Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Book (p)review: Essential Qualities of The Professional Lawyer

Back in 2008 I wrote an article for a symposium on professionalism in which I tried to reduce the notion of professionalism to some basic elements and values.  It was a short article and I did not have the chance to expand on my ideas too much.  Plus, I wrote the article in Spanish...

But, don't worry!  If you are interested in this topic, The ABA Center for Professional Responsibility has published a new book called Essential Qualities of the Professional Lawyer, which takes on the same task I wrote about, and more.  Since I have not read all the essays yet, I can't really write a review of the book. So think of this as a pre-review (or is that a preview?).

The book is a collection of essays by many different authors on many different subjects, all based on the same underlying theme:  that there are some core tools that lawyers need to become authentic and successful professionals.  The topics covered include professionalism values, civility, proper use of computers and technology, merging professional and personal values, gender and bias issues, lawyering skills and professional conduct.

The essays vary in length and coverage and they are not meant to be read in any specific order.  In fact, I would suggest that you should not read the book from beginning to end as if you were reading a novel.  I would suggest you read a chapter or two, put the book down and come back to it some time later.  Take your time to read and think about the different issues over time.  I look forward to reading it this way.  It may take me a long time to finish, but there is no need to rush it.  I feel I may get more out of it that way.