The Happy Lawyer: Applying Business and Ethical Fundamentals

(540 Ratings)

Produced on: February 22, 2015

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 78 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Why are some lawyers successful and happy, while so many others are miserable?  In this program, John Howley explores the business and ethical principles that are essential to your success and happiness as a lawyer.  These same principles apply whether you are at a large firm, starting a small practice, or employed by a corporate or government law department.  Drawing on 35 years of experience as a lobbyist, a law clerk to a federal judge, a Big Law partner, CEO of an energy company, and a solo practitioner, John deconstructs the business theories and ethical rules to provide real-world, practical guidance on how to be a successful lawyer . . . and enjoy it.


Learning Objectives:  

I.    Understand the five critical assets in your law practice

II.   Apply business principles to manage ethical risks

III.  Develop objectives, strategies, and action plans

IV.  Choose the right metrics to guide your success and happiness

This course originally appeared as a part of our February 2015 Bridge the Gap Event.


John Howley

The Howley Law Firm P.C.

John Howley is an experienced trial lawyer with a track record of excellent results in difficult cases.  He defends and protects the rights of clients facing business and commercial disputes, government investigations, and criminal charges.

Among his noteworthy cases, John has:

-argued in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Governments of India and Mongolia;

-represented plaintiffs as co-lead trial counsel in a race discrimination class action that resulted in a record-setting $80 million settlement;

-defended major pharmaceutical companies in patent and product liability lawsuits involving pharmaceuticals with more than $1 billion in annual sales;

-convinced Courts and Governors in Alabama, Ohio, and Virginia to vacate or commute death sentences for convicted murderers;

-represented NYC police officers as co-counsel in a labor arbitration that awarded police officers higher compensation than firefighters for the first time in more than 100 years;

-represented an aircraft manufacturer in government investigations into the crash of a wide-body aircraft, which resulted in no design or manufacturing defect findings;

-won an injunction and damages against the City of New York for violating the First Amendment rights of a political demonstrator.


John has received The Gideon Award from the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, The Thurgood Marshall Award from the New York City Bar Association, and the Medal for Excellence in Advocacy from the American College of Trial Lawyers.

He earned his undergraduate degree from Skidmore College and his law degree, magna cum laude, from New York Law School where he was Articles Editor of the Law Review.  After graduation, he clerked for Judge Roger J. Miner on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  He then joined the international law firm of Kaye Scholer LLP, where he became a partner in the firm's highly respected litigation department and Chairman of the firm's business development department.

John is a frequent speaker on legal and business issues at universities and conferences around the world.  He has been invited to speak at the Harvard Business School, the Fordham University School of Business, the Asian Institute of Management, the Asia Society, and Elliott Masie's LEARNING Conferences, among many others.  He has also appeared on CNN and in other news media as a commentator on legal issues.

Throughout his career, John has taken on leadership roles in education and public service.  He has served as a Trustee of The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, as Vice Chair of the Skidmore College Board of Trustees, as Chair of its Presidential Search Committee, Chair of its Infrastructure Committee, and Co-Chair of its Long-Range Planning Committee.  He has also served on the Board of Trustees of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, as a Trustee of New York Law School, and as Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of the Financial Policy Committee at the Northfield Mount Hermon School.

Sigalle provides leadership to ensure proper execution of Lawline's vision, values, and brand promises. She oversee all operations of the business including Content, Business Operations, Customer Experience, Marketing, and Development to effectively grow the organization.

Sigalle is dedicated to continuous and active learning, positive contribution to the legal community, and taking time to help others.


Desiree R.

Invaluable advice.

Chris R.

This course should be required for any lawyer

Stewart S.

Excellent program.

joseph b.

Interesting and well done.

Cheryl M.

Great teacher/speaker - enjoyed this class.

Leanna A.

Informative. As well, the he does indeed seem to be a happy lawyer.

Lisa L.

Good program

Stephen C.

Extremely well done. Excellent speaker.

Devora L.

Great program

Gregory C.

Probably one of the best CLEs I've taken in ethics and/or the business of practicing law. Terrific speaker who obviously speaks from experience and who really does a nice job of tying it all together in a meaningful way.

Tracy P.

I like the MP3 format - listened to this one while on my lunchtime walk.

Michael B.

This course is well worth the time. Happiness is important in the practice of law. This course touches on key factors which lead to happiness for an attorney, and provides a refresher, even for a seasoned attorney. Thank you John Howley.

Adam R.

great program. will also apply it to my other businesses

Andrew C.

I liked this presenter. Very personable.

Lee H.

Excellent regarding developing relationships with clients!!!

Catherine O.

Great speaker, gave practical advise on a tough subject.

Veronica O.

Great speaker, great advice!

Peter C.

One of best CLEs I've ever taken - the insights on client relationships were very valuable.

Marc B.

John was a great, passionate speaker.

Robert M.

good non traditional type program

Jerrold A.

Great practical advice & very well presented.

Ingrida B.


Ronald D.

Nicely done. Informative.

Stuart G.

Lots of good stuff to think about and use in my practice.

Kevin Q.


Michael P.

I thought this was a one of best courses I've taken at Lawline.

Joe H.

Very interesting, down to earth presentation by a very likable speaker.

Rosario P.

Excellent program

Anthony P.

16 years of practice and countless CLE courses, John really simplified the basics. Must see course.

Bryan L.

Good presentation

Kevin S.

Excellent program, speaker. Very valuable insights.

Scott P.

Very helpful advice.


Excellent speaker

Denise D.

The speaker was engaging and the time went by fairly quick. It was enjoyable and gave me some things to think about.

Erin A.

Really important course teaching me things I really needed to know and do. Confimred my fears about what I should be doing differently, but now I know and will do so. Very interesting adn well-taught, exceeded my expectations.

Susanne R.

As a very experienced lawyer but solo practioner, this has been one of the most relvenat seminars that I have taken on practice development and client relatinships.

Peter S.

great speaker

Jeremy R.

One of the best CLEs I have viewed.

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