EXJ Bookshelf

We’re excited to announce the launch of the ex judicata bookstore.

A mix of our favorites, those written by people we’ve interviewed, and compelling reads.  No snoozers we promise.

Life is too short to spend time reading bad writing.

As we build the collection, we’d love to hear from you.  Is there a book(s) that changed your life and how?

 We’ll go first.  Reading Great Expectations and being introduced to the power of dramatic storytelling.  On the business side, hands down, Ogilvy on Advertising on using words to persuade.

 Have a look.  Click on any title to purchase on Amazon (this helps ex judicata as well)

EXJ Bookstore

FLUX: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change

April Rinne

From a lawyer turned futurist and an ex judicata interviewee. Keen advice for navigating a world in …. flux.  As ex judicata is all about career, and helping you make the most of yours’, we direct you to #6 of the 8 superpowers: Create Your Portfolio Career—‘For success and satisfaction in a world in flux, treat your career as a portfolio to curate rather than a path to pursue.’ Indeed.

ex judicata bookstore

Ogilvy on Advertising

David Ogilvy

40 years after its publication, it is still the best book ever on selling stuff through advertising. His basic principles of writing copy are still amazingly relevant in the internet age.  On that, there is a book ‘Ogilvy on Advertising in the Digital Age written by a former Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather that attempts to overlay the master’s teachings with the modern world. It doesn’t work well at all.  Stick with the original.

self compassion book

Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself

Kristin Neff PhD

40 years after its publication, it is still the best book ever on selling stuff through advertising. His basic principles of writing copy are still amazingly relevant in the internet age.  On that, there is a book ‘Ogilvy on Advertising in the Digital Age written by a former Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather that attempts to overlay the master’s teachings with the modern world. It doesn’t work well at all.  Stick with the original.

ex judicata bookstore

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell

Robert Dugoni

Phi Beta Kappa, Stanford; journalist LA Times; Biglaw associate and finally New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, bestselling author is our own Bob Dugoni. One of the first ex judicata interviews. You’ve got to love a guy who was rejected 42 times before his first novel was picked up. Both his legal thriller and police procedural series are chock full of inside baseball, but we’ll take this standalone novel as his finest.

yoga for one

Yoga For One

Suzie Carmack

One-to-one yoga teaching is a great way to ensure that every client is practicing yoga safely while reducing risks that may cause them unintentional harm. Through the process of co-creation, yoga teachers can move beyond the development.

the body brokers

The Body Brokers

Brian Cuban

Brian has written extensively and eloquently for many years about substance abuse in the legal profession.  He just released his second novel, The Body Brokers. It is captivating and a page-turner.

ex judicata bookstore

Great Expectations

Charles Dickens

To succeed, today’s business executives have to master data visualization.  The art of using graphic and visual representations to make information accessible. We still say books like Great Expectations succeed on an unparalleled level.

Evidence-Based Decision-Making

Evidence-Based Decision-Making: How to Leverage Available Data and Avoid Cognitive Biases

Andrew Banasiewicz

Evidence-Based Decision-Making: How to Leverage Available Data and Avoid Cognitive Biases examines how a wide range of factual evidence, primarily derived from a variety of data available to organizations, can be used to improve the quality of business decision-making, by helping decision makers circumvent the various cognitive biases that adversely impact how we all think.

The book is built on the following premise: During the past decade, the new ‘data world’ emerged, in which the rush to develop competencies around business analytics and data science can be characterized as nothing less than the new commercial arms race. The ever-expanding volume and variety of data are well known, as are the great advances in data processing/analytics, data visualization, and related information production-focused capabilities. Yet, comparatively little effort has been devoted to how the informational products of business analytics and data science are ‘consumed’ or used in the organizational decision-making processes.

accounting for lawyers

Accounting for Lawyers

Matthew Barrett

Now in its sixth edition, the concise version of this widely adopted text responds to the demand for a concise, efficient casebook that introduces novices to financial statements and how accounting issues frequently arise in the practice of law, both in transactional work and litigation. Designed specifically for one- and two-credit hour courses for law students with no accounting background, the text of the Concise Sixth Edition is about forty percent shorter than the Sixth Edition, so students will find this text less expansive and easier to master.

The first section of each chapter, entitled “Importance to Lawyers,” explains how the topics discussed in that chapter affect lawyers and their clients. The text empowers students:

  • To work backwards through the bookkeeping process and, when necessary, to trace an amount that appears on the financial statements through the accounting records to the ledgers, journals, and supporting documentation;
  • To negotiate agreements or other legal documents containing accounting terminology or concepts;
  • To recognize “red flags” that suggest financial difficulties–or even financial fraud; and
  • To understand–and, when necessary, defend against–the opportunities to obtain accounting-related information about an underlying lawsuit
On Brand - book image

On Brand

Aliza Licht

Part career guide, part personal growth guide.  Referenced in ex judicata’s conversation with psychiatric nurse, Juan Velez.: “It is absolutely fantastic in terms of advice on reinventing yourself and seeing yourself from a different perspective.”

