A Reading List for Reading Week

A Reading List for Reading Week

This week (February 16-20) is “Reading Week” at Windsor Law as well as many other law schools around the country. In honour of this week – more traditionally used for a quick vacation somewhere warm – we offer you the NSRLP’s List of Five Top Reads for Reading Week.

  1. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande (Picador 2011, $12.99). A book about “how professionals deal with the increasing complexity of their responsibilities” (Malcolm Gladwell), this is an argument for a simple yet brilliant device to enhance professional effectiveness and enrich expert/client partnerships. Gawande, a surgeon, demonstrates the power and efficiency of checklists in multiple areas of professional practice – including law? Recommended by Cynthia Eagan.
  2. Difficult Conversations; How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton & Sheila Heen (Penguin 2nd ed 2010, $12.99). Famously recommended to a couple fighting over money and kids in family court by Mr Justice David Price of the Ontario Superior Court, http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2010/10/28/judge_orders_warring_parents_to_read_report_on_three_books.html this classic text offers practical and realistic advice for the most challenging discussions over high stakes conflict.
  3. The Conflict Paradox: Seven Dilemmas at the Core of Disputes by Bernie Mayer (Wiley, 2015) (go to http://ca.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1118852915.html and enter code WLY14 for $35 discount price). Bernie’s fourth book of stories and analysis about how we handle (and mishandle) conflict focuses on finding a balance between (eg) competition and co-operation, emotion and reason, optimism and realism – all highly relevant to the SRL experience (important disclosure: author is Julie’s husband so I guess recommended by her).
  4. Hearing Cases Involving Self-Represented Litigants: A Benchbook for Judicial Officers http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/benchguide_self_rep_litigants.pdf Despite the fact that this report came out in 2007, we have only just come across this excellent resource. A frank, practical and unbiased examination of the challenges of communication among judges and SRLs. The participation of the wonderful John Greacen (aka Mr SRL USA), Bonnie Hough and Richard Zorza guarantees the authenticity and unusual candor of this report. Recommended by Julie.
  5. The Good Lawyer: Seeking Quality in the Practice of Law by Douglas Linder and Nancy Levit (Oxford University Press, 2014 $24.95) – Linder and Levit argue that law school needs to inculcate the values of empathy, courage and collaboration rather than the cold and detached “professionalism” that has historically characterized legal education. Featured in last week’s blog https://representingyourselfcanada.com/2015/02/10/the-empathy-deficit-why-so-many-lawyers-think-their-job-is-to-be-a-jerk/ .

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