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The Essential Little Book of Great Lawyering Paperback – January 25, 2006

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This little gem of a book sets out principles which can truly contribute to 'great lawyering' -- beneficial to attorneys in all types of practices. It's a must-read for those seeking fresh approaches to secure satisfied clients --Danette Wineberg, VP, General Counsel, The Timberland Company

The benefit of reading your book, for me, lies in all those principles now interrelating in a profoundly meaningful way. You have synthesized the various messages I have taken on over the years into one package - a package that makes me appreciate the importance of approaching a client's experience of me in a deeply human way, rather than merely a polite and technically correct way. I feel transformed in my outlook to lawyering and I thank you. Today, I spent time talking with my clients on issues that I would have otherwise sent emails about. I estimate there were 20 fewer emails sent and 5 more phone calls made than would have occurred had I not read your book. It was delightful. I had opportunity to explore with my clients how they are feeling about things opposed to just what their business decisions are on them. I understand more about my clients today and I dare say they are feeling more understood. My new motto is to never send an email if a phone call is possible. --Lisa, blue-chip firm, Australia

Just recently, two great little books were sent to me that I believe bear reviewing. The first is The Essential Little Book of Great Lawyering, by James A. Durham, currently the Chief Marketing Officer at Ropes & Gray in Boston... The Essential Little Book of Great Lawyering measures 6 x 4 and is 53 pages long. While small of stature, it is big, big, big in content. There are many how to become successful books out there, but in just 53 pages this little jewel sums up the art of lawyering and client service in a very straightforward manner. From the first chapter (there are only three), entitled Setting the Stage for Greatness, to Putting it all Together, Jim has revealed how one goes from good to great. Jim states that in his work (formerly one of the top consultants in our profession), he found that the most important qualities of successful lawyers relate to service and attitude. He goes on to say that the book is intended to give the reader a road map to achieving success by articulating what a lawyer needs to do to have every client say: My lawyer is the best lawyer with whom I have ever worked. What I like about this book, other than the fact that you can throw it in your briefcase or purse, is the fact that Jim has encapsulated the essence of great lawyering by showing the right methodology to greatness and the mistakes that can be made on the path to success. Here, as described by Jim, are a couple of the characteristics of great lawyers: Good lawyers return phone calls with reasonable promptness great lawyers are always available and accessible to their clients. Great lawyers just don t respond when their phones ring they make other peoples phones ring. Good lawyers are reasonably comfortable in most settings great lawyers project confidence, not arrogance, in any setting. Good lawyers attend meetings great lawyers arrive early and are fully prepared. Good lawyers are present at meetings great lawyers are a real presence at the meeting. Good lawyers accept feedback when clients offer it great lawyers seek meaningful feedback from clients and act upon it. This book is not just for partners in law firms. It is for all lawyers who strive to be the best they can be and who are willing to make a commitment to their professional lives by going the extra mile. --Betiayn Tursi, "Keys to Being Professionally Successful: Two Short and Sweet Reads Unlock the Secrets!" Marketing for Lawyers, June 12, 2006

The benefit of reading your book, for me, lies in all those principles now interrelating in a profoundly meaningful way. You have synthesized the various messages I have taken on over the years into one package - a package that makes me appreciate the importance of approaching a client's experience of me in a deeply human way, rather than merely a polite and technically correct way. I feel transformed in my outlook to lawyering and I thank you. Today, I spent time talking with my clients on issues that I would have otherwise sent emails about. I estimate there were 20 fewer emails sent and 5 more phone calls made than would have occurred had I not read your book. It was delightful. I had opportunity to explore with my clients how they are feeling about things opposed to just what their business decisions are on them. I understand more about my clients today and I dare say they are feeling more understood. My new motto is to never send an email if a phone call is possible. --Lisa, blue-chip firm, Australia

Just recently, two great little books were sent to me that I believe bear reviewing. The first is The Essential Little Book of Great Lawyering, by James A. Durham, currently the Chief Marketing Officer at Ropes & Gray in Boston... The Essential Little Book of Great Lawyering measures 6 x 4 and is 53 pages long. While small of stature, it is big, big, big in content. There are many how to become successful books out there, but in just 53 pages this little jewel sums up the art of lawyering and client service in a very straightforward manner. From the first chapter (there are only three), entitled Setting the Stage for Greatness, to Putting it all Together, Jim has revealed how one goes from good to great. Jim states that in his work (formerly one of the top consultants in our profession), he found that the most important qualities of successful lawyers relate to service and attitude. He goes on to say that the book is intended to give the reader a road map to achieving success by articulating what a lawyer needs to do to have every client say: My lawyer is the best lawyer with whom I have ever worked. What I like about this book, other than the fact that you can throw it in your briefcase or purse, is the fact that Jim has encapsulated the essence of great lawyering by showing the right methodology to greatness and the mistakes that can be made on the path to success. Here, as described by Jim, are a couple of the characteristics of great lawyers: Good lawyers return phone calls with reasonable promptness great lawyers are always available and accessible to their clients. Great lawyers just don t respond when their phones ring they make other peoples phones ring. Good lawyers are reasonably comfortable in most settings great lawyers project confidence, not arrogance, in any setting. Good lawyers attend meetings great lawyers arrive early and are fully prepared. Good lawyers are present at meetings great lawyers are a real presence at the meeting. Good lawyers accept feedback when clients offer it great lawyers seek meaningful feedback from clients and act upon it. This book is not just for partners in law firms. It is for all lawyers who strive to be the best they can be and who are willing to make a commitment to their professional lives by going the extra mile. --Betiayn Tursi, "Keys to Being Professionally Successful: Two Short and Sweet Reads Unlock the Secrets!" Marketing for Lawyers, June 12, 2006

About the Author

Jim Durham is a lawyer who has worked at a large law firm, and as the General Counsel of a small company. He spent 6 years consulting with dozens of law firms, and teaching hundreds of lawyers how to get more clients. Jim has interviewed hundreds of clients to determine what they like (and don't like) about working with lawyers. His findings are the basis for this book.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 53 pages
  • Publisher: Law Journal Seminars Press; 1st edition (January 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977313107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977313105
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 4.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By T. Dang on March 8, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It provides a lot of great tips and advice for good lawyering that they may not necessarily teach you in law school. It is written in a very concise way so for us busy lawyers working 14-16 hours a day, this is a perfect book to read when you have that five minutes before bedtime. Definitely recommend.
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Format: Paperback
Durham clearly describes the blue print that all lawyers should follow to go from good to great. Knowledge is no longer enough to excel - client service is what the modern lawyer must deliver. Fun, practical advice that will yield immediate results. This book should be required to graduate from law school.
He is also an amazing speaker, inspiring attendees about topics far more diverse than the law. The equivalent of the Strunk and White Guide but for attorneys and their legal practices.
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