The foundation of every good lawyer is a deep wealth of knowledge. Be it understanding landmark cases, developing industry expertise, or staying up-to-date on the latest data, attorneys are expected to know a lot about how the modern world works. And one way to accomplish that is by regularly reading books—especially books about law.
Reading legal books may have been a requirement in law school, but it should be part of your overall growth strategy as you scale your firm. From time management skills to collaborate with other experts in your field, these are the nine best books for lawyers to read.
- Legal Project Management
- The Power of Legal Project Management
- Time Management for Attorneys
- The Happy Lawyers
- The E-Myth Attorney
- Solo by Choice
- Smart Collaboration
- One Hundred Days Before Trial
- Storytelling for Lawyers
#1 Legal Project Management by Steven B. Levy
There’s being a lawyer then there’s leading a law firm—Steven B. Levy teaches you how to do the latter. In “Legal Project Management: Control Costs, Meet Schedules, Manage Risks and Maintain Sanity,” Levy places all the headaches of running an effective legal department under the same umbrella of legal project management solutions.
With this perspective in mind, he shows legal professionals how to properly manage commonly found issues so they can get back to focusing on what they do best: serving their clients in the courtroom.
#2 The Power of Legal Project Management by Susan Raridon Lambreth and David A. Rueff
In the realm of legal department and law firm management, you’ll find Susan Raridon Lambreth and David A. Rueff’s book “The Power of Legal Project Management: A Practical Handbook.” Not only is this guide full of practical action steps and legal project management strategies you can implement immediately, but it also includes insights from over 30 firms, lawyers, and consultants. Consider it your crash course in legal project management.
#3 Time Management for Attorneys by Shawn McNails and Mark Powers
With the threat of too many non-billable hours always hanging over your head, time management is a necessary skill for being a lawyer. Shawn McNalis and Mark Powers dive deep into how to hone your time-keeping skills in their book, “Time Management for Attorneys: A Lawyer’s Guide to Decreasing Stress, Eliminating Interruptions & Getting Home on Time.”
With advice specific to the legal field, this book will show you how to optimize your daily schedule so that you get your best work done without totally burning out.
#4 The Happy Lawyer by Nancy Levit and Douglas O. Linder
Studies show that over half of lawyers feel frustrated with their careers, while 64% have anxiety and 31% are depressed. So it’s no wonder Nancy Levit and Douglas O. Linder felt the urgent need to address the mental health issues attorneys face in their book, “The Happy Lawyer: Making a Good Life in the Law.”
In the book, Levit and Linder dig into the root causes of unhappy law careers and give candid advice for improving your legal career and finding real satisfaction in it. If you’ve been struggling with your work-life balance, this book is a must-read.
#5 The E-Myth Attorney by Michael Gerber
It’s no secret some law firms seem to be stuck in the past. Michael Gerber lays out the exact steps lawyers need to take to get their firms out of a rut and start operating in the 21st century. In “The E-Myth Attorney: Why Most Legal Practices Don’t Work and What to Do About It,” Gerber shows you how to look at your firm from a business perspective so you can grow and scale it.
While it’s written for lawyers who are starting their own firms, the book also includes steps for optimizing the performance of an existing firm.
#6 Solo By Choice by Carolyn Elefant
Most lawyers are hesitant to break out of their existing firms to start one of their own. In her book, “Solo by Choice: How to Be the Lawyer You Always Wanted to Be,” Carolyn Elefant gives you the courage and motivation to start your own practice.
This book not only includes advice and experience from Elefant but also first-hand accounts from other lawyers who have taken the leap and found success on their own. You’ll also receive strategies for setting up your office, finding clients, and navigating this new chapter of your career.
#7 Smart Collaboration by Heidi Gardner
While being a lawyer requires you to accumulate a vast array of knowledge, it’s impossible to be an expert on everything. Heidi Gardner’s book, “Smart Collaboration: How Professionals and Their Firms Succeed by Breaking Down Silos,” teaches you the best practices for adding multidisciplinary experts to your network.
Gardner, a Harvard Business School professor and former McKinsey consultant, divulges how law firms can earn higher margins, maintain a greater number of loyal clients, and better serve in the courtroom by collaborating with experts in outside fields.
#8 One Hundred Days Before Trial by Steven Nathan Peskind
As an attorney of family law, it’s important to refresh yourself on trial preparation. Steven Nathan Peskind’s book, “One Hundred Days Before Trial: A Family Lawyer’s Guide to Preparation and Strategy,” offers a less stressful alternative to scrambling at the last minute before court.
In his book, he teaches lawyers how to prepare for trial early and develop a plan that’s easy to maintain. It’s broken up with segments that act as guidelines following typical cases. Peskind advocates for thinking first and acting second with this book that’s sure to become one you refer to again and again.
#9 Storytelling for Lawyers by Phillip Meyer
While research, strategic thinking, and problem-solving are crucial skills all lawyers must cultivate, no one can argue with the power good storytelling has in the courtroom. Philip Meyer’s classic book “Storytelling for Lawyers” teaches lawyers how they can better construct narratives that present their clients in the best light while making an emotional impact on judges and juries.
This book is full of advice, examples, and strategies you can begin to use to add some life and color to the often dry facts of your cases.
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