Friday, June 21, 2013
I want to recommend a book for your law library, Psychology for Lawyers by Jennifer Robbennolt and Jean Sternlight. (ABA 2012). Here’s the abstract:
Lawyers who can harness the insights of psychology will be more effective interviewers and counselors, engage in more successful negotiations, conduct more efficient and useful discovery, more effectively persuade judges and others through their written words, better identify and avoid ethical problems, and even be more productive and happier. Psychology for Lawyers introduces practicing lawyers and law students to some of the key insights offered by the field of psychology. The first part of the book offers a crash course in those aspects of psychology that will be most useful to practicing attorneys, including issues such as perception, memory, judgment, decision making, emotion, influence, communication, and the psychology of justice. The second part applies the insights of research to tasks that lawyers face on a regular basis, including interviewing, negotiating, counseling, and conducting discovery. In addition, the book offers practical suggestions for improving your practice -- suggestions that are grounded in the science of psychology. In short, by learning more about psychology and how to apply it, lawyers will be more effective, more successful, more ethical, and even happier.
Comprehensive in discussion, this guide discusses aspects of social and cognitive psychology that are most relevant to lawyering: perception, memory, judgment, decision making, emotion, influence, communication and the psychology of justice. The authors include clear writing drawing on lots of current and interesting examples, chapter summaries, and extensive endnotes and helpful bibliographies for each chapter for those readers desiring more depth on particular issues.
Lawyers have access to plenty of pop psychology and anecdotal advice about lawyering. What this book offers is scientific evidence for its statements. The authors back up their advice with the results of psychological experiments. There are also lots of confirming anecdotal stories as well. The book has a good deal of depth.