Review of Alan Alda’s If I Understood You

Thanks to Anne Ralph, Clinical Professor of Law at the Ohio State University, Michael E. Moritz College of Law, for this guest post reviewing Alan Alda's new book on listening, If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?  Any lawyer who’s misunderstood (or been misunderstood by) a client, opposing counsel, or … Continue reading Review of Alan Alda’s If I Understood You

Unicorn lawyers

What is a “unicorn skill”? It’s a skill that reasonably performing professionals in the field do not have, which is why they are just…reasonable. They can still do their job but are not “A” players. A unicorn skill is thus rarely found, and those who have it stand out as…unicorns. I learned about the term … Continue reading Unicorn lawyers

Listening to Combat Loneliness    

According to this study in the Harvard Business Review, lawyers are #1 when it comes to being lonely at work: In a breakdown of loneliness and social support rates by profession, legal practice was the loneliest kind of work, followed by engineering and science. (Hat tip to Keith Lee of Associate's Mind and online lawyer community Lawyer Smack. He … Continue reading Listening to Combat Loneliness    

Ready to listen

How can I be an ally? How can I let people know I’m really ready to listen? At the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers’ CLE on women in leadership held today at the State Bar of Georgia, several participants shared their desire to help and to listen. Discussions around #MeToo are bringing out stories suppressed sometimes for … Continue reading Ready to listen

Lawyer as anxiety filter?

In-house lawyer @J_Dot_J has described it most directly: Client: You probably have the coolest job. Yes. I stay awake at night, crippled with anxiety and my mind racing, so you don't have to. — JJ Lang Syne (@J_Dot_J) November 4, 2017 A law student once shared a related concept to describe his coping mechanism, especially … Continue reading Lawyer as anxiety filter?

Civil disagreement

In a recent Time editorial, Yale Law Dean Heather Gerken lionized the law school as a bastion of civil disagreement. She cited the uninterrupted speech of Charles Murray at Yale as an example of civility: Law school conditions you to know the difference between righteousness and self-righteousness. That's why lawyers know how to go to … Continue reading Civil disagreement

Mindfulness without meditation

They had me at “hello.” Actually they had me with the title of the handout: “Mindfulness without Meditation.” Last week I attended the 2017 meeting of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools, a.k.a. SEALS, in beautiful Boca Raton. The SEALS meeting lasted all week but included a two-day Conference on Mindfulness in Law co-sponsored by … Continue reading Mindfulness without meditation

Listening begets listening

Thanks to Professors Alexa Chew and O.J. Salinas for their guest post below on fostering an open dialogue on diversity and inclusion in law schools. They will be presenting on these issues this week at the Association of Legal Writing Directors' 2017 conference. Law schools throughout the country continue to face issues related to diversity … Continue reading Listening begets listening

Emotions in writing

Listening and speaking can be empathetic. Even reading (reading literary fiction, that is) is connected with empathy. But what about writing? And specifically, what about legal writing? The textbooks concur that writers are supposed to harness not only logos and ethos but also pathos in their appellate briefs and other persuasive writing. But what about the … Continue reading Emotions in writing