Cultural Awareness in a Law Firm: Importance of Understanding Muslim, Indian, and/or Pakistani Cultures to Solve Problems
When you are facing a significant legal matter, whether it is a family law matter such as a divorce or a business dispute, you want to have an experienced attorney who understands your background and the specific cultural issues that may be affecting or influencing your case. While many lawyers and clients alike do not immediately think about the ways in which cultural or religious differences can impact a divorce case or a commercial law contract, it is important to consider how these differences can influence one or both parties and for everyone involved in the case to respect such cultural differences.
In particular, members of the Muslim community, especially with familial ties to India and Pakistan, tend to have different cultural understandings and practices than the ones that are more typical of Western societies. We want to say more about the importance of cultural awareness and respect in solving legal problems.
Preventing Cultural Bias in Legal Proceedings
Many Muslims in DuPage County, especially those from families with ties to Pakistan and India, know that American culture often promotes Western values without paying attention to the cultural and religious distinctions among people actually living and working in the United States. When we fail to recognize and understand cultural differences, there is a risk of implicit (and sometimes explicit) bias. An article in the University of Michigan Law School Scholarship Repository discusses the ways in which cultural misunderstandings and manifestations of bias are more likely to occur in the legal profession and in relationships with clients when there is a lack of attention to cultural difference. Why are cultural differences important? As the article emphasizes, culture affects the way we experience the world and the people in it.
Generally speaking, non-Western cultures tend to be more collectively focused, considering the good of family and community over the benefits to a single individual. Differently, Western culture, which often feels like the norm even in diverse urban areas of the U.S., tends to be more individualistic. Rather than thinking about the ways in which legal issues will affect families and communities on the whole, many Americans — including lawyers — tend to focus on the needs of the individual client.
To prevent bias from affecting a legal case, it is essential to have an attorney who understands cultural differences, and who respects and elevates non-Western cultural practices.
Islamic Divorce and Islamic Business Law
While the dedicated attorneys at Farooqi & Husain Law Office are committed to serving our clients’ specific needs, we also know that tenets of non-Western culture are important to many of our clients. In business dealings, for example, we know that our clients often want to focus on communication and compromise rather than litigation. Or, for example, members of the Muslim community in DuPage County might want to consider the needs of the community more generally before focusing entirely on a benefit to the individual.
In addition, Islamic divorce and Islamic commercial law play an important role for many Muslims in DuPage County. We regularly assist clients with matters concerning Islamic divorce and Islamic commercial law, helping to prevent the intrusion of cultural and religious bias into the proceedings.
Contact an Oakbrook Terrace Lawyer
At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, we have spent years serving members of the Muslim community in DuPage County, and we are committed to providing culturally sensitive representation to each of our clients. We handle a wide variety of legal issues for Muslims in the Chicago suburbs, from family law and immigration matters to corporate law and small business issues. Many of our clients come from Indian or Pakistani backgrounds, while others have legal matters that are influenced by different regional practices of Islam.
An experienced DuPage County attorney at our firm can speak with you today about your legal case. Contact Farooqi & Husain Law Office for more information.