It’s A Small World After All: Cultural Competence for Advocates in Dispute Resolution Processes
New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer
Cultural competence has become an ethical mandate for all neutrals and advocates who use dispute resolution. Even though conflict is a universal phenomenon, our expression and choice of how to resolve conflict is culture specific. As our world becomes increasingly smaller, and flatter, and our law practices become globalized, ethically responsible attorneys are recalibrating their ethical compass and replacing their ethnocentric lens with a culturally relative lens. Yes, even if you are a New York attorney who disavows any international practice and remains steadfastly tethered to the N.Y. Rules of Professional Conduct, you still need to be culturally competent. After all, one out of three New Yorkers is foreign-born, increasing the likelihood that your client-base will include clients from other cultures. And, even if your clients are not from a different culture, it is likely that your commercial clients will be engaging in our globalized business world with individuals and corporations from other cultures, extending your practice to global markets. Let’s not forget that as the attorney, you bring your own cultural values to the table.
Reprinted with permission from the New York State Bar Association.