Stu Webb, Minnesota, USA
Meet Stu Webb. Many of you already know Stu as the founder of Collaborative Law. In this interview we are going to DIVE DEEP and explore the roles of non-duality and love based consciousness within the legal system and life.
These changing times have revealed the real potential to move from the vertical hierarchy to a more horizontal equality.
Some other things you may or may not know about Stu...
He grew up in Rolfe, Iowa, a small farming community. He had one sister and recalls he enjoyed lots of freedom as a child. His family owned a drug store started by Stu's grandfather in 1889, which was passed on to his father and then to him ‐ all pharmacists. It was a typical drug store of the era, complete with a great soda fountain ("All the root beer you could drink ﬁr a nickel" until there was sugar shortage in WWII.)
After graduating from the University of Wisconsin, he served as an oﬃcer in the Navy during the Korean War. Fortunately, he reflects, the war was in negotiations, so he never had to die!
When they let him out, he went back to Rolfe and the drug store. After his father died, he stayed on for several years, then sold the store in 1961 and went to law school at the University of Iowa, together with his then wife, Barb, and 3 small children, Kim, Lisa and Craig.
Stu started practicing law in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1964 and retired in 2014 after 50 years of practice. He specialized in divorce work which he found to be "awful stressful stuﬀ".
In the 60's he became an alcoholic and sought treatment in AA. In the '70's he and Barb were divorced. The 1970's were grim for Stu and he was involuntarily committed to mental health facilities 11 times over that decade for manic stuﬀ: a manic-depressive syndrome with the depressions as bad for him as the 'manics' were for those close to him. He was somehow able to keep his solo practice going through all that. He has been sober since 1975!
He then married Martha Roberts in 1982. He became a member and associate director of a small Tibetan Buddhist center for 20 years until they lost their Lama in 2011. He committed to a meditation practice for 25 years. In the '80's he wrote a booklet, "The Serenity Space". After searching, searching and searching for years, he says his wonderful teacher, Rupert Spira, helped him to achieve non-duality.
He was ready to quit his law practice in 1990, but instead developed a new way to practice law: Collaborative Law (now also called Collaborative Practice). He co-authored the book “Collaborative Way to Divorce” with Ron Ousky. Collaborative Practice started with Stu alone and now has approximately 35,000 practitioners in 128 countries!
In collaborative work, the practitioners work with the clients out of court and if settlement cannot be reached, all the professionals involved withdraw and the parties go to court or ﬁnd another way to resolve their issues. Here, all court 'wars' are avoided and about 90% of cases are settled. Practitioners now include ﬁnancial folks, mental health practitioners and child specialists, which adds immeasurably to the effectiveness of collaborative work.
He enjoys retirement at Parkshore, a Senior Apartment campus, with wonderful folks and a great feeling. He finds that old folks are kids inside. His other loves are reading, jazz and books on higher consciousness. He spends time practising his saxophone and taking walks with Martha.
He reflects that the drug, Lithium, which kept him sane for a long time, was making him an old man at 83. After resulting health crises, they took him oﬀ Lithium, and saw that all his negative symptoms miraculously disappeared. He says it was like being reborn and feel like he has the energy of a 26 year old!!
He is truly an inspiration of how we can make a shift in our lives.