This first-of-its kind business of law coursebook covers critical topics in the evolving legal profession. A fascinating, informative read for any law student or lawyer or person hoping to learn more about today’s legal landscape, the book features chapters on the structure and business of a law firm; the corporate law department; the emergence of law companies; legal technology; access to justice; employment and diversity in the legal profession; lawyer well-being; and legal education reform. Students will learn from detailed, insightful interviews of people working in law, including a co-founder of a leading law company; a legal innovation designer; the vice president and chief risk officer of a global medical technology company; a deputy legal counsel for an artist crowdfunding platform startup; a national pro bono counsel; law school deans; a law firm managing partner; and a senior director of knowledge and innovation delivery. Interactive exercises and questions for reflection and discussion are included throughout the book. This book, with its innovative holistic approach to the business of law, is ideal for business of law or legal professions courses, law school orientation, legal career services programs, and seminars on the legal profession.


Imprint: West Academic Publishing
Series: Coursebook
Publication Date: 05/21/2020
Related Subject(s): Law School Success, Lawyering Skills, Office Practice

Katrina Lee, Ohio State University College of Law

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Book Reviews from First Edition:

“This book should be required reading for anyone who may work for a law firm at some point in their career – in other words, all law students. So many lawyers become unhappy in their careers in part because they did not understand the daily realities of the legal profession, including the ins and outs of law firms and how they fit into the overall provision of legal services in the United States, early enough in their careers. They graduate from law school unprepared for the actual practice of law, and often spend years trying to figure out how various elements of the legal profession and its technological partners work together. This book prepares new lawyers to be more fully engaged in the profession from day one. It provides all the substantive knowledge that new lawyers need in order to understand how the legal profession works now - a vital complement to the substantive legal knowledge that law schools traditionally provide. It is also beautifully written and a joy to read. The Legal Career: Knowing the Business, Thriving in Practice demystifies the 21st century law firm and its context, and does so in a way that is intelligent, accessible, and invaluable. It belongs on every lawyer’s bookshelf, no matter how long they have been in practice.”
—Liz Brown, Author of Life After Law: Finding Work You Love with the JD You Have

“Law school teaches you how to think like a lawyer, but in today’s highly competitive world, it is imperative to bring more to the table: an understanding of the business world and law firms as businesses. A new book by law school professor and former law firm partner Katrina Lee fills this gap in the law school curriculum and provides law students and junior lawyers with thorough insights into the business side of law. Katrina Lee's book The Legal Career: Knowing The Business, Thriving In Practice should be required reading for every law student in the country. The Legal Career should be a staple in the career services' office of every law school. The book is designed to introduce law students and any person aspiring to be a lawyer to significant topics in the legal profession—for example, the growing role of legal operations, the rise of legal services providers that are not law firms, and the impact of technology on the practice of law. Many blogs and articles discuss the future of the legal profession and the need for change, but no law school coursebook is designed to provide foundational knowledge about the evolving legal profession. Until now. With the arrival of The Legal Career, law students, aspiring law students, and junior lawyers will gain a solid grounding in the business of law and be far better equipped to navigate and thrive in the world of modern legal services delivery.”
—Dr. Silvia Hodges Silverstein (Executive Director of Buying Legal Council; Lecturer, Columbia Law School; Adjunct Professor, Fordham Law School)

“Professor Katrina Lee’s book is the first of its kind, a business of law coursebook designed for use in the law school classroom, and is critical to the development of the next generation of lawyers and legal professionals. Much has changed in the legal industry since we first read Thomas Friedman’s “The World is Flat.” Professor Lee, a former law firm equity partner in San Francisco, brings to law students practical guidance on how to navigate the new legal world through the eyes, experience and advice of in-house counsel, entrepreneurs, new law providers, and technology experts. Working differently, more efficiently and understanding how technology and new ways of delivering legal services will impact legal service delivery will give this generation the tools necessary to succeed in their jobs as lawyers or other types of legal professionals.”
—Kunoor Chopra (Co-founder, Vice President Legal Services, at Elevate Services, Inc.; formerly, President and CEO of LawScribe)