Come On, Get Happy
Posted Dec 1, 2009 9:49 PM CST
By Jill Schachner Chanen
There always have been legions of disaffected and unhappy lawyers. Few, however, thought there were any alternative ways of practicing law that might change their outlook.
Ten years ago Steve Keeva sought to change all that with the publication of Transforming Practices: Finding Joy and Satisfaction in the Legal Life. Keeva, a former ABA Journal assistant managing editor, offered practical advice to disillusioned and burned-out lawyers about making their careers more fulfilling. The book, which quickly gained a following, is being republished by the ABA in a 10th anniversary edition that can be purchased at ababooks.org.
Transforming Practices gave lawyers permission to try new ways to improve their personal and professional happiness, says J. Kim Wright. The Asheville, N.C., lawyer is the founder of CuttingEdgeLaw.com, a website devoted to helping shift the consciousness of what it means to be a lawyer.
When the book came out, she was living in the small town of Graham and doing things other lawyers there found odd—like having her office comport with the practice of feng shui. Wright says Keeva’s book appeared at a time when there was a small but growing attraction to practices other lawyers thought were weird, including talking about professional dissatisfaction and meditating with clients.
Los Angeles lawyer Forrest Mosten, a proponent of collaborative law and mediation, says the book gave him strength and helped him find his core. “By declaring myself a peacemaker,” he says, “my skills and practice thrived beyond all expectations.”
See testimonials about the impact of Transforming Practices.