “Integrative Law Movement”.

As viewed by the movement, the basic goals of a legal system include but are not limited to providing access to justice; designing, managing, and healing relationships; and providing stable, organic, flexible structures for a just, stable and harmonious community.

Unless you have your head in the sand, you’ve probably noticed that there are many parts of the law not working so well. In the system generally we have court models that produce fragmented, compartmentalized outcomes which do not resolve the core problems or produce positive societal or individual satisfaction. That is to say, so often these days the winner of a court battle is as dissatisfied as the loser. There’s something wrong with the system! Even in criminal cases many victims don’t get what they wanted from the process either – but that’s another part of the story. (see Restorative Justice to learn about this aspect).

The good news is that everywhere there are lawyers and law firms are starting to shift consciously from a rigid, hierarchical, left-brain, win/lose mindset to a more intuitive, inclusive, inter-connected world view. These shifts will not only change the perception of the legal profession in the public’s eye but will also allow lawyers to fulfil their client’s needs in a more authentic way. All over the world new legal practices and processes are arising in response to these issues. The Centre for Integrative Law is helping people inside and outside the profession to learn about the changes.

One example of a development in Integrative Law is contract lawyers who are pioneering ways to  draft more conscious contracts, that strengthen relationships instead of setting up adversarial relationships from the start. Not so many lawyers are onto this yet as it is NOT what we’re taught at law school. The change here is being driven by conscious businesses who are rejecting the archaic, adversarial and impenetrable language of traditional contracts.

Take 3 minutes to see what we mean.




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