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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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February Book Drive

Book Drive

Each month we will seek donors to purchase a new title for the Law Library. Here is our Wish List for the month of February, featuring books about legal technology for solo or small firms, drafting and editing legislation, and the history of dissent in the Supreme Court. Growing our collection is about so much more than a single book—it is a living demonstration of how the Library expands the public’s access to justice and provides legal practitioners with the tools they need to represent members of our local community. Please see our Donation Guide for more ways to support the Law Library.

2018 Legal Tech Donated

The 2018 Solo and Small Firm Legal Technology Guide
Written by John Simek, Michael Maschke, and Sharon D. Nelson
Paperback, 2018

Guidelines for Drafting and Editing Legislation

Guidelines for Drafting and Editing Legislation
Written by Bryan A. Garner
$49.95, Hardcover, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-99797-700-4

Dissent and the Supreme Court

Dissent and the Supreme Court: Its Role in the Court’s History and the Nation’s Constitutional Dialog
Written by Melvin I. Urofsky
$17, Paperback, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-30774-132-5

To donate, please contact sflawlibrary@sfgov.org or call (415) 554-1791.  We appreciate your contribution!


Recent Book Drive Donations

Thank you to Shannon K. Mauer of Duane Morris LLP for donating My Own Words and Woman Lawyer: The Trials of Clara Foltz, part of our September and October Book Drives.

Please take a look at our Book Drive page to see Wish List items from prior months. We are still wishing for these books!

Thank you for your support!


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January Book Drive

Book Drive

Each month we will seek donors to purchase a new title for the Law Library. Here is our Wish List for the month of January. Growing our collection is about so much more than a single book—it is a living demonstration of how the Library expands the public’s access to justice and provides legal practitioners with the tools they need to represent members of our local community. Please see our Donation Guide for more ways to support the Law Library.

Extreme Speech and Democracy.jpg

Extreme Speech and Democracy
Edited by Ivan Hare and James Weinstein
$53, Paperback, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-19960-179-0

Demonstratives

Demonstratives: Definitive Treatise on Visual Persuasion
Written by Daniel Bender and Robert Jason Fowler
$89.95, Paperback, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-63425-951-4

To donate, please contact sflawlibrary@sfgov.org or call (415) 554-1791.  We appreciate your contribution!


Recent Book Drive Donations

Thank you to Shannon K. Mauer of Duane Morris LLP for donating My Own Words and Woman Lawyer: The Trials of Clara Foltz, part of our September and October Book Drives.

Please take a look at our Book Drive page to see Wish List items from prior months. We are still wishing for these books!

Thank you for your support!


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January Book of the Month: My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg

My Own WordsMy Own Words
By Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Reviewed by Ruth Geos, Reference Librarian

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, now 84, has been on the US Supreme Court—as of 2017—for 24 years. Deferring her own biography until after her court years are complete, her new book My Own Words (with Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams) sketches out her life in vital strokes, first as a student already aware of inequities in the world, then as an advocate, professor, mother and wife, federal appellate court judge, and since 1993, Supreme Court justice. Far from dry and dusty, this collection of her writings, speeches, and other talks are laced with humor and personal perspective. They create a fascinating sidelong view of the life and mind of a sitting Supreme Court justice and the Court itself—with an added sideline into opera.

In a compelling preface, Justice Ginsburg writes that the Supreme Court’s main trust is to repair fractures in federal law and to step in when other courts have disagreed on what the relevant federal law requires. As the book closes, she makes clear her own intentions, and says that she will continue on the Court as long as she can do the job full steam.

Some of the charms of this collection include glimpses into the personal development of who we think we know as Justice RBG. At Cornell as an undergraduate, she had Vladimir Nabokov as her professor of European literature, and learned about the creative power of words well-chosen. Voted unanimously out of the kitchen by her family in favor of her husband’s culinary skills, her work ethic of long and extended hours continues. She also details how the Supreme Court actually works, day to day and session to session, giving an outline of the “workways” of how the justices share the workload, the collegiality among the members of the Court even in the face of doctrinal differences, and the distinct value of dissents.

