About the Book

AWARDS! Keeping it Civil is a