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13 Nw. J. L. & Soc. Pol'y 1 (2017-2018)

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Copyright 2017 by Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law              Vol. 13, Issue 1 (2017)
Northwestern Journal of Law and Social Policy





Looking at Justice Through a Lens of Healing and

                                 Reconnection

                          Annalise   Buth   and  Lynn  Cohn*

                                 I.     INTRODUCTION

      On  March  10, 2017,  more  than 300  people  gathered in Lincoln  Hall, the oldest
lecture hall at Northwestern Pritzker School  of Law, for the 10th Annual   Northwestern
Journal of  Law  and  Social Policy  (JLSP)  Symposium,   Healing  Our  Justice System:
Restorative Justice and the Law.  They  sat in hard, old-fashioned, wooden booths, light
shining  through  stained glass windows   that represent  graduating law  school  classes
dating back  to 1860.1 The group  stood in sharp contrast to those who  historically filled
these  seats in terms  of gender,  race, ethnicity, background,  and  diversity of roles.
Activists, organizers, educators, community advocates, police officers, probation officers,
social workers, therapists, and others joined lawyers and law students to reflect on justice
and healing.
      This is the story of the Symposium. We   intentionally use the term story because
storytelling is at the heart of restorative justice. Storytelling expresses who we are and
allows us to connect with others: The  shortest distance between two people is a story.2
Legal  frameworks   often  value quantifiable, evidence-based   research and  data while
discounting the validity of stories. In sharing our story, we seek to challenge this notion.3
      In this piece, we hope   to capture the wisdom   and  perspectives gathered  at the
Symposium. We strive to honor the restorative value of speaking from our own
experiences. We  acknowledge   differences in perspectives about many of the issues raised
both  during the Symposium and in this story, and we invite questions, disagreement,
dialogue, and accountability.



Annalise (Annie) Buth is the M.R. Bauer Foundation Fellow in Dispute Resolution, and Lynn Cohn is the
Director of the Center on Negotiation and Mediation. We have deep gratitude for Marisa Fenn and Julia
Prochazka, the Journal of Law and Social Policy (JLSP) Symposium Editors, with whom we partnered for
the Symposium. Also a special thanks to Victoria Ryan, the Editor in Chief of JLSP, and Len Rubinowitz,
the Faculty Advisor for the JLSP. We are thankful for each person who attended the Symposium and added
to the richness of the day, including all of the Symposium speakers. We thank Cheryl Graves and Ora
Schub who planted the seeds for the Symposium many years ago, and others who have supported the
Center on Negotiation and Mediation on its restorative justice journey. We also appreciate the support that
Northwestern law student William Erlain provided during the writing process.
1 Letter Regarding Stained Glass Origins (Jan. 20, 1927),
http://www.law.northwestern.edu/history/documents/1927_StainedGlass.pdf.
2 Michale Gabriel, Learning and Growing Through Stories, JOHNS HOPKINS SCH. EDUC.: NEW HORIZONS
FOR LEARNING (1999), http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/lifelonglearning/early-childhood/learning-
growing/index.html.
3 We recognize that the conventional law school journal article format in some ways may run counter to our
story frame.

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