Beyond Smart: Lawyering with Emotional Intelligence

Ronda Muir’s BEYOND SMART: LAWYERING WITH EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE, published by the ABA in the fall of 2017, is the first comprehensive guide to understanding, using and raising emotional intelligence in the unique context of law practice. You can order a copy either as a paperback or eBook. Use Code RMUIR10 for a discount on the ABA Shop site.

Everyone is familiar with “IQ”—intelligence quotient. Most lawyers put their IQ scores up there with their SAT and LSAT scores as generally acknowledged evidence of their competence. But what is your emotional intelligence quotient? And why should you care?

“Emotional intelligence” (EI) is the ability to recognize, understand, and regulate our own and others’ emotions. Industries worldwide have incorporated EI into their education, hiring, training, and management programs to maximize performance.

Beyond Smart explains the origins of EI, a lawyer’s historic role in developing the concept, how lawyers compare in EI to other professionals and how to determine your level of EI. Beyond Smart also outlines:

  • Why emotionally intelligent lawyers are smarter, better practitioners (negotiators, litigators and judges), make more money, and are physically and mentally healthier
  • How emotionally intelligent workplaces profit from more effective leadership, greater performance, enhanced teamwork, and increased client satisfaction, as well as lower attrition, healthcare and professional liability costs
  • Why emotionally intelligent practices can thrive in an increasingly competitive and technologically complex marketplace, even outperforming artificial intelligence
  • The steps individuals, workplaces and law schools can take  to raise emotional intelligence

This user-friendly, practical resource is designed for today’s legal professional who desires to improve their communication, client service and leadership skills and create a high performance, high functioning workplace.






  • Keynote Speaker “Advancing Your Career with Emotional Intelligence” Young Lawyers Division Spring Conference and related Facebook Live event Louisville, KY May 2018
  • Webinar “Advancing Your Career with Emotional Intelligence” Young Lawyers Division May 2018
  • Speaker “Beyond Smart: Lawyering with Emotional Intelligence–A Critical Edge in Challenging Times” Dispute Resolution Section Spring Meeting Washington D.C. April 2018
  • Speaker “Using Emotional Intelligence for Successful and Satisfying Legal Careers” NYU Law School NY, NY February 2018
  • CLE Webinar “The Ethical Advantages of Emotional Intelligence” December 2017
  • Webinar “EQ: What It Is and Why It Matters” February 2015

ALAS (Attorneys’ Liability Assurance Society)

  • Panelist on lawyer personality, firm culture and other aspects that impact risk at annual General Meeting of over 300 managing and risk management partners Quebec City, Canada June 2009
  • Webinar “Think Like a Lateral—How to Hire and Retain Quality Lawyers”  March 2010

ALM (formerly American Lawyer Media)

  • Speaker “Communicating Unpopular Points of View in a Motivating Manner” Legalweek’s LegalWomen Focus NY, NY February 2017

APLF (Association of Patent Law Firms)

  • Webinar “How Progressively Managed and Adaptive IP Firms Can Gain an Advantage in a Down Economy” March 2009
  • Roundtable Leader “Law Practice Management for Current and Prospective Law Firm Leaders” 12th Annual Meeting  Washington D.C. September 2009

ARK Group

  • Panelist on “From Codes to Predictive Legal Economics”  7th Annual Business Intelligence and Analytics in the Legal Profession NY, NY April 2018
  • Speaker “Risk Management for Managing Partners”  Chicago, Illinois April 2007
  • Speaker “Developing a Risk Conscious Culture in Your Firm” June 2007

