Cover image for Transforming practices : Finding joy and satisfaction in the legal life
Transforming practices : Finding joy and satisfaction in the legal life
Keeva, Steven.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago, Ill. : Contemporary Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
234 pages ; 24 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
K116 .K44 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Spirituality and law practice may seem like an oxymoron, but a quiet quest to find deeper meaning in life and work as a lawyer and to cure the ailments of today's cutthroat law firm environment is well underfoot within the legal community. Transforming Practices is the first book to explore this movement toward bringing one's soul to the practice of law and returning to lawyering from a healing perspective, rather than an adversarial one. Author Steven Keeva, Senior Editor of the widely read ABA Journal, skillfully examines how lawyers can find deeper meaning in their work, practice more compassionately, and enjoy what they do more, all by developing a greater awareness of and respect for their inner lives. Filled with inspiring stories, interviews, and profiles of lawyers from a broad spectrum of practice areas who have successfully changed their work habits and attitudes, this book makes it clear that the opportunity for transformation exists for every lawyer, in every kind of law practice and that it is okay for a lawyer to be human, to care, to let the values and priorities that matter at home also matter at work.

Author Notes

Steven Keeva is assistant managing editor of the ABA Journal/The Lawyer's Magazine.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

These two works, although they address slightly different audiences, offer valuable advice on getting the most out of the study and practice of law. Hirshman, a feminist and law-school professor, provides a well-researched, well-written handbook for women considering attending law school. She covers all bases here, from what it's like taking the law entrance exam (LSAT), to how to judge if a school is "female-friendly," to how to perform well in interviews. In addition to extensive field research, Hirshman conducted extended surveys of a wide variety of law schools, using the results to compile what she calls a school's "Femscore," a rating that takes into account such factors as the percent of female faculty and students and the relative percent of females on Law Review. Her findings often directly challenge established assumptions, accusing some of the most prestigious law schools of latent male favoritism at best and outright male chauvinism at worst. Hirshman's assumption that a positive female experience in law school requires a solid feminist base on the faculty may reflect the feelings of most female students, but it may also alienate the more conservative women applicants. Once a student becomes a practicing attorney, one's eagerness to save the world is often trampled by the need to bill those hours. In Transforming Practices, Keeva seeks to put the honor back in the practice of law by showing how it is possible to be both an effective attorney and a good person. He does this by introducing the reader to attorneys who have struck a balance between their spiritual self and their legal self, who have transcended the stereotypical type-A personality by achieving a more centered, introspective sense of self--but not at the expense of financial success. The stories of these men and women range from the truly inspirational to the downright sappy. The best of them demonstrate that among the sharks are some gentle dolphins who either never lost sight of their mission to "do good" or were able to back away from the bloodbath and find creative ways to ensure that the practice of law remains for the people. An important book for practicing and would-be lawyers, and a healthy antidote for law-bashing laypersons. --Mary Frances Wilkens

Table of Contents

Forewordp. xi
Prefacep. xv
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
Introductionp. xix
Part I A Map of the World
1 Terra Cognitap. 3
2 Integrating Your Heart and Mindp. 21
Part II Voyage of Discovery
3 The Balanced Practicep. 37
4 The Contemplative Practicep. 49
5 The Mindful Practicep. 67
6 The Time-Out Practicep. 87
7 The Healing Practicep. 97
8 The Listening Practicep. 111
9 The Service Practicep. 125
Part III Redrawing the Map
10 Practicing Integrative Lawp. 139
11 The New Clientp. 161
12 Legal Education at the Thresholdp. 177
13 The Choice Is Yoursp. 193
14 Transition and Opportunityp. 211
Bibliography and Recommended Readingsp. 219
Indexp. 225
About the Authorp. 233
About the ABA Journalp. 234