Legal Malpractice has become so complicated that
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Studying Legal Malpractice and Learning How to Bounce Back

Congratulations to Professor Bennett J. Wasserman and his Hofstra Law Students on launching the Legal Malpractice Law Review. This e-journal provides meaningful guidance on legal malpractice developments and prevention.

In writing Legal Malpractice Law: Problems and Prevention, Professor Vincent  Johnson and I wanted to give law students a practical guide for studying legal malpractice issues. Our hope is that the text helps students understand the  anatomy of a legal malpractice case, common malpractice traps, and steps that lawyers can take to protect clients, while reducing legal malpractice  exposure. In that spirit, I am very pleased to see how Hofstra Law students have  moved forward in publishing summaries of recent cases with insightful lessons.

The study of legal malpractice cases and commentaries reveals that all lawyers  are subject to being sued for malpractice. Good lawyers as well as "not so  good" lawyers get sued. What distinguishes lawyers is how they handle  challenges to their own conduct, including legal malpractice claims.
Psychologists who have studied emotional intelligence, report that lawyers as a
group are less resilient than most other professionals. The good news is that  resilience can be learned. See, "The Bounce-Back Factor", ABA Journal, April 2003  at 66.

To start a discussion thread on how lawyers handle their own errors, I invite  comments on how law schools help students develop resilience. What are law  schools currently doing and what steps can law schools take to prepare future  lawyers to handle mistakes and challenges to their conduct?

I look forward to your observations and suggestions.

Editor’s Note: Practicing lawyers are  encouraged to join the discussion by posting their own inisghts and comments. Just click the "Comments" icon below.

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Posted in: Insight & commentary