October 01, 2018 ILN Fall 2018

Book Review: Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands: Courtrooms to Corporate Counsels (ABA Publishing, 2018)

By Joshua M. Toman

This latest installment in the Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands series of books by bestselling author Terri Morrison is a fantastic communication tool geared toward attorneys who practice in all segments of law and in varied settings, including in private, government, and corporate practice. Morrison does an excellent job of outlining why cultural sensitivity is so important in the legal profession and gives examples of situations where non-verbal communication, body language, and a personal relationship between a client and an attorney can either seal or sink the deal in many countries around the world.

As international law and cross-border transactions impact all major industry sectors, attorneys now are required to interact with and provide service to business professionals worldwide with varying local customs and business practices. It is essential that attorneys be skilled in diplomacy, tact, and the proper cultural norms of the region where they are doing business to gain respect, credibility, and trust, which are vital to establishing a successful business relationship. This book will educate attorneys on developing these intercultural communication and negotiation skills needed to increase their marketability and reputations in jurisdictions around the globe.

Kiss, Bow, Shake Hands: Courtrooms to Corporate Counsels is a must purchase for anyone involved in law, including the legal assistants, law clerks, and executive assistants who support attorneys in their jobs and who may interact with clients via phone, email, or in person. The book’s first section provides a general overview of what to do and what not to do and how the concepts of time, silence, logic, and persuasion vary across cultures. Individual chapters cover cultural differences in more than forty countries, including tips on how close to stand, whether you should kiss, bow, or shake hands, and other important cultural information that will give attorneys and those in the legal field the skills to develop business on a global scale.

A truly engaging, practical, and essential addition to any law firm’s training resources for attorneys and staff. It is also a helpful resource for law libraries for use by students and faculty and for a range of legal professionals looking to expand their leadership and communication skills.

Order Terri Morrison, Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands: Courtrooms to Corporate Counsels (ABA Publishing, 2018).

Joshua M. Toman

Joshua M. Toman is a consultant at Phoenix Legal Innovations, LLC. The author would like to thank Maegan Siscar, an intern with the ABA Section of International Law, for her assistance.