The Good Lawyer: Seeking Quality in the Practice of Law

Hardcover | May 7, 2014

byDouglas O. Linder, Nancy Levit

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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 springfrom 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 aroundthe 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. Lawyersneed 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 facesthese 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.

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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 springfrom hard-to-identify foundational qualities n...

Douglas O. Linder is the Elmer N. Powell Peer Professor of Law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and the co-author of The Happy Lawyer. Nancy Levit, the Curators' and Edward D. Ellison Professor of Law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, is the co-author of The Happy Lawyer and the author of The Gender Line: Men, Wome...

other books by Douglas O. Linder

The Happy Lawyer: Making a Good Life in the Law
The Happy Lawyer: Making a Good Life in the Law

Hardcover|Aug 5 2010

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Kobo ebook|Jun 23 2010

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:May 7, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199360235

ISBN - 13:9780199360239

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Table of Contents

PrefaceThe Wolf at Lost LakeObsessed with QualityIntroductory Note1. The Good Lawyer is EmpatheticFeeling Clients' Pain on Thunderhead RanchThe Importance of Being EmpatheticUsing Empathy to Tell Better StoriesThe Origins and Science of EmpathyCan Lawyers Learn to Be More Empathetic?The Challenge of Developing Empathy in Law SchoolsIs More Empathy Always Better?The Empathy DebateDo We Want Judges to Be Empathetic?Empathy and Moral Action2. The Good Lawyer is CourageousA Profile in CouragePhysical CourageMoral CouragePsychological CourageCan We Learn Courage?Courage in Law SchoolsCodes and Courage: Two StoriesCourage and Justice3. The Good Lawyer Pursues Justice With IntegrityA Framed Corduroy JacketSeeking Justice for PeopleChattanooga Revisited: One Lawyer's Sense of JusticeIs the Pursuit of Justice Nothing More Than Helping Your Clients?'Big Picture' JusticeWhen It Is Your Job to Do JusticeThe Evolutionary Roots of Our Passion for JusticeEmotions, Reason, and Our Sense of JusticePursuing Justice, But with IntegrityThe Importance of HonestyCan Lawyers Be Honest All the Time?Honesty in the Practice'Let Justice Be Done Though the Heavens May Fall'Pursuing Justice with Passion4. The Good Lawyer Values Others in the Legal CommunityA Humble (But Very Famous) AttorneyRemembering What MattersThe Power of Humility: One Lawyer's Approach to NegotiationsMellow Beats BellowWhat to Do About IncivilityThe Idea of Political FraternityOur Political Differences: Whose Side Are You On?Can Liberals and Conservatives Be Friends?Roots of Our Political DifferencesThe Six Foundations for Moral Judgments'Follow the Sacredness' and Seek Diversity5. The Good Lawyer Uses Both Intuition and Deliberative ThinkingThe Medical Instrument That Wasn'tExpert Intuition Is Simply Good Pattern RecognitionThe Costs and Benefits of IntuitionConfirmation BiasMental Blind SpotsAll We Seee Is All There IsAnchoringToo Narrow FramingNegative Implicit AttitudesIt's Hard to Keep an Open Mind6. The Good Lawyer Thinks Realistically About the FutureWhat Research Reveals About the Predictive Abilities of LawyersWe Want to Believe the World Is More Predictable Than It IsHere Come the ComputersBeing Smart About ProbabilityDecision Trees, Game Theory and the Hope of a Better Settlement ProcessImagining the Future (An Amazing Human Trick)The Future Is Hard to SeePromise KeepingA Balance Between Knowing and Doubting7. The Good Lawyer Serves the True Interests of ClientsA Story of a Wise LawyerBeing Clear About AimsAdvocates and CounselorsThe Four Possible Aims of LawyersWhat'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 GoodnessEstablishing TrustInvolving the Client in the ProcessCategorizing and Framing the IssuesIdentifying and Serving the Client's True InterestsThinking Like a Judge, Not a Lawyer8. The Good Lawyer Has Ample WillpowerOne Persistent LawyerWillpower in a Stress-Filled ProfessionThe Importance of WillpowerMindsets of WillpowerWillpower LessonsOur Finite Supply of WillpowerCan Willpower Be Strengthened?Emotional Traps that Drain Willpower and Harm Decision-MakingMaking the Future Bigger9. The Good Lawyer is PersuasiveBeing Honest and CourageousBeing EmpatheticAppealing to Moral IntuitionsUsing Words and Sounds That StickAnchoring and FramingRespecting Opponents and Making Strategic ConcessionsPreparing Thoroughly10. Seeking QualityThe Trajectory of CareersThe Nature of Practice and What It Means for QualityCreating Environments Where Good Lawyers Can FlourishThe Scourge of Billable HoursWhat a Good Lawyer DoesFinding Work that Fits Your StrengthsIf You Are a Good Lawyer, Who Will Know?At Career's End: Remembrance of Things Past