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Lawyers on The Creative Lawyer

  • Andres V. Gil, Partner, Davis Polk & Wardwell

    "The Creative Lawyer addresses the professional needs of a lawyer's most often ignored client: her/himself. With clear, direct prose and a dose of humor, The Creative Lawyer provides a practical roadmap for achieving professional satisfaction by lawyers regardless of seniority or career path. It should be in everyone's in-box."
  • Gretchen Rubin, blogger, The Happiness Project; former editor-in-chief, Yale Law Journal

    “There is no book on the shelves to compare with The Creative Lawyer. Funny, well-researched, and provocative, it’s an invaluable guide to understanding yourself better––not just as a lawyer, but as a person. It’s full of useful exercises, relevant case histories, and powerful insights, delivered in unlawyer-like concise and entertaining prose. should be required reading for anyone who has taken The bar exam – or, for that matter, anyone who is considering taking the LSAT.”
  • Joe Hodnicki, Associate Director for Library Operations, University of Cincinnati Law Library; editor of Law Librarian Blog

    "Michael F. Melcher's The Creative Lawyer should be handed out to every graduating class of law school students at their hooding ceremonies."
  • Jeremy Blachman, author/blogger, Anonymous Lawyer

    "The Creative Lawyer is a terrific workbook to help lawyers -- or anyone -- start to figure out how to find fulfillment in their careers. I think law students especially will find value in it... I definitely wish I'd had it to read while in law school, in part just to know there are options out there, and lawyers who are balancing their lives and finding happiness in the profession."
  • Richard I. Beattie, Chairman, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

    The Creative Lawyer is an invaluable resource for every lawyer looking for ways to gain satisfaction from the profession, as well as in his or her life.”
  • Henry Robles, Television Writer

    “Thousands of lawyers and law students will be thanking their lucky stars that someone took the time to write such a helpful and insightful book. The Creative Lawyer empowers all lawyers to find true career satisfaction by providing them with the tools to take an unflinching look at themselves and take control of their own futures. A book full of applicable wisdom and practical exercises designed to conquer the problem keeping so many lawyers unhappily toiling in unfulfilling careers: lack of self-knowledge.”
  • Deborah Epstein Henry, Founder & President, Flex-Time Lawyers LLC

    "The Creative Lawyer is a must-read. It combines practicality with ingenuity to help lawyers to live more fulfilled, productive and successful lives. It's invaluable guide for lawyers to take the concrete steps and develop the skills they need to live enriched lives and thrive as lawyers."
  • Noah Feldman, Professor, Harvard Law School

    “Whether you are living the law or leaving it, you need wise counsel to make your career meaningful. One part Socrates, one part Deepak Chopra, and one part cheerleader, Michael Melcher is the ideal advisor for lawyers contemplating their options. The Creative Lawyer should be mandatory reading for anyone who has ever set foot in law school.”
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January 18, 2011



Sorry, but this post is so sexist that I'm unsubscribing from your blog. Sorry. It's women who need to make the change, typical ...


I too hate the trivializing abuse of "sorry" in the workplace!


I am also "sorry" that you had to experience that flaming comment from "woman"! Perhaps the lady doth protest too much!

A different woman

I'm glad I read this. I say 'sorry' a lot. Going on a 'sorry' boycott.

Christine (shock!) FEMALE corporate (double shock!) attorney

Mm.. Seriously, this is disappointing. As a lawyer in Australia - I think if you're genuinely sorry (and objectively sorry - rather than low self-esteem / awkwardness-diffusing / submissive-behaviour-playing), you should just SAY IT.
Nothing worse than lawyer-wankers, and Michael by “lawyer-wankers” I mean more often “male lawyers” who think saying 'sorry' in a professional context when it is warranted, is career suicide.
It's not. It just makes you a wanker.

Michael, if you're going to broach topics that do run the risk of being sexist, you could at least attempt to write it with eloquence or have a more more nuanced and persuasive entry. Otherwise - you just sound awful and sexist. Or do we have to buy your book for the better-expressed version?

How unfortunate, I decided to google your name after having already ordered The Creative Lawyer from, but this is a shocking prologue to the contents within. Fortunately there is a return policy for those who are extremely 'sorry' they considered reading it.

With love,


I was just saying this exact thing to a female PhD friend of mine who says "sorry" too much when she TAs her discussion section. In landscape architecture school, I had a 6 foot tall, flame haired, fired up female instructor who one day, when yet another woman was apologizing while presenting her work, said, that's it, if I hear any of you women apologize once more for your work, I'm going to explode. You don't hear the men apologizing, do you? She was right and I never forgot it. Thank you, Paula. And thank you, Michael.


As a young female lawyer, I'm constantly given this "advice." I use "advice" in scare quotes with good reason. I grew up in a place where people said "sorry" a lot - Canada. I know it's a cliche, but it's actually a true one; Canadians do say "sorry" a lot! It's part of a larger cultural pastiche where empathy isn't seen as weakness and where, when you don't measure up to standards (I think typos were used in your example), you own up to it.

That said, apologizing when totally unnecessary is, well, unnecessary and evidences a lack of confidence.

The point I'm getting at is that I don't want to live in the kind of society where I'm told to banish "sorry" from my vocabulary. I want to live in one where selective and appropriate use of "sorry" is acceptable and encouraged.

The first poster's comment actually resonated with me; I'm not sure why I should have to give up my use of "sorry" so that I can fit into some blowhard world. I want the blowhards to come over to my side!

Michael Melcher

I wish the U.S. were more like Canada. Then we were have a more egalitarian educational system and better access to healthcare, and people overseas would like us more. I would also welcome our adoption of the softer, non-macho elements of Canadian culture.

I don't think that limiting the unnecessary and self-defeating uses of "sorry" is the same as not owning up to one's mistakes. For instance, it would have been nice if BP said "sorry" after nearly destroying the Gulf of Mexico. I think, however, that is worthwhile for one to examine one's communications to make sure that whatever one is saying is mindful, rather than automatic, or worse, a kind of conditioned response to social sex-role brainwashing.

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What's the book about?

  • The Creative Lawyer: A Practical Guide to Authentic Professional Satisfaction is a self-help and career-management book for lawyers of all levels of experience.

    Authored by Michael Melcher, one of America’s leading career coaches who is himself an attorney, the book is a step-by-step method for imagining and realizing your path to personal and professional satisfaction. Brilliantly written, consistently practical, and filled with scores of illuminating exercises, The Creative Lawyer is the book that the profession has been waiting for.

From The Creative Lawyer

  • “The process of creating a life that works for you does not unfold logically. It proceeds in fits and starts, involves unlearning as much as learning, and requires you to push forward amidst ambiguity. You have to act before you’re ready to act, consider that your true interests and preferences might surprise you, and defer evaluation until you have collected a lot of evidence. You have to get out into the world, seek out new experiences and connect with new people.

    "I try to stick to these principles not because they’re always easy, but because I’ve learned they work.”