11 books for lawyers to reach their personal and business New Year’s resolutions

Like most people, lawyers make New Year’s resolutions every year. But if you’re someone who makes resolutions without any plans or tools to accomplish them, your commitment to self-improvement is just an empty promise to yourself. Recently, we showed you how to develop a formal business plan for your law practice, so that’s one great way to step into the New Year on the right foot. But if you want to go further, the books below will help you successfully execute your plan and provide you with additional ideas and resources to reach your goals. Make 2017 the year you get your plan in place, and use these books and other tools to make it—and your other resolutions—a reality.

Legal business management books

Your solo or small law firm is as real a business as any small enterprise. Use these books to help you run your legal business better and more profitably.

“I resolve to up my online game in 2017.”

The Consumer Law Revolution: The Lawyer’s Guide to the Online Legal Marketplace, Stephanie L. Kimbro.

You’ve fully accepted that content marketing is a thing in the legal business, so you’ve resolved to implement new strategies. You want to be one of those lawyers who successfully leverages content to showcase his or her legal superpowers, winning over prospective and current clients. This book will show you how to do that on Avvo and other platforms, including your website and social media. Raise your brand profile online and attract the right paying clients in 2017.

“I resolve to accept the changes coming to the legal profession.”

Tomorrow’s Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future, Richard Susskind.

By now you know that the legal profession is morphing and that the changes are irreversible. You’ve decided it’s time to transition yourself and your firm into the future, especially if you read the American Bar Association’s recent “Report on the Future of Legal Services.” Susskind’s book outlines those changes, explains how and why they’ve occurred, and shows attorneys in all career stages how to deal with them effectively. It’s as sobering as the changes, but it will help you transition into the new legal reality.

I resolve to build my practice in my niche practice area.”

One of a Kind: A Proven Path to a Profitable Law Practice, Jay Harrington.

You’ve decided it’s time to focus on doing the work you’re best at and love. You specialize in a particular area of law, feel invigorated when you help clients get the results they want and are the go-to lawyer in your practice area. Even if that’s not true yet, you want it to be. You’re ready to take the risk, focus on that niche, and scale your law practice into a boutique firm. This book can help by showing you how to adopt marketing strategies that will increase your visibility. You’ll learn how to build your personal brand and ensure that clients have a positive experience working with your firm. It also will help you become a prolific, effective content marketer.

“I resolve to be more productive and run my practice better.”

The Busy Lawyer’s Guide to Success, Daniel E. Pinnington, and Reid F. Trautz.

If you feel disorganized or know you can manage your practice more efficiently, this book will help. It contains 700 tips—“practical, common-sense nuggets to help busy lawyers be more productive, profitable, and happier.” These tips cover client service, time management, marketing, human resources, ethics, technology, strategy, and planning. Written so you can quickly find tips and apply them instantly, this book is “the only book new and seasoned lawyers need to thrive and succeed in the practice of law.”

“I resolve to master building strong client relationships.”

Clientelligence: How Superior Client Relationships Fuel Growth and Profits, Michael B. Rynowecer.

Even if you’re winning with the right networking strategy, you must move beyond closing transactions to building relationships. If you do, your value to clients can outweigh your fees. Legal consumers want to work with lawyers who are emotionally invested in helping them. As a result, says Rynowecer, clients “will pay significant premiums for this rare commodity.” Use the 17 activities in this book to make that happen for your practice.

“I resolve to have a legal practice that’s fulfilling to me.”

The Fulfilled Lawyer: Create the Law Practice You Desire, by Kathleen Paukert.

If you’re just starting your own practice or the practice you have isn’t one you love, this book can help. The author takes readers on her personal journey to career fulfillment and offers advice on how to get there yourself. From choosing a practice setting to identifying your real lawyer personality to furnishing your office, leasing equipment, and setting up the right bank accounts, Paukert shares practical advice for establishing a legal practice that’s fulfilling.

Personal development books

It’s essential for any business owner, including lawyers, to develop themselves both personally and professionally. Read these books to discover how a personal transformation can help grow your legal practice.

“I resolve to develop a growth mindset.”

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol S. Dweck.

Often, even if you’ve developed a growth mindset, you can revert to a fixed one through life experience. Restore the growth mindset you once had or develop the growth mindset you need by reading this bestseller.

“I resolve to focus on things that will change my life.”

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, Gary Keller with Jay Papasan.

This bestseller by the co-founder of Keller Williams Realty, the largest real estate franchising company in America, presents a powerful concept: “By focusing their energy on one thing at a time, people are living more rewarding lives by building their careers, strengthening their finances, losing weight and getting in shape, deepening their faith, and nurturing stronger marriages and personal relationships.” Get your personal life in order with this book.

“I resolve to use the limited time I have to make whatever changes I can.”

Habit Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes That Take 5 Minutes or Less, S.J. Scott.

You don’t have a lot of time, but you know you need to make changes in your life in order to move forward in your practice and personal life. The formula for change, according to this book, is One Routine + Multiple Habits = Habit Stacking. Make a series of small new habits your routine, and you’ll be transformed in no time.

“I resolve to stick to my New Year’s resolutions and achieve as many as possible this year.”

Sticky Habits: How to Achieve Your Goals Without Quitting and Create Unbreakable Habits Starting with 5 Minutes a Day, Barrie Davenport.

With this book, you’ll stop making resolutions and commitments you can’t keep and learn how to form habits that help you achieve the goals you set. According to the description, “Sticky Habits is the step-by-step blueprint to create new habits without feeling overwhelmed or making excuses to quit.”

“I will master difficult conversations and have more control and peace in my relationships.”

Conversation Tactics: Strategies to Confront, Challenge, and Resolve, Patrick King.

Teaching critical skills for business and personal success, this book provides strategies to guide you through difficult conversations—without creating more conflict. According to its description, the book helps you “(1) confront without creating a confrontation, (2) say everything you’ve always wanted to, and (3) keep everyone calm and peaceful.” Using the phase-by-phase formula outlined in these pages, you’ll learn to turn the difficult conversations that are part of daily life into win-win situations