Writing for the Warrior, the official journal of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College, Ken recalls one of his most recent cases that reminded him of why trial lawyers do what they do, “for the good of the order,” so to speak.
There are a plethora of books and resources to improve your technical skills. But among the countless tomes and guides on shelves these days, Rick Friedman’s On Becoming a Trial Lawyer provides a decidedly fresh perspective on the mechanics and traits necessary to become an effective trial lawyer.
Ken reviews Charles Duhigg’s “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” and Atul Gawande’s “Checklist Manifesto.” Understanding the nature of habit and learning how we can harness its power—both to maintain good habits and change bad habits—allows us to greatly improve our abilities as trial lawyers.
Since the establishment of the Trial Lawyer’s College in 1994, three people have served as President of the venerable Wyoming-based school: Gerry Spence, legendary trial lawyer and TLC founder; Jude Basile, “One of America’s finest” according to Spence; and now John Sloan, a 1998 TLC graduate and Texas-based attorney who described his recent election as a “humbling, but daunting moment”. Ken sits down with Sloan for a candid Q&A in this edition of the Warrior.
From Ken: “I have been inspired by many lawyers, such as Rex Parris, to continue my growth by reading books that would help me better represent clients. In the Winter 2008 edition of The Warrior , Rex gave a great recommended reading list. Since we have all read the standard trial strategy and “legal” books—I want to share some books not typically found on the shelves (or in the Kindle) of most trial lawyers. With that in mind, I selected a variety of topics that will hone a mix of vital skills—from decision-making to story-telling to practice management tips. Happy reading.”