Kairos in 2017

Killing time has never been easier, with smartphone settings that feed constant data and the average smartphone user checking it 85 times a day. But what exactly is being killed? How do we describe these moments lost? One of the first books I read for this blog introduced me to the concepts of chronos and … Continue reading Kairos in 2017

Love your lawyer (part 2): Emotional labor of lawyers

Love Your Lawyer Day prompted the question: what makes clients love their lawyers? Client satisfaction is one way to gauge clients’ love. As addressed in an earlier post, client satisfaction depends on the lawyer’s competence and expertise. But client satisfaction is also intertwined with how the client experiences the process. The client’s desire for a satisfying … Continue reading Love your lawyer (part 2): Emotional labor of lawyers

Talking means making mistakes (and that’s okay)

Sherry Turkle’s Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age has been on my reading list for a while now. I’m in the process of reading it and was stopped cold by something on page 54. Turkle is talking about “the flight from conversation.” The flight from conversation basically means kids these days—and … Continue reading Talking means making mistakes (and that’s okay)

The Good Lawyer

“What does it mean to be a good lawyer?” Thus begins The Good Lawyer: Seeking Quality in the Practice of Law by Douglas O. Linder & Nancy Levit (Oxford 2014). The introduction assures readers there will not be chapters such as “The Good Lawyer Uses Proper Citation Format." (Why not? asks the legal writing professor.) Instead, … Continue reading The Good Lawyer

Where competence and character come together

The nice thing about Twitter is you can learn from events you can’t actually attend. Today Stephen M.R. Covey (son of the 7 Habits guy) spoke at the “DEXIO” conference in Canada: Developing Excellence in Others. This slide from Covey’s talk caught my eye: https://twitter.com/ITCatherine/status/576783705168986113 (HT to @ITCatherine for the slide.) Covey's list of 13 leadership … Continue reading Where competence and character come together

Core professional qualities of lawyers

About a thousand law professors are gathering now at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Law Schools. The first session I attended this morning was Incorporating Teaching Professional Identity into the Legal Education Curriculum, with speakers from Mercer Law School and the University of North Dakota School of Law. Both schools offer innovative courses in … Continue reading Core professional qualities of lawyers

Lawyers and hearing loss

Hearing is necessary for effective listening. Thus, hearing loss is a critical issue for professions that require listening, such as lawyering. In her frank and informative book, Shouting Won’t Help: Why I--and 50 Million Other Americans--Can't Hear You, former newspaper editor Katherine Bouton describes her struggle with hearing loss while trying to do a job comparable … Continue reading Lawyers and hearing loss

Is It Ever Okay Not to Listen to Your Client?

Listening to clients seems like mostly an affirmative duty, if only an implied one. But in writing about lawyers' duty *not* to listen to represented parties, I began to wonder about the limits of a lawyer's duty to listen to clients as well: Can a lawyer ever choose not to hear what the client has … Continue reading Is It Ever Okay Not to Listen to Your Client?

Guest post on Legal Productivity: 5 Benefits of Effective Listening

Effective listening is crucial to establishing rapport with clients, witnesses, and anyone, really. But effective listening also contributes to lawyers’ analysis, strategy, and future workload in several concrete ways. Effective listening helps lawyers find the right narrative for the facts, avoid nasty surprises, and generate more work--in a good way. Read more in my guest post … Continue reading Guest post on Legal Productivity: 5 Benefits of Effective Listening

The Lawyer’s Ethical Duty Not to Listen

Lawyers have a duty to listen to their clients, as discussed in an earlier post. Lawyers also have a duty not to listen to certain information. Do not listen to a person represented by another lawyer. A lawyer may not listen to information provided by a person represented by counsel, as set forth in Model … Continue reading The Lawyer’s Ethical Duty Not to Listen