the simple guide to legal innovation

The Simple Guide to Legal Innovation

Lucy Endel Bassli

For any lawyer who needs to get their arms around the amorphous term ‘innovation’ as it relates to the legal marketplace, this book is an excellent place to start.  For our purposes, it should be mandatory reading for any lawyer seeking to transition to the world of legal ops.  A fan of Lucy’s on LinkedIn wrote: “(Lucy) is the author of my most gifted book. I have literally given a hundred copies away (exj interrupts—how about we say ‘a lot) Full disclosure, Lucy is an investor in exj and we are lucky to have her.

city of devils book

City of Devils: The Two Men Who Ruled the Underworld of Old Shanghai

Paul French

This is an extraordinary book for 2 reasons.  It is a true story told in novel form.  And it contains no dialogue. It is all description, yet you feel you are immersed in the world of these actual people inhabiting the Shanghai of the 1930s. 2 unrelated chancers, one an American, the other an Austrian, show up with nothing and wind up being at the epicenter of the opulence, the gambling, the opium, the sex, the money, the violence, the poverty.  As the author quotes at the beginning “The conduct of the people was so frightful, that I felt for some time afterwards almost as if I were living in a city of devils.”

bubble balloons and birds

Bubble, Balloons & Birds

Dr. Mary McCluskey

We know Dr. McCluskey for her work helping high achievers overcome their anxiety and depression. Who knew she was also the author of a brand-new book to help children overcome anxiety?  Filled with strategies and activities to help kids in these turbulent times.  The book just became a top seller in the Children’s category on Amazon.com.  Why do we include it here at ex judicata?  Because it is hard enough to leave law for a new career.  Our users with a family have that much more on their plate.  A good book to have handy.

corporate confidential

Corporate Confidential

Cynthia Shapiro

For anyone moving from a law firm to a business job you will suddenly be working on another planet. This book, written by a former senior HR executive provides the rules of the road for building a career in Corporate America.  Here is just a sampling of the wisdom: Don’t make friends at work-why its deadly to be liked; HR’s job is to protect the company against you; why managers and co-workers will not tell you about career-limiting moves (okay, you law firm people already know this); “Do you feel there’s something…looming over your career, but can’t quite put your finger on it?  It’s not your imagination. It’s real.”

legal tech ecosystem

The Legal Tech Ecosystem: Innovation, Advancement & the Future of Law Practice

Colin S. Levy

Considered a seminal work in the legal tech space.  Ahead of it’s time but still very relevant. For those knee-deep in the challenges of trying to not only manage digital transformation in a law department but also managing the messaging to keep everyone on the same page.  If you’re new to all this, or thinking about a career in legal tech/legal ops it is nevertheless valuable as the learning is easy to digest. The kind of book that could only be written by one with diverse career experiences. In the author’s case, a mix of the practice of law, publishing, education, technology along with cybersecurity.

power a users guide

Power: A Users Guide

Julie Diamond, Ph.D.

Another book that should be required reading for any attorneys moving from law to business Because power is a very different concept in Corporate America.  The book, which is full of exercises and stories, is really a manual for developing external authority, understanding your power, and how to wield it in the most mindful way. Almost 10 years old, the book is as relevant today as it was when first published.

data analytic literacy

Data Analytic Literacy

Andrew Banasiewicz

The explosive growth in volume and varieties of data generated by the seemingly endless arrays of digital systems and applications is rapidly elevating the importance of being able to utilize data; in fact, data analytic literacy is becoming as important now, at the onset of the Digital Era, as rudimentary literacy and numeracy were throughout the Industrial Era. And yet, what constitutes data analytic literacy is poorly understood. To some, data analytic literacy is the ability to use basic statistics, to others it is data science ‘light’, and to still others it is just general familiarity with common data analytic outcomes.

Exploring the scope and the structure of rudimentary data analytic competencies is at the core of this book which takes the perspective that data analytics is a new and distinct domain of knowledge and practice. It offers application-minded framing of rudimentary data analytic competencies built around conceptually sound and practically meaningful processes and mechanics of systematically transforming messy and heterogeneous data into informative insights. 

Data Analytic Literacy is meant to offer an easy-to-follow overview of the critical elements of the reasoning behind basic data manipulation and analysis approaches and steps, coupled with the commonly used data analytic and data communication techniques and tools. It offers an all-inclusive guide to developing basic data analytics.

legal operations in the age of ai and data

Legal Operations in the Age of AI and Data

Olga Mack

Occasionally, we get wind of a book about to be published that we think is particularly noteworthy. Later in June, Legal Operations in the Age of AI and Data edited by Olga Mack, JD, entrepreneur, strategic advisor, TEDx speaker and the GenAI Editor at law.MIT.edu will be available on Amazon. Nothing less than leading-edge information on AI’s transformative impact on legal operations and how you can harness the power effectively and ethically.  This is a book for all in the ex judicata community who are interested in transitioning to a career in Legal Ops.  And, for those JDs already in Legal Ops, if you don’t already have the book on pre-order you really should Another book that should be required reading for any attorneys moving from law to business Because power is a very different concept in Corporate America.  The book, which is full of exercises and stories, is really a manual for developing external authority, understanding your power, and how to wield it in the most mindful way. Almost 10 years old, the book is as relevant today as it was when first published.

