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The Significant Lawyer:The Pursuit of Purpose and Professionalism

By author: William S. Duffey, Jr.
Product Code: HH1016
ISBN: 9780881468205
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With more than forty years in practice, including fourteen years on the federal bench, and informed by hundreds of conversations with other lawyers, Judge Duffey has cultivated a deep interest in the culture and challenges within the legal profession. THE SIGNIFICANT LAWYER is the product of his experiences and conversations. It describes changes in the legal profession beginning in the mid-1980s when lawyers began to measure success by the profits they and their firms generated. Law became a business, not a profession. Integrity, efficiency, and strong client relationships eroded. Lawyers found themselves professionally unfulfilled. The suicide rate for lawyers skyrocketed. They forgot about their oaths; oaths that require civility, commitment to justice, fair play, and respect for the courts. Practice today would look vastly different if lawyers aligned themselves with the shared values of their profession and with their own values and priorities. Clients would be treated differently, colleague relationships would be strong, productive, and respectful. But is this kind of alignment possible anymore? It takes commitment and resolve for a lawyer to live by the oaths taken when admitted to practice and to adopt the right priorities. Choosing this path, an attorney embraces the practice of law as a profession and commits to serve others with integrity, competence, and compassion. The outcome is a lawyer who discovers fulfilment and significance in the practice of their profession, and the profession is better for it.
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Reviews

Review by: Robert Fiske, Jr., Senior Counsel, Davis Polk & Wardwell; former United States Attorney, Southern District of New York; Independent Counsel, Whitewater Investigation; and President, American College of Trial Lawyers - September 8, 2021
William Duffey's book tells us, with persuasive conviction, how lawyers can best obtain gratification from their chosen profession; by aligning their practice to focus not on profits per partner but on the basic values of integrity, trust, fairness, civility, commitment to clients, service to the public, and mentoring younger lawyers. It is a valuable book for all lawyers, but especially law students and younger lawyers starting out in their careers.
Review by: Blaise Warren, Business strategist and operations officer at Invesco, Ltd.; graduate of Harvard Law School and The Wharton School - September 8, 2021
THE SIGNIFICANT LAWYER powerfully explains the values of the legal profession, their central importance to the practice of law, and how to implement those values professionally and personally. William Duffey's book brings us back to the core. It reminds us of what clients--from large corporations to small businesses, from paying clients to pro bono ones--should expect from their attorneys, and what lawyers should demand of themselves.
Review by: Richard ("Doc") Schneider, Senior Partner, King & Spalding LLP; Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers; Trustee, United States Supreme Court Historical Society - September 8, 2021
This book is the quiet voice lawyers hear when they stop to think of their profession and the role they have chosen in this life. How to do it well? How to do it true? How to live up to the privilege of being a lawyer--facing tough problems and helping people through. This is a soul-searching book that challenges lawyers to live a value driven life, not just to aspire to it, but to do it. To go the hard way. To reach even though our reach may exceed our grasp. It is a reminder that we are members of a noble profession--and that there is in fact a map to get you there. Griffin Bell, the 72nd Attorney General of the United States, told me William Duffey was born a straight arrow. In this book, Duffey lays his arrow on the ground and waves us on to follow the lessons learned from a lifetime in the law.
Review by: Julie O'Sullivan, Agnes Williams Sesquicentennial Professor of Law, Georgetown Law - September 8, 2021
A must-read for anyone interested in a thoughtful discussion of the state of the legal profession.

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