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February Book of the Month: Beyond Smart

Beyond SmartBeyond Smart: Lawyering with Emotional Intelligence
By Ronda Muir
Reviewed by Aaron Parsons, Reference Librarian

In Beyond Smart, attorney Rhonda Muir shows why emotional intelligence (EI) is an essential attribute for attorneys to develop for their practices and their lives. Companies like Google and Johnson & Johnson use emotional intelligence to improve employee performance, health, happiness, and profitability. Top business schools teach EI.

Ms. Muir explains what EI is—our ability to understand and regulate our emotions and those of others. She addresses law’s skeptical view of emotions and EI, and then makes the business case for developing emotional skills: EI makes attorneys smarter, healthier, happier, and more profitable. It can also help them become better negotiators and litigators. For example, EI can improve litigation effectiveness by helping attorneys recognize and work with the “gut” feeling that is a combination of many other skills and competencies. It also helps attorneys recognize when an emotional bias may be clouding their views on legal matters.

Chapters 5–7 help attorneys assess their current emotional intelligence, and provide guidance and resources to raise their emotional intelligence that include mindfulness practice, working on perception, empathy, and regulating emotions. One guide to improving mindfulness and emotional intelligence cited by Ms. Muir was developed from a training program at Google. A result was the book and workshops based on it: Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace), by Google’s Chade-Meng Tan, and available at the San Francisco Public Library.

Beyond Smart is one of several new additions to the San Francisco Law Library’s Law Practice Management Collection.

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Book Review: The Lawyer’s Guide to Marketing on the Internet

Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the InternetThe Lawyer’s Guide to Marketing on the Internet
By Gregory H. Siskind and Deborah McMurray

This long-awaited new edition smartly points out that buyers of legal services expect their lawyers to be just as Internet savvy as they are, and nowhere is this more apparent than with how a law firm presents itself online. Yet many lawyers drag their feet when it comes to creating an effective website and harnessing social media to attract clients. Fortunately, this book is designed for lawyers of all levels of technical know-how, and it explains how to analyze your firm’s skills and clients to develop a focused Internet marketing plan. Chapters cover best practices for website design, the technological and contractual aspects of building a website, social media, e-mail marketing, audio and video content strategy, search engine optimization, analytics, and the ethics of online marketing. This book is brimming with detailed, expert advice on how to cultivate a thoughtful internet marketing plan—essential reading for today’s lawyer.

The Lawyer’s Guide to Marketing on the Internet was part of the Law Library’s May Book Drive, and was generously donated by Shannon Mauer of Duane Morris LLP.


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August Book of the Month: Building Rainmakers

August BoM

The ABA’s Book Division anointed this exceptional book as the “most comprehensive and most collaborative ‘How-To’ book on business development techniques for lawyers ever published.” Building Rainmakers gathers insights and wisdom from over 50 established business development professionals in short articles with an easy-to-read, conversational tone. But this book truly stands apart for its convenient organization. Each topic is presented alphabetically in the A to Z Business Development Guide, so simply scan the Index of Topic Titles and jump directly to those that you would like to read. This book also includes a chapter on how to avoid marketing disasters, as well as almost 30 exhibits that cover topics such as approaching potential clients, creating ideal target client lists, templates for business development plans, the sales process, and marketing and self-promotion.

This title is part of our Law Practice Management Collection, a wonderful resource for attorneys running a law practice.


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June Book of the Month: How to Succeed as a Trial Lawyer

San Francisco Law Library June Book of the Month - How to Succeed as a Trial Lawyer

How to Succeed as a Trial Lawyer includes everything you need to know that you didn’t learn in law school. It does not purport to be an academic treatment of the subject, but rather it provides practical pointers on everything from dealing with clients and adversaries to managing ethical dilemmas to marketing one’s practice. It is filled with practical and informational advice about litigation practice from pretrial practice to discovery, mediation and arbitration, and trials and appeals.

This useful book also includes tables of rules and a detailed index for quick references to find what you need. Each chapter concludes with a helpful checklist summarizing the major points of that chapter.

This text is a welcome addition to any litigator’s library, either to read cover to cover, or to use as a reference on a particular litigation task. It is an essentially practical, enjoyable, and useful volume.

How to Succeed as a Trial Lawyer is part of the Library’s Law Practice Management Collection.