Get on board

Get on Board: Earning Your Ticket to a Corporate Board Seat

Olga Mack

Probably the number one question we get at ex judicata from experienced law firm partners is how can I get on a corporate board of directors?  Before doing anything else we ask if their firm allows board service and if not, are they prepared to step down?  Assuming yes in either case, we like to recommend they read this book. The author, Olga Mack, a lawyer and seasoned corporate executive, pulls no punches in making clear it is an arduous task taking 1-5 years.  If you buy in, this book will walk you through all the steps from A-Z involving research, strategic positioning, networking, elevating your profile all the way to crafting your very personal elevator pitch.

How to swim with the sharks without being eaten alive

Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive

Harvey Mackay

If we are honest, the majority of business books are a snooze. Harvey Mackay’s classic, Swim with the Sharks without being Eaten Alive is as relevant today as it was when it was published in 2005.  Absolutely essential for any lawyer who wants a leg up whether moving to Corporate America or launching a startup.  Who wouldn’t want to read a chapter titled: How to Get Appointments with People Who Absolutely, Positively Don’t Want to See You.

the age of combustion

The Age of Combustion

Stephen Bayley

The subhead to the book is actually Notes on Automobile Design.  We are not ‘car guys’ per se, but the writing is beautiful, insightful and full of observations on contemporary society.  For our transitioning lawyers the concept of innovation and how some have navigated change is valuable. I am fond of a good portent. You know. The usual. Thunder, lightning, dead dogs, strange births, dew of blood, stars with trains of fire, owls in daylight, eclipses, eruptions, and what Macbeth called ‘dire combustion and confused events’. Yes.

book - justice and faith

Justice and Faith – The Frank Murphy Story

Greg Zipes

Ever heard of Supreme Court Justice Frank Murphy?  We didn’t think so, which makes attorney Greg Zopes terrific biography on the man all the more important.  How’s this trajectory—born in a small town, Mayor of Detroit, Governor of Michigan, US Supreme Court Justice.  A staunch defender of individual liberty and battler against discrimination, he was the main dissent in Korematsu vs. United States the case that upheld the unjust detention of Japanese-Americans during WW II. His argument records the word ‘racist’ for the first time in a US Supreme Court opinion.  Awarded the Midwestern History Association’s Hamlin Garland Prize in popular history.

ex judicata bookstore

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Robert Pesig

A nice premise–a meditation on how to live a better life set around the narration of a cross-country motorcycle trip taken by a father and son.  While it has sold 5,000,000+ copies, we challenge you to find someone who has actually read the whole book.    

Business application? A wonderful book to be seen with.  People will assume you are wiser than you are.

Harness the power of your anxiety

Nervous Energy

Dr. Chole Carmichael

Word association. Lawyers!  ex judicata had an engaging sit-down with ‘Dr. Chloe’. Her book is filled with tips and techniques that can help JDs leaving law use all that anxiety to successfully land a new position. This is not pop psychology.  It works.

A civil action book

A Civil Action

Jonathan Harr

A nonfiction book that reads like a novel. In fact, probably, better than 95.0% of the books generated by the legal fiction mill.  The story–One lawyer against the resources of WR Grace and a huge legal team from legacy firm Hale & Dorr in a toxic tort trial. We also like it because, in a brush with greatness, ex judicata knew one of the main characters in the book, James Gordon, who was the lone lawyer’s business manager (played by Bill Macy in the awful movie based on the book.)

book - the swerve

The Swerve

Stephen Greenblatt

The Swerve is really about another work of art. Roman philosopher, Lucretius’s lengthy poem, The Nature of Things.  In 1417, the greatest book hunter of the Renaissance, Poggio Broccolini, discovered a copy of The Nature of Things in a remote monastery.  It had been lost to the world for over a thousand years.  It is the only known work by Lucretius and it literally changed the course of history.

These concepts (you’ll have to read The Nature of Things, to learn what they are…) helped to guide the thinking of Cicero, Virgil, Galileo, Shakespeare, Thomas More, Freud, Einstein, Darwin, Melville, Voltaire, and countless others who came to shape the modern world.

leave the law

How to Leave the Law

Liz Brown & Amy Impellizzeri

With a Harvard-trained lawyer turned business professor and a former Skadden litigator turned novelist teaming up the final piece of the puzzle is in place.  Not quite.  But if you seek a practical guidebook to get you from law to out of law, this is a valuable resource which includes case studies.

book - meditations


Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius ruled the Roman Empire from 161-189 CE. In Meditations, we have the private thoughts of the world’s most powerful man giving himself advice. This is stoic philosophy in 12 chapters.  Because justice and doing the right thing pervade the work, the relationship to rule of law is direct.  But this is really a book about living the best life. “You have power over your mind—not outside events.  Realize this and you will find strength.”  Amen, brother.

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Reversed in Part

Adam Pascarella

One of the better ‘these people have left the practice of law for a new career’ books. 

15 different people, 15 different paths.  But, as with most of these titles, there is little practical information on going from point A to point B if you want to leave law for an alternative career.