CCM (Center for Competitive Management) Audio Conference Speaker

  • “Emotional Intelligence and Lawyering” June 2012
  • “How General Counsel Evaluate and Hire Law Firms” June 2011
  • “Partner Compensation: Defining the New Normal” January 2011
  • “Origination and Partner Compensation for the New Legal Landscape” October 2010
  •  “Successfully Hiring and Integrating Lateral Partners“ April 2010
  • Compensation for Client Development: Tracking, Measuring and Rewarding New Business Origination” February 2010
  • “Retooling Associate Pay: Key Strategies to Adapt to the New Economy”  June 2009
  • “Turning Lawyers Into Leaders: How to Survive the Economic Slide” March 2009
  • “Revenue Per Lawyer: Increase Profitability not Billable Hours” October 2008
  • Associate Compensation: Weighing Current Market Trends & Alternatives” Sept 2008
  • “Associate Compensation: Remain Competitive without Breaking the Bank” March 2008

College of Law Practice Management

  • Presentation Upon Induction as a Fellow of COLPM Fall 2019

Florida Bar Association

  • Podcast “Elevating Happiness and Increasing Success with Emotional Intelligence,” September 2020

Gen Why Lawyer

  • Podcast “The Female Lawyer Exodus” November 2016

Hofstra Law School

  • Keynote Speaker “Emotional Intelligence—Your Secret Weapon for a Successful Law Practice”  NY, NY January 2011

HudsonMann Compliance Conference

  • Speaker “Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace” October 19, 2020

IBA (International Bar Association)

  • Panelist on “Emotional Intelligence and the Law”  Annual Conference, Rome, Italy October 2018
  • Panelist on “Winning and Retaining Clients through Cross-Cultural Understanding”  Annual Conference, Rome, Italy October 2018
  • Panelist on “Re-Inventing Yourself:  Recognising Decision Points in Your Career”  Annual Conference, Sydney, Australia October 2017

INTA (International Association of Trademark Attorneys)

  • Speaker “Lawyer Personalities” Women’s Power Breakfast 129th Annual Meeting  Chicago, Illinois May 2007

IOMA (The Institute of Management and Administration) Audio Conference Speaker

  • “Associate Compensation: New Alternatives for a Difficult Economy” July 2008
  • Associate Compensation: Where Do We Go From Here?” Sept 2007

Kraft Heinz Company Legal Department

  • Speaker on Emotional Intelligence in the Legal Workplace May 2022

Legal Inclusiveness and Diversity Summit, Center for

  • Speaker “Achieving the Advantages of Diversity in Personal Style” 8th Annual Summit Denver, Colorado May 2014

LegalWomen Focus at Legalweek

  • Panelist on “Communicating Unpopular Points of View in a Motivating Manner” NY, NY February 2017

Northwestern University Business Institutions Program

New York City Bar Association

  • Webinar on “Using EQ as a Tool to Improve Lawyers’ Well-Being and Performance” July 2020

New York Law School ADR Class

  • Emotional Intelligence for Lawyers” October 2020

OLP (Organization of Legal Professionals)

  •  Webinar “Crying Happens: Managing Emotions in the Office”  September 2013

Swarthmore College’s Lax Conference on Entrepreneurship

  • Speaker “Teambuilding” 10th Annual Anniversary Conference Swarthmore, PA March 2009

Toronto Bar Association

  • Speaker “Building Superior Communication Skills”  Toronto, Canada March 2016

UNICEF Three-Day Leadership and Team-building Retreats

  • Macedonia National Office May 2009
  • Armenia National Office May 2007

WLA (Women Lawyers Alliance)

  • Speaker “Law Practice in the 21st Century: What It Means For You” Annual Conference May 2011
  • Panelist Does Gender Affect Business Development and Leadership?” Annual Conference May 2010

Women Leaders in Life Sciences Law

  • Panel Moderator “Combating Gender Stereotypes in the Life Sciences Legal Community: Overcoming Implicit Bias” at inaugural conference Washington D.C. July 2014

Yale Law School (Yale Law School has been acknowledged by the Carnegie Foundation as one of only three law schools offering a balanced curriculum)

  • Speaker “The Unique Psychological World of Lawyers: Strategies for Career Success and Satisfaction” New Haven, CT March 2013
  • Speaker “Law Economics 101: How to Be a Valuable Associate” New Haven, CT April 2007



Author and publisher of since 2006


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