Professional Judgment for Lawyers

Professional Judgment for Lawyers integrates empirical legal research, cognitive and social psychology, organizational behavior, legal ethics, and neuroscience to illuminate and improve decision making by attorneys, clients, judges, arbitrators, mediators, and juries.

Reviews of this new book state:

“It’s been nearly 15 years since Randall Kiser jump-started the field of lawyer decision making with his seminal study in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies. Now, several books later, we have Professional Judgment for Lawyers, which weaves together the threads of neuroscience, evolutionary biology, psychology, emotion, and decision-making with the context of lawyers, clients, judges, mediators, arbitrators, and jurors. This book can be safely viewed as Kiser’s magnum opus, as the depth and breadth of learning (combined with its accessibility) is truly staggering. This is a book that belongs in every lawyer’s library.”
— William Henderson, Stephen F. Burns Professor of Law, Indiana University Maurer School of Law

“Randy Kiser’s Professional Judgment for Lawyers is a tour-de-force book every lawyer, law student, judge, arbitrator, mediator, and public policy maker should read and study. It draws on empirical research and theoretical models about human decision-making and judgment. The chapter capsules which end chapters offer wonderful syntheses of the breadth of empirical studies and theoretical frameworks about lawyering, decision-making by actors in legal systems, and policies to improve the quality of legal rules and institutions. This masterpiece is a gift for those who are in the legal profession to help them improve their professional and personal decision-making and judgment.”
— Peter H. Huang, University of Colorado Law School (Ret.) and author of Disrupting Racism: Essays by an Asian American Prodigy Professor

“This is a fascinating and important book. Its overarching aim is vital: to improve decision making in all corners of the world of law. A wonderful antidote to the superficial blogs that threaten to obscure our understanding of lawyers and lawyering, Kiser has gifted us a fine volume that is clearly the result of extensive empirical research and deep reflection.”
— Professor Richard Susskind OBE, President of the Society for Computers and Law and author, Tomorrow’s Lawyers

“In his new book, Randall Kiser consolidates his position as the pre-eminent analyst of what the best lawyers do to succeed. … Many lawyers and judges are now studying the fields of cognitive biases, decision-making processes and quantitative risk analysis. This book touches those bases and more. Mr. Kiser refers to the works of many “big names” in these fields, such as Daniel Kahneman, Richard Susskind, Philip Tetlock, Cass Sunstein, Nassim Nicholas Taleb and many others. Mr. Kiser is a big name himself, of course, having written a number of previous books about the practice of law. This book provides valuable insights into a whole range of interrelated cognitive science topics that bear on the work that lawyers do every day.”
— Stephen Cavanagh, litigation partner, Ottawa, Canada

“Buy it. Read it. Make better judgments and decisions. … Professional Judgment for Lawyers can help you understand what is going on, become more self-aware, understand your cognitive limitations, and know how to get help when you need it. … Like all of Kiser’s books, Professional Judgment for Lawyers is well written, accessible, and a pleasure to read. … Law schools should offer courses on this subject with this book as the core text. Law firms should conduct in-house seminars and workshops with this book as the guide. Bar associations should offer CLE programs based on Professional Judgment for Lawyers.”
— Michael Palmer, Fellow, American Bar Foundation

“This new book, like Randy Kiser’s others, truly is a must-read. It showcases his unusual and enviable talent for pulling together empirical work from very diverse fields. So insightful for practice and law teaching alike. Highly recommend.”
Donna Shestowsky, Director of Lawyering Skills Education and Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Law, U.C. Davis School of Law

“Randall Kiser just published another great book relevant to our [conflict resolution] community, Professional Judgment for Lawyers. … It should be no surprise that I think that Randy’s latest book is a very valuable contribution to the literature for practitioners and academics.”
John Lande, Isidor Loeb Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri School of Law

“This book is a must for arbitrators, mediators, and advocates and educators in ADR where risk assessment (a kind of forecasting) is a key element of the project. Kiser not only explains the underlying gaps in legal training and self-development and the pernicious influences of a variety of cognitive biases that taint lawyer and judicial decisions but also gives specific guidance for self- assessment and improvement. … Kiser’s book is a tremendous contribution to us all.”

Laura Kaster, Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators. Book review, New York State Dispute Resolution Lawyer

"It is a disaster that wisdom forbids you to be satisfied with yourself and always sends you away dissatisfied and fearful, whereas stubbornness and foolhardiness fill their hosts with joy and assurance."
--- Michel de Montaigne (1553 - 1592)