Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

243.6 sec. 001 - Skills of Exceptional Lawyers - Social Intelligence and The Human Dimension (Spring 2020)

Instructor: Jeffrey Newman  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only | profile)
Instructor: Sunshine Yin  
View all teaching evaluations for this course - degree students only

Units: 3

Due to COVID-19, law school classes were graded as credit/no pass in spring 2020.


    Tu 3:35 PM - 5:25 PM
    Location: Law 141
    From January 14, 2020
    To February 04, 2020

    Th 3:35 PM - 5:25 PM
    Location: Law 141
    From January 14, 2020
    To April 24, 2020

    Sa 09:45 AM - 5:10 PM
    Location: Law 141
    On 2020-04-11

Course Start: January 14, 2020
Course End: April 24, 2020
Class Number: 31496

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 22
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 28
As of: 06/16 11:02 PM

Class meets once a week for one two-hour block each week of the semester + four two-hour blocks during the first four weeks of the semester + a mandatory one-day workshop that will be determined. It will meet Tuesdays, 3:35PM-5:25PM January 14-February 4th, and Thursdays 3:35PM-5:25PM January 16th-April 23rd.

Final project. No final exam. Discussion based. Class and small group participation required. Readings required for most weekly sessions.

Lawyer Skills. Reading people, building trust, having difficult conversations, being listened to, improving judgment, enhancing creativity, making good decisions, winning negotiations, managing people, time and your career, making connections, setting goals, investing in yourself, understanding your limits, finding happiness in the law, having fun and being successful. Exceptional lawyers are good at these things.

Experience and recent developments in the science and practice of Social Intelligence show that everyone can learn and get better at them. Most students who have taken this course in the past report genuine progress in improving their skills in many of these areas and in learning how to make continuing progress after the class has been completed. This is a life-long endeavor, but well worth the effort and self-investment.

Law school is primarily focused on teaching future lawyers to ‘think like lawyers’ and have a broad knowledge base of legal principles, laws and precedents, and therefore emphasizes issue spotting, rational thinking, research, clear writing and argumentation. However, studies have shown that proficiency, even excellence, in these skills is not sufficient and does not predict successful or satisfying legal careers. Rather these are necessary, but not sufficient, skills.

This class is intended to start students on a life-long learning process of developing these Social Intelligence and Human Dimension Skills that are the other - and overwhelmingly more difficult to learn aspect (because they require buying into their importance, committing with strong motivation to improve, and constant application, re-enforcement and learning over a lifetime and a career) - of what it takes to be both happier and more successful in your career.

It is NOT the expectation of this class that you will leave proficient at these skills. No 14-week small-unit class can do that. The expectation is that you will leave with your eyes more open, your antennae less wooden, your attentiveness to yourself and others a bit heightened, and most critically a vocabulary of the concepts at play here, a belief in the importance of these skills, a dedication to investing in them and an idea of how to do that - for the rest of your life. Along the way we hope to have some fun and generate enthusiasm for this endeavor.

While some refer to Human Dimension skills as soft skills, they are actually hard to learn as they require learning and practicing new skills until they become ‘second nature’ much like it is not possible to learn to ride a bike or serve a tennis ball by only listening to a lecture and not practicing and getting coaching until it becomes a skill you employ without much having to consciously think about it.

The science about these things has developed at remarkable pace in recent years, lead in part by the work of Princeton Professor Daniel Kahneman who won the Nobel Prize for his pioneering work on the mind and for helping to create the field of behavioral economics. Research, science and techniques developed at Harvard in conducting negotiations and handling difficult conversations and feedback have also advanced the field. Using these materials and the work of Paul Ekman on emotions and nonverbal communication and Daniel Gilbert on how memory, perception and our views of the future develop and of Daniel Goleman, author of both Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence, and others it is possible to develop new teachable and learnable skills that on can master with a commitment to self-investment and the help of fellow class members. Many people report the results as ‘life changing’. Exceptional lawyers have learned these skills.

Besides all this, most students report not only making progress on these skills but also that they build bonds and form new friendships over the course of the class that they have not in other classes … and have fun doing it.

Requirements Satisfaction:

This class may be counted as either an Option 1 class (two Option 1 classes satisfy the J.D. writing requirement) or units from this class may count toward the J.D. Experiential Requirement. This class may count for both requirements if and only if a student is electing Option 1 and the student's other Option 1 class being used to satisfy the J.D. writing requirement is not being counted towards any other requirement.

Student Services is available to answer questions.

Exam Notes: (P) Final paper  
Course Category: Simulation Courses

If you are the instructor or their FSU, you may add a file like a syllabus or a first assignment to this page.

No reader.

Required Books are in blue

  • Emotions Revealed
    Edition: 2003
    ISBN: 9780805083392
    e-Book Available: unknown
    Copyright Date: To Be Determined
    Price: $17.99
    Price Source: user provided
  • Happiness
    Edition: 2008
    ISBN: 9781405146616
    e-Book Available: unknown
    Copyright Date: To Be Determined
    Price: 37.75
    Price Source: user provided
  • Paradox of Choice
    Edition: 2004
    ISBN: 9780060005696
    e-Book Available: unknown
    Copyright Date: To Be Determined
    Price: 18.00
    Price Source: user provided
  • Social Intelligence
    Edition: 2006
    ISBN: 9780553384499
    e-Book Available: unknown
    Copyright Date: To Be Determined
    Price: 17.00
    Price Source: user provided
  • Stumbling on Happiness
    Edition: 2007
    ISBN: 9781400077427
    e-Book Available: unknown
    Copyright Date: To Be Determined
    Price: 17.00
    Price Source: user provided
  • Thinking, Fast & Slow
    Edition: 2011
    ISBN: 9780374275631
    e-Book Available: unknown
    Copyright Date: To Be Determined
    Price: 30.00
    Price Source: user provided

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