Inspired by the Wonder of Poetry

Janet Ellen Raasch, Inspired by the Wonder of Poetry, A.B.A.
View the full article.


Can even the most cynical lawyer be softened by poetry?  Yes, according to Janet Ellen Rausch who describes a law firm retreat that incorporated poetry, mosaic building and a significant contribution to a local school library.  School children wrote letter of thanks to the attorneys and the lawyers responded.  This is community in action. 

Dr. Maya Angelou and David Whyte inspired the lawyers at Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher with their poetry.  Artist Synthia Saint James contributed with her design for a mosaic that the 800 lawyers constructed together.

William Wegner, a trial partner described the retreat.  “It was an experience that provided something for the spirit and soul of everyone in the firm.” 

Putting Relaxation Back Into Firm Retreats: Loosening Up the Lawyer Mind

Janet Ellen Raasch, Putting Relaxation Back Into Firm Retreats: Loosening Up the Lawyer Mind, 32 Law Prac. (Jan.-Feb. 2006).
View the full article.


Ms. Raasch writes that progressive law firms are making their annual retreats more engaging and productive through creative use of relaxation. Techniques have included a wide range, from talent shows and spas to paintball and horse whispering. Play and leisure can foster collaboration, strategic thinking, and problem-solving skills.

Patrick McKenna, explains that the most successful firm retreats have one or more of the following five principal goals: To develop a consensus among the firm members; to create a strategic plan; to conduct internal business; to provide skills training; and/or “to create an opportunity for lawyers to get to know one another in a relaxed setting.”

Read More