Essential Qualities of the Professional Lawyer
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Today's new lawyers and law students find themselves entering an American legal profession that is in the midst of disruptive innovation in the way legal services are provided and law practices are organized. More than ever, new and aspiring lawyers must both (i) internalize those professional values and qualities that build resilience in an era of seismic professional change, and (ii) be exposed early and broadly to the lawyer skill sets and habits that engender professional success. This essential resource addresses a widely observed gap in legal education and professionalism materials on professional development in a practice-focused context.
William M. Sullivan, chief author of Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law, the ground-breaking report of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, notes in this book's Foreword the need for development of resilience by new lawyers as part of professional formation, and observes, "This book speaks directly to that need in a useful and eminently wise way. The authors provide tools and concepts that can successfully guide beginners in the law through an increasingly uncertain and challenging career landscape." This volume will help students and new lawyers meet the challenge of developing a sense of direction and competencies for navigating uncertainty, as well as a sense of purpose in identifying with the larger values of the profession, including access to justice and service to society.
Broadly conceived and presented in 20 distinct resource-rich chapters, the book offers special guidance for women for starting legal careers (Roberta Liebenberg) and speaks persuasively on the need for inclusive thinking on the part of today's practitioners both as a professional ideal and as a strategy for success (Arin Reeves). The chapter on e-lawyering (Stephanie Kimbro) offers invaluable insights on the dos and donts of social media use from a professionalism perspective, as well as up-to-date Internet marketing guidance. The qualities addressed in this book are the tools new lawyers will need in order to emerge as authentic and successful professionals, and all that encompasses, according to leading thinkers in the field. The book is meant for use in law school professionalism courses. It is also meant to be read by lawyers just starting their careers. The approach and style of the book's content are intended to be accessible and engaging as both class material and as a casual read.