Author and lawyer John Allison has released a new book, Transforming the Practice of Law: Reclaiming the Soul of the Legal Profession. The legal profession in the United States is currently in a state of crisis. Stress and dissatisfaction among lawyers have reached epidemic proportions. Public esteem for the legal profession has fallen to an all-time low. The book presents a thoughtful, in-depth analysis of the factors contributing to the current state of affairs, beginning with a discussion about the nature of legal education. Significant developments affecting the behavior of lawyers and the reputation of the profession are also discussed and specific examples are provided. The American Bar Association’s Model Code of Professional Responsibility established the professional ideal of zealous representation, encouraging lawyers to be fervent partisans on behalf of their clients. Widespread publicity about the Watergate conspiracy exposed a number of lawyers acting as though they were above the law. As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision ending bans on advertising by lawyers and the growing influence of large law firms within the profession, the private practice of law has become a highly competitive commercial enterprise. So long as the legal profession stays on its current path, many lawyers will experience stress and dissatisfaction in their professional lives and the reputation of the profession will continue to decline. The book contains the author’s suggestions for specific steps that can be taken to guide the profession to a path that leads to a better destination, where lawyers find meaning and fulfillment in their professional lives and where the legal profession is held once again in high regard by the society it serves. Transforming the Practice of Law: Reclaiming the Soul of the Legal Profession can be purchased at www.amazon.com for less than twenty dollars.
John Allison built a successful private law firm practice, chaired a committee of the American Bar Association, and served as a Judge Pro Tem. After being in private practice for 24 years, John was hired by a Fortune 100 company as its senior in-house litigation manager. He wrote the guidelines and criteria the company used to hire and evaluate lawyers in private practice. He personally hired and led teams of lawyers representing the company in mass tort, class action and other complex litigation all over the country. As Assistant General Counsel, John had overall responsibility for the litigation managed by the Office of General Counsel worldwide. He also was legal counsel for the company’s Medical Department and Environmental Remediation Program, and advised senior executive management on effective strategies for handling a number of challenging issues. More recently, John founded The Coach for Lawyers, LLC which offers business coaching, law practice consulting, life coaching and professional training for lawyers.