“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.
Perhaps the fact that Friedman admits he isn’t a “naturally” gifted trial lawyer helps us to feel this way. It’s this encouraging sense of honesty that gives him credibility; a candid approach for the newly minted — even veteran — attorneys who might feel discouraged by recent shortcomings. His insights are often an invigorating reminder of why lawyers fight so hard for their clients. By book’s end, your instinct is to put his ideas into action.
Divided into three sections, On Becoming a Trial Lawyer offers step-by-step analyses, tutorials, and anecdotes that provide helpful insight into our chosen profession. He doles out practical advice: watch trials, volunteer, try cases despite monetary incentives to settle, and bring in co-counsel. He dispels all-too-common myths: trial lawyers are born, not made; it’s too late to start learning; and the most well-suited trial lawyers never fall on hard times. As much as it is a book about self-improvement, Friedman’s book is also about self-motivation.
More to the point, Friedman’s work is largely intended for self-reflection, making note of the fact that technique is important, but that a trial lawyer must be willing to give him or herself to the jury to be vulnerable.”
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