What is the successful lawyer?

Notes on the
Practice of Law


“Stillness is the Key” by Ryan Holiday

Lawyers, more than most, need clear thinking to succeed. With the demands and distractions clawing at a lawyers attention, finding clarity to make good decisions that affect a client’s wealth, freedom or children is a formidable challenge. Ryan Holiday, author of the Daily Stoic Blog and many other books and essays, has written a guidebook that allows us to do so. “Stillness is the Key” is the final volume of his trilogy, which all use ancient wisdom to teach us how to function in a noisy and contentious world.


An Introduction to Storytelling in a Family Law Case

Stories are Lies! But not in a Courtroom. Authors of fiction can write a story as they see fit, constrained only by their imagination. Lawyer story tellers, on the other hand, are confined to the facts of their case. From time to time all lawyers want to stray from our case facts to tell a better story, but we can’t. Instead, we must arrange the given facts, emphasizing the good and explaining away the bad. While some unethical lawyers blur the line between fact and fiction, most lawyers don’t deliberately fudge the facts to gain an edge. Skilled lawyers do, however, effectively package those immutable (and sometimes pesky) facts. This is the essence of storytelling in court. Shape the facts–both good and bad–into an interesting and believable narrative. Then use the story to sell your client’s case to the judge. And the lawyer with the better story is usually the one who wins.

photo-1423784346385-c1d4dac9893a (1)

My Best Tech Move Ever

Two years ago I discovered an application called Slack (shout out to Lee Rosen for exposing me to it). Slack is a platform that connects teams working on any projects, including lawsuits. Launched in 2014, Slack is the fastest growing business application in history. Basically Slack allows lawyers, their staff (and potentially clients) to all communicate regarding the case on a Facebook like channel dedicated to a particular matter.


Overcoming Sunday Night Disease

As a young lawyer I struggled with something I called “Sunday night disease.” Sunday night disease was my euphemism for the anxiety I felt anticipating the upcoming week. I know I was not alone. When a friend of mine became a Judge, I congratulated him and he told me that the best part of assuming the bench was the redemption of his Sundays–they were no longer miserable. Recently, I had the opportunity to listen to a podcast by Tara Brach who spoke about conquering the fear of failure, and it occurred to me that Sunday night disease was just performance anxiety caused by fear of failure. And it can be conquered.

About the author


Steven N.Peskind

Principal Attorney

To be successful, a lawyer must have insight into the whole human catastrophe and be able to effectively traverse the legal system. It is the intersection of these two disciplines that fascinate me. I have been a lifelong student of both human nature and the law, and have created this blog to help others following my path.


Book Reviews


Practice Hacks


Random Musings


Trial Practice

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Be the first to get notified of new posts and insider tips.

Copyright © 2019 The Successful Lawyer. All Rights Reserved.