What People Are Saying

About Beyond Smart: Lawyering with Emotional Intelligence

—the first comprehensive guide to understanding, using and raising emotional intelligence in the unique context of law practice.

“Emotional intelligence is one of the most important, yet overlooked, areas of law practice… Ronda Muir has written what is instantly the standard in the field. It is a gift for lawyers and legal educators alike.” Daniel S. Bowling, III, Senior Lecturing Fellow, Duke Law School, Recipient, 2016 Outstanding Professor

“Every managing partner needs to read this book… The good news is that there are things that can be done to improve emotional intelligence.” Sir Anthony Salz, former Chair, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

“A must-read for in-house counsel striving to navigate internal management emotions while enhancing the probability of successful external interactions.” Steven Overly, senior legal leader over a 30-year career at Lockheed Martin, General Electric, NUI, Cirrus Logic and other companies

“In the face of challenges to law firms, the proven power of Emotional Intelligence is needed to assure success, indeed to assure survival. EI is not a frill, it is a core competence.” Michael Mills, Co-Founder, President of Neonta Logic, Inc., formerly a partner at Mayer Brown

“Muir provides the scientific background for what many of us have long suspected about what makes for a successful lawyer or judge, and couples this science with practical advice to address problems all lawyers face.” Christopher L. Kaufman, Senior M&A Partner, Latham & Watkins, LLP

“Ronda Muir displays her mastery of emotional intelligence in this enlightening and comprehensive book…. Thoroughly researched and thoughtfully organized.” Randall Kiser, Principal Analyst, DecisionSet, author of several books including forthcoming Soft Skills for the Effective Lawyer

About Muir’s Articles and Presentations: 

I’m using Muir’s piece on What the New Law Firm Looks Like’ for the Law Firms course that I will be teaching at Harvard Law School this spring. It does the best job I’ve seen of succinctly describing in one place the various trends that are likely to be transforming law firm practice.” –Mitt Regan, Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law Center

“[Muir] presents as cogent an expression of what the future of law firms and law practice will look like as we have yet found.” –IOMA’s November Law Firm Leadership Alert naming Muir “Thought Leader”

Muir’s presentation was pivotal to the success of the program… and brought a fresh perspective to the agenda,” receiving these rave reviews from participants:

  • “Innovative, new information!”
  • “Excellent, new material of real value. I would love even more detail and time on this topic.”
  • “Great presentation!” 
  • “Great speaker!  Knowledgeable and forward thinking.”

–Facilitator of the ARK Group’s “Risk Management for the Modern Law Firm for Managing Partners

“[Muir’s] information was great as usual and well presented. [Her] presentations are always eloquent and thought provoking.” –Facilitator at Center for Competitive Management (C4CM)

“Ronda Muir is terrific.” 

“Frank and pragmatic.” 

“Ronda knows so much–I would like a substantive presentation from her alone.” –Attendees at WLA Conference on Female Leadership and Business Development


“Good stuff!” –Participants in OLP Webinar on “Crying Happens: Managing Emotions in the Office”

“Fabulous! If only all lawyers could hear Muir’s presentation on the importance of emotional intelligence to lawyers.”  Participant in the “Emotional Intelligence and the Law” session at the IBA 2018 Annual Conference Rome, Italy

“IBA Conference: ‘Lawyers Just Don’t Do Emotion,’ Says Behavioral Expert,”  by Polly Botsford, Legal CheekOct 12 2018 

National Recognition

  • Inducted as a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management Fall 2019
  • LawPeopleBlog.com named BlawgWorld Pick of the Week Fall 2011
  • Named IOMA Thought Leader October 2009
  • Member of ENABLE advisors to law firms assembled by Patrick McKenna (co-author of First Among Equals and Herding Cats)  September 2009
  • Awarded 2007-2008 Edge International Law Practice Magazine Award for excellence in writing for “The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Law Firm Partners” August 2008




  • 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

Gen Why Lawyer

  • Podcast Speaker “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

INTA (International Association of Trademark Attorneys)

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

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

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
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

OLP (Organization of Legal Professionals)
  •  Webinar “Crying Happens: Managing Emotions in the Office”  September 2013

Toronto Bar Association

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

Swarthmore College’s Lax Conference on Entrepreneurship

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

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