Basic Introduction to the Conscious Contracts®Approach

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Conscious Contracts® is a registered trademark for a process of relational contract formation. It is consistent with many of the best practices of modern contracts like plain language, design thinking, visuals, but has distinctive elements of its own:

  • The Touchstone helps create the true meeting of the minds among the parties and makes sure there is alignment of purpose and values.
  • The Addressing Change & Engaging Disagreement (ACED Clause) allows the parties to design a sustainable culture including how they will communicate, manage change, engage disagreements and maintain a more conscious culture.  

Used on every continent, this model helps to build trust and certainty in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world.  Practitioners are often trained in nonviolent communication, restorative justice, collaborative practice, mediation, and other skills that expand their toolkit and capacity to practice in a new paradigm approach. Most participants are lawyers but we have also trained coaches, consultants, mediators, and entrepreneurs.

This is the Basics course. Certification requires 12 hours of Basics, reading the book Discovering Agreement, and achieving milestones which are then reviewed by a portfolio committee.   (See 

Thursdays in these time zones: 
  • 3 p.m. US Pacific Time
  • 2 p.m. Alaska Time
  • 12 noon Hawaiian Time
  • 7 p.m. Atlantic Time

By Zoom

Thursdays from May 2 to June 20
6 p.m. US Eastern

Fridays in these time zones:
  • Hong Kong/Perth 6 a.m.
  • Adelaide  7:30 a.m.
  • Brisbane/Melbourne 8 a.m. 

Your Facilitator and Teacher

J. Kim Wright, J.D. For a more complete bio, see https://jkimwright.com/

Kim Wright began to explore innovative ways of drafting contracts early in her career as lawyer in the USA. In 2010, she met Alalá Linda (formerly known as Linda Alvarez) and the Conscious Contracts® process was born. Kim and Alala have continued to collaborate and refine the process which Alala wrote about in her book, Discovering Agreement.  

In the last decade,  Kim has trained lawyers and entrepreneurs on six continents.  When the pandemic curtailed her travel, she moved the work online. In the last two years, she has designed, taught, and co-taught a law school clinic at Quinnipiac University School of Law and several Basics and Certification Courses.

Kim majored in Business Management and International Studies at Warren Wilson College and has been a business owner for more than 40 years. She is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Law where she won awards for Legal Drafting. 

Session Overview

This is the basic outline.  Sometimes participants will ask questions that raise issues out of order or need to spend more (or less) time on a topic. Our schedule is flexible enough to bend with the needs of the participants. 

 

1. Reinventing Contracts: An Overview & Shift of Mindset  

In this session, we will introduce ourselves, look over the outline of sessions, and  give an overview of the Conscious Contracts® process and how it fits into the changes happening in business and law. In our exploration, we will discuss the paradigm shift from the adversarial mindset to the relational mindset.  We will also introduce the Workbook that will guide us through the process. 

2. The Touchstone: A Foundation of Values

This session introduces one of the cornerstones of the Conscious Contracts process: The Touchstone. We will see how the values provide a foundation for the contract, how they build relationships, and how they inoculate the parties for future conflicts. You will begin to build your own Touchstone and co-create a hypothetical contract, working with a team of classmates. 

3.  The Operating Manual for Me

In this session, we will investigate what it takes to work collaboratively with another person.  We’ll explore issues like “How do you usually resolve conflict?” and “What are your strengths?”
  

4. Addressing Change & Engaging Disagreement

In this other cornerstone, the Accord or Harmony Clause, we will custom-design a conversation structure for having hard conversations, making decisions, and returning to the relationship. We will design a personalized response to change and engaging disagreement that allows for our human responses.

5. Negotiating Terms from Values: Creating the Action Plan 

We can’t use the old methods of arm-twisting and intimidation in negotiating the terms of the agreement, so what do we use? We’ll explore some more tools and techniques for co-creating terms that work for everyone.

6. Drafting & Designing

Plain, relational language is a basic requirement for the drafting process which pulls together the pieces of what we’ve been working on. We’ll share some examples of clauses that will help you to visualize your own drafting process. In this segment, we will also share some design and visual contract elements. 

7. The Lawyers’ Role and Ethical Duties in the Process

What is the role of a lawyer in the Conscious Contracts process?  Are we advocates, coaches, neutrals, or something else?  In this segment, we will answer questions about how to approach clients, engagement practices, and ethical duties. 
 

8. Putting together the pieces  

In this last segment, we will share our contracts with all of the components. Your teacher will answer questions and we will discuss how to incorporate what you’ve learned into your practice.  We’ll discuss next steps for those who wish to continue the certification process. 

 
 
 
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Time Commitment

 

This is an experiential course. In addition to the 90 minutes per week of class time, you will have homework. Each week, expect to spend an average of 1 to 2 hours on activities outside of class. You will be working with classmates who will be depending on you.

 

While it is possible to record calls, Zoom will not record the experiential segments of the course so please plan to attend in person.

 

Financial Commitment

 

The course costs US $675 which is payable through PayPal.   Installment plans are available for an additional fee. 

Language of Instruction

This program will be offered in English.  Please check our scheduled trainings for other languages.  (Currently, we train in English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and German.)

 

Recommended Reading

 

Discovering Agreement: Contracts that Turn Conflict Into Creativity

 

CLE/CPD Credit

 

Our participants are from around the world and represent different professions as well as jurisdictions. It is not practical to apply for continuing education credits is so many different circumstances. However, many jurisdictions are self-reporting or will allow you to apply for credit from a course offered outside your local area. We are happy to provide you with outlines, materials, credentials, and agendas to help you get credit from your local accreditation board.

Cancellation Policy

 

Cancellations received more than 2 weeks before the class commences will be given a full refund.  After that, we will refund 50% or apply the funds to a future class. 

 

Sponsorship

 

This program is also presented by Cutting Edge Law Enterprises, Inc. A Florida social purpose organization.

More Questions?

Email kim@consciouscontracts.com