My Own Words is highly recommended reading that happens to be both enjoyable and informative. It is a view into one of our most scintillating members of the Supreme Court—a woman of substance and style, with an enduring dedication to equal dignity under the law.

As a bonus, take a look at the interview with Justice Ginsburg earlier this year at the Aspen Institute, where she answers questions about her life, the court, and her special views of how the court makes a difference to all of our lives. http://www.scotusblog.com/media/justice-ruth-bader-ginsburg-discusses-book-words/

The Law Library thanks Shannon K. Mauer of Duane Mauer LLP for generously donating this title. To learn how you can donate, please see our Donation Guide.


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December Book of the Month: Woman Lawyer: The Trials of Clara Foltz

Woman Lawyer

Woman Lawyer: The Trials of Clara Foltz
By Barbara Babcock
Reviewed by Andrea Woods, Reference Librarian

This engaging biography examines the life of Clara Foltz, who in 1878 was the first woman to be admitted to the California Bar. After she was abandoned by her husband and left with five young children to care for, she quickly surmised that the traditional “women’s work” of sewing, taking in boarders, and teaching would not provide sufficient income for her family. So she set out to be a lawyer. But first, she needed to remove the obstacle posed by the California Code of Civil Procedure—it stated that only a “white male citizen” could apply for the bar. Ms. Foltz and her allies worked tirelessly to see the enactment of the Woman Lawyer’s Act in 1878, which was among the first American statutes to allow women to practice law, and likely the first that resulted from the legislative process, as opposed to a court order.

The legacy of Ms. Foltz doesn’t end there. In 1879, she successfully argued in the California Supreme Court for the right to continue her education at the new Hastings College of the Law. She was a passionate and persuasive orator for the women’s suffrage movement, and while suffrage did not pass at the California Constitutional Convention of 1879, the women’s lobby managed to secure the addition of a clause guaranteeing equal employment opportunity for women—the first of its kind in any American constitution. And she pioneered the concept of the public defender’s office to ensure procedural fairness—a concept that is now commonplace, but was revolutionary at the time.

Woman Lawyer is a fascinating exploration of not only Clara Foltz’s life and legal thinking, but also of the roiling social and political climate that marked the turn of the century. A story of noble ideals and the hard work it takes to achieve them, this book is a must read!

The Law Library thanks Shannon K. Mauer of Duane Mauer LLP for generously donating this title. To learn how you can donate, please see our Donation Guide.


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December Book Drive

Book Drive

Each month we will seek donors to purchase a new title for the Law Library. Here is our Wish List for the month of December. Growing our collection is about so much more than a single book—it is a living demonstration of how the Library expands the public’s access to justice and provides legal practitioners with the tools they need to represent members of our local community. Please see our Donation Guide for more ways to support the Law Library.

Section 1983 Litigation Forms

Section 1983 Litigation: Forms
2nd ed.
Written by  John W. Witt, Edward J. Hanlon, Stephen M. Ryais
$345, Loose-leaf, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-45487-248-1

We would also welcome partial contributions toward the purchase of this book!

Mastering the Art of Witness Preparation

From the Trenches II: Mastering the Art of Preparing Witnesses
Edited by James M. Miller
$79.95, Paperback, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-63425-927-9

To donate, please contact sflawlibrary@sfgov.org or call (415) 554-1791.  We appreciate your contribution!


Recent Book Drive Donations

Thank you to Shannon K. Mauer of Duane Morris LLP for donating My Own Words and Woman Lawyer: The Trials of Clara Foltz, part of our September and October Book Drives.

Please take a look at our Book Drive page to see Wish List items from prior months. We are still wishing for these books!

Thank you for your support!


Leave a comment

Thanksgiving Holiday Hours

Thanksgiving Hours 2

We will resume our regular hours on Monday, November 27, 2017.

Although we will be closed, there are still many free legal resources you can access outside of the library. If you need to look for cases, try the California Courts website for opinions from the California Supreme Court and appellate courts, or FindLaw. Through the library’s website, you even have full access to a large collection of Nolo Press titles, including books on wills and trusts, landlord-tenant issues, and family law. And don’t forget about our LibGuides!