This past year I came across a terrific article by Professor Ruth Anne Robbins on using archetypes to develop a client’s story. (Harry Potter, Ruby Slippers and Merlin: Telling the Client’s Story Using the Characters and Paradigm of the Archetypal Hero’s Journey, 29 Seattle U. L. Rev. 767 (2006)). An archetype is an innate prototype, or epitome, of a personality. The Swiss psychologist Carl Jung advanced the theory that some personality types or characteristics are universally recognized. The American mythologist Joseph Campbell was influenced by Carl Jung’s work on archetypes and considered how archetypes manifest in mythology. Professor Robbins examines how Jung’s and Campbell’s theories can be used in a practical litigation and courtroom setting.
In her article, Professor Robbins suggests that archetypes, as universally recognized symbols, can be used to create a compelling image of a client. As Professor Robbins states, “Because people respond — instinctively and intuitively — to certain recurring story patterns and character archetypes, lawyers should systematically and deliberately integrate into their storytelling the larger picture of their clients’ goals by subtly portraying their individual clients as heroes on a particular life path.” (768-69.) The key to using archetypes is to tap into a judge or jury’s unconscious to align the client’s story with a hero’s transformative journey.
How do you put your client on the path of a hero’s journey? Continue reading “What’s Your Archetype?”