Seeking Quality in the Practice of Law
by DOUGLAS O. LINDER and NANCY LEVIT (Oxford University Press, 2013)

The Good Lawyer


Introductory Note

The Good Lawyer is Courageous

The Good Lawyer is Empathetic

The Good Lawyer Has a Passion for Justice

The Good Lawyer Values Others in the Legal Community

The Good Lawyer Uses Both Intuition and Deliberative Thinking

The Good Lawyer Thinks realistically About the Future

The Good Lawyer Serves the True Interests of Clients

The Good Lawyer Has Ample Willpower

The Good Lawyer is Persuasive

Seeking Quality


Random Facts

The Happy Lawyer


Every lawyer wants to be a good lawyer.  All lawyers want to serve their clients’ interests well and, by the end of a career, feel they’ve made a contribution to the communities that they value.  The Good Lawyer: Seeking Quality in the Practice of Law, identifies and considers the virtues, skills, and attitudes that can help people become the kind of lawyer they really want to be: a good lawyer. 


The Good Lawyer makes no promise that quality lawyering will come to all who follow twelve easy steps.  Quality is less something one grasps and hangs onto than a goal that requires constant striving and attention.  Drawing from the stories of lawyers and the latest social science research, The Good Lawyer highlights the potential value of virtues and capacities, such as honesty and empathy, for example, while also warning that even these much valued attributes can sometimes be too much of a good thing.  There are times in most legal careers when a lawyer may have to deceive and even empathy can be unhelpful when not coupled with the sense of knowing when to detach.  It isn’t easy being good.


In a search to find the keys to good lawyering, readers are introduced to courageous lawyers in the Jim Crow South, shown the psychodrama exercises Gerry Spence offers to trial lawyers at Thunderhead Ranch in Wyoming, and taken to Palo Alto, the home of Lex Machina, the latest and greatest high tech effort at improving predictive skills in the legal field.  Readers will find a book full of surprises and insights, all presented with the goal of making them the best lawyers they can be.