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Vol 21 No 10 Oct/Nov 2016

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The Good Lawyer: Seeking Quality in the Practice of Law


ISBN13: 9780199360239
Published: June 2014
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: USA
Format: Hardback
Price: £16.99



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Every lawyer wants to be a good lawyer. They want to do right by their clients, contribute to the professional community, become good colleagues, interact effectively with people of all persuasions, and choose the right cases.

All of these skills and behaviors are important, but they spring from hard-to-identify foundational qualities necessary for good lawyering. After focusing for three years on getting high grades and sharpening analytical skills, far too many lawyers leave law school without a real sense of what it takes to be a good lawyer.

In The Good Lawyer, a follow up to their book The Happy Lawyer, law professors Douglas O. Linder and Nancy Levit combine evidence from the latest social science research with numerous engaging accounts of able attorneys at work to explain just what makes a good lawyer. They organize the book around the qualities they see as crucial: courage, empathy, integrity, realism, a strong sense of justice, clarity of purpose, and an ability to transcend emotionalism.

But as the authors point out, each one must be apportioned in the right measure, and achieving the right balance is difficult. Lawyers need to know when to empathize and also when to detach; courage without an appreciation of consequences becomes recklessness. And what do you do in tricky situations, where the urge to deceive is high? How can you maintain focus through a mind-taxing (or mind-numbing) project?

Every lawyer faces these problems at some point - they're inherent in the nature of the work-but if properly recognized and approached, they can be overcome. It's not easy being good - quality is less something one grasps and hangs onto than a goal that requires constant striving and attention - but this engaging guide will serve as a handbook for any lawyer trying not only to figure out how to respond to difficult situations, but how to become a better - meaning both more competent and more virtuous - lawyer.

Subjects:
Other Jurisdictions , General Interest, USA
Contents:
PREFACE
THE WOLF AT LOST LAKE
OBSESSED WITH QUALITY
INTRODUCTORY NOTE

CHAPTER 1: THE GOOD LAWYER IS EMPATHETIC
FEELING CLIENTS' PAIN ON THUNDERHEAD RANCH
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EMPATHETIC
USING EMPATHY TO TELL BETTER STORIES
THE ORIGINS AND SCIENCE OF EMPATHY
CAN LAWYERS LEARN TO BE MORE EMPATHETIC?
THE CHALLENGE OF DEVELOPING EMPATHY IN LAW SCHOOLS
IS MORE EMPATHY ALWAYS BETTER?
THE EMPATHY DEBATE
DO WE WANT JUDGES TO BE EMPATHETIC?
EMPATHY AND MORAL ACTION

CHAPTER 2: THE GOOD LAWYER IS COURAGEOUS
A PROFILE IN COURAGE
PHYSICAL COURAGE
MORAL COURAGE
PSYCHOLOGICAL COURAGE
CAN WE LEARN COURAGE?
COURAGE IN LAW SCHOOLS
CODES AND COURAGE: TWO STORIES
COURAGE AND JUSTICE

CHAPTER 3: THE GOOD LAWYER PURSUES JUSTICE WITH INTEGRITY
A FRAMED CORDUROY JACKET
SEEKING JUSTICE FOR PEOPLE
CHATTANOOGA REVISITED: ONE LAWYER'S SENSE OF JUSTICE
IS THE PURSUIT OF JUSTICE NOTHING MORE THAN HELPING YOUR CLIENTS?
'BIG PICTURE' JUSTICE
WHEN IT IS YOUR JOB TO DO JUSTICE
THE EVOLUTIONARY ROOTS OF OUR PASSION FOR JUSTICE
EMOTIONS, REASON, AND OUR SENSE OF JUSTICE
PURSUING JUSTICE, BUT WITH INTEGRITY
THE IMPORTANCE OF HONESTY
CAN LAWYERS BE HONEST ALL THE TIME?
HONESTY IN THE PRACTICE
'LET JUSTICE BE DONE THOUGH THE HEAVENS MAY FALL'
PURSUING JUSTICE WITH PASSION

CHAPTER 4: THE GOOD LAWYER VALUES OTHERS IN THE LEGAL COMMUNITY
A HUMBLE (BUT VERY FAMOUS) ATTORNEY
REMEMBERING WHAT MATTERS
THE POWER OF HUMILITY: ONE LAWYER'S APPROACH TO NEGOTIATIONS
MELLOW BEATS BELLOW
WHAT TO DO ABOUT INCIVILITY
THE IDEA OF POLITICAL FRATERNITY
OUR POLITICAL DIFFERENCES: WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?
CAN LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES BE FRIENDS?
ROOTS OF OUR POLITICAL DIFFERENCES
THE SIX FOUNDATIONS FOR MORAL JUDGMENTS
'FOLLOW THE SACREDNESS' AND SEEK DIVERSITY

CHAPTER 5: THE GOOD LAWYER USES BOTH INTUTION AND DELIBERATIVE THINKING
THE MEDICAL INSTRUMENT THAT WASN'T
EXPERT INTUITION IS SIMPLY GOOD PATTERN RECOGNITION
THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF INTUITION
CONFIRMATION BIAS
MENTAL BLIND SPOTS
ALL WE SEE IS ALL THERE IS
ANCHORING
TOO NARROW FRAMING
NEGATIVE IMPLICIT ATTITUDES
IT'S HARD TO KEEP AN OPEN MIND

CHAPTER 6: THE GOOD LAWYER THINKS REALISTICALLY
ABOUT THE FUTURE
WHAT RESEARCH REVEALS ABOUT THE PREDICTIVE ABILITIES OF LAWYERS
WE WANT TO BELIEVE THE WORLD IS MORE PREDICTABLE THAN IT IS
HERE COME THE COMPUTERS
BEING SMART ABOUT PROBABILITY
DECISION TREES, GAME THEORY AND THE HOPE OF A BETTER SETTLEMENT PROCESS
IMAGINING THE FUTURE (AN AMAZING HUMAN TRICK)
THE FUTURE IS HARD TO SEE
PROMISE KEEPING
A BALANCE BETWEEN KNOWING AND DOUBTING

CHAPTER 7: THE GOOD LAWYER SERVES THE TRUE INTERESTS OF CLIENTS
A STORY OF A WISE LAWYER
BEING CLEAR ABOUT AIMS
ADVOCATES AND COUNSELORS
THE FOUR POSSIBLE AIMS OF LAWYERS
WHAT'S WRONG WITH 'WINNING IS EVERYTHING"?
LAWYERS AS HIRED GUNS: WHAT'S WRONG WITH MAXIMIZING CLIENT AUTONOMY?
GURU LAWYERS: WHAT'S WRONG WITH SIMPLY DOING RIGHT AS THE LAWYER SEES IT?
LAWYERS AS FRIENDS: AIMING FOR CLIENT GOODNESS
ESTABLISHING TRUST
INVOLVING THE CLIENT IN THE PROCESS
CATEGORIZING AND FRAMING THE ISSUES
IDENTIFYING AND SERVING THE CLIENT'S TRUE INTERESTS
THINKING LIKE A JUDGE, NOT A LAWYER

CHAPTER 8: THE GOOD LAWYER HAS AMPLE WILLPOWER
ONE PERSISTENT LAWYER
WILLPOWER IN A STRESS-FILLED PROFESSION
THE IMPORTANCE OF WILLPOWER
MINDSETS AND WILLPOWER
WILLPOWER LESSONS
OUR FINITE SUPPLY OF WILLPOWER
CAN WILLPOWER BE STRENGTHENED?
EMOTIONAL TRAPS THAT DRAIN WILLPOWER AND HARM DECISION-MAKING
MAKING THE FUTURE BIGGER

CHAPTER 9: THE GOOD LAWYER IS PERSUASIVE
BEING HONEST AND COURAGEOUS
BEING EMPATHETIC
APPEALING TO MORAL INTUITIONS
USING WORDS AND SOUNDS THAT STICK
ANCHORING AND FRAMING
RESPECTING OPPONENTS AND MAKING STRATEGIC CONCESSIONS
PREPARING THOROUGHLY

CHAPTER 10: SEEKING QUALITY
THE TRAJECTORY OF CAREERS
THE NATURE OF PRACTICE AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR QUALITY
CREATING ENVIRONMENTS WHERE GOOD LAWYERS CAN FLOURISH
THE SCOURGE OF BILLABLE HOURS
WHAT A GOOD LAWYER DOES
FINDING WORK THAT FITS YOUR STRENGTHS
IF YOU ARE A GOOD LAWYER, WHO WILL KNOW?
AT CAREER'S END: REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST