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A thick volume by Randall Kiser called Beyond Right and Wrong provides a great review of many of these studies and Galina Davidoff and Wendy L. Hufford, thelegalintelligencer. Kiser discusses various factors that might contribute to the poor quality of lawyers' decisions.
Kiser has all of the statistical data and a command of the math, but has presented the topic in a very readable and entertaining style.
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Stephen Cavanagh, Amazon. It should be of interest for professional responsibility as well as trial practice and alternative dispute resolution. Mary Whisner, Trial Ad and other Notes, trialadnotes. Anyone with sufficient interest in this subject, particularly attorneys, should buy the book and keep it, if not on their night-stands, at least on their desks. Everyone associated with litigation--lawyers, business executives, law professors--should read this book.
Beyond Right and Wrong will make its way as professors adopt it for use in law and business school courses and as corporate legal departments discover its value in reducing the cost of litigation. Michael Palmer, Amazon. Reviews Schrijf een review. Kies je bindwijze. Direct beschikbaar. Verkoop door bol.
Civility and the Mediation Process
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Pearl Zhu Decision Master 9, Karrie A. Shogren Supported Decision-Making 90, Michael R. I think that students that go to law school with the goal of being a great lawyer and actually want to help people, then development of these skills is a must. And while some of these skills are innate in people, others may need the education and training to help develop these skills. Without these soft skills, I am not sure how attorneys expect to 1 develop clientele and 2 retain their current clients.
Pretty much everything that Randy Kiser publishes is simply brilliant. It comes as no surprise that the soft skills set optimism, communication, empathy, etc.
I think that often people feel that to be successful they need to possess one skill set for work and another for their personal lives. In other words, it might be acceptable to show empathy toward a trusted friend, but to do so at work could be conceived as weakness. But, this study suggests the opposite. The focus in most law school classes is on the legal issues or more accurately the one issue that we need to ferret out from a case. This, unfortunately, trains future lawyers to see clients not as people, but as a walking bundle of legal issues.
I read a similar article about medical students. Much like law students they are trained to spot the issues—the symptoms of various illnesses. Medical schools were not teaching bedside manner they were teaching medical issue spotting. The article concluded with a look at medical schools that were changing the lack of bedside manner training—to the benefit of patients and doctors alike. Perhaps it is time for the legal equivalent of good bedside manner training. For example, how do you talk to a client?
What about a difficult client? How do you interact with opposing counsel? Should law schools require more supervised field work to teach such skills? Would such a requirement add another year? How do you test on soft skills?
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In theory, recommending books and articles on soft skills to students would be a good alternative. However, with all the required reading law students have, I doubt many students would voluntarily partake in such readings. Perhaps the best option is to require an Alternative Dispute Resolution course. This post made me think about the learning that we do in law school.
It is geared towards learning the laws statutes and how the different courts rule on topics. The majority of law school classes focus on teaching us what we need to know when it comes to the laws. The soft skills are left for us to figure out when we start practicing law. It is hard for law schools to teach us the substantive law and the effective ways to be an attorney.