Soft Skills for the Effective Lawyer

Soft Skills for the Effective Lawyer presents a multidisciplinary, practice-based introduction to the major soft skills for lawyers: self-awareness, self-development, social proficiency, wisdom, leadership, and professionalism. The book serves as both a map and a vehicle for developing the skills essential to self-knowledge and fulfillment, organizational respect and accomplishment, client satisfaction and appreciation, and professional improvement and distinction. It identifies the most important soft skills for attorneys, describes and applies hundreds of studies regarding psychology, law, and soft skills, and provides concrete steps and methods to improve soft skills.

Reviews of this book state:

“Any objective reading of this book would conclude that legal education has been scooped by Randall Kiser. Building upon his prior research on why some trial lawyers consistently outperform others, Kiser has delved deeper into the component parts of lawyer success. Soft Skills for the Effective Lawyer creates a simplifying and unifying framework that ties together research from a wide array of disciplines, and then places these insights into a practical format for lifetime self-improvement. In addition to applying Soft Skills to my own professional life, I am building a curriculum around this book. History will judge Kiser and Soft Skills as part of a major breakthrough in changing legal education for the better.”
William Henderson, Professor and Stephen F. Burns Chair on the Legal Profession, Indiana University Maurer School of Law

“A remarkable achievement, this book has the power to change how the profession thinks about the skills required for excellence. Marshalling the best available research and packed with insights, Soft Skills for the Effective Lawyer will help aspiring lawyers acquire the skills required for successful practice, lasting client relations, and a fulfilling career. I know of no other book on lawyering with the scope and depth of this masterly work.”
Sverre Blandhol, Universitetet i Oslo and founder of Palatin AS

“Recent empirical evidence establishes that ‘soft’ skills are essential for effective lawyering and many lawyers come up short. Good news, though – soft skills can be learned and here is a book that teaches lawyers how to master these skills. Randall Kiser succeeds in demystifying what distinguishes top performing attorneys from those who are merely technically competent. Reading this book is sure to enhance your performance as a lawyer and equip you to fill the needs for which clients seek our counsel. It builds chapter by chapter to the real payoff of providing insight into wisdom, leadership, and professionalism. This book helps lawyers who have the intellectual hardware develop the software necessary to become legal counselors.”
Jay Folberg, Professor and Dean Emeritus, University of San Francisco School of Law

“Just as the legal profession is beginning to understand the critical need for soft skills, along comes Randall Kiser with an engaging and well-researched book that not only explains key soft skills such as emotional intelligence, professionalism, perspective taking, and decision making, but provides practical information on how to increase skills. Full of interesting examples, studies, interviews, and expert tips, this is a book that should be on the shelf of any lawyer interested in excelling in an increasingly competitive market.”
Teresa Frisbie, Director, Dispute Resolution Program, Loyola University Chicago School of Law

“Based on hundreds of empirical studies, Soft Skills for the Effective Lawyer is at the leading edge of the future of the legal profession. Contrary to conventional legal training, which puts the emphasis quasi-exclusively on logical and rational legal reasoning, Randall Kiser demonstrates in a persuasive manner that lawyers’ effectiveness is largely influenced by their mastery of ‘soft skills’: self-awareness, self-development, social proficiency, wisdom, leadership, and professionalism. With this convincing evidence, the time is ripe for law schools to introduce soft skills training into their course curriculums. Kiser provides a variety of tools and techniques to assist lawyers to improve, recover, and enhance their long forgotten soft skills.”
Véronique Fraser, Professor, Dispute Resolution Program, Faculty of Law, Université de Sherbrooke, Canada

“This book is onto something crucial to attorneys, and we should all listen very carefully. Time and time again, I’ve seen the thoughtful use of soft skills help produce the best results in resolving civil disputes as well as managing through crisis events. We can all benefit from Randall Kiser’s well-researched work and practical advice in this critical area.”
Mark LeHocky, former public company general counsel, and Adjunct Professor of Mediation Advocacy, University of California, Davis

“Soft Skills for the Effective Lawyer lives up to its title with a studious examination of invaluable ‘soft skills’ for the legal profession – vital abilities that not traditionally studied in law school, including communication skills, resilience, leadership, and empathy. Chapters discuss the most essential soft skills, and effective ways to cultivate and maintain them, with particular emphasis on Wisdom, Self-Awareness, Self-Development, Social Proficiency, Leadership, and Professionalism. [H]ighly recommended especially for college library collections and the personal reading lists of legal professionals.”
James A. Cox, Library Bookwatch

“This is a great book for lawyers. It explains skills that help lawyers do a better job for their clients. Some of these skills are patience, trust, and optimism. People can develop these skills and make them stronger. For example, the book lists seven ideas for lawyers to help them be more creative … It should be mandatory reading for every lawyer, law student, law professor, and CLE provider.”
Lainey Feingold, Disability Rights Lawyer

“Although Soft Skills for the Effective Lawyer is written from the perspective of the American legal profession, Kiser’s framework of essential soft skills is applicable to the practice of law in any jurisdiction.”
Alvin Chen and Stella Chen, Singapore Law Gazette

“Randall Kiser has a great book called ‘Soft Skills for the Effective Lawyer’ which every lawyer should read. It highlights the skills that will become more important as technology plays a greater role – like self-awareness, self-development, social proficiency, leadership, wisdom and professionalism.”
Stevie Ghiassi, CEO and Co-Founder, Legaler

“This book switched on a light bulb inside my mind and revamped many of my thoughts concerning clients and the real-world practice of law. By the end of the book, I was able to develop new methods for tackling common problems that I routinely experience in dealing with difficult clients. Overall, I rate this book as extremely helpful to the practitioner who wants to excel in client satisfaction and a more effective personal touch with their clients.”
Rachel Cichowic, The Florida Bar Journal

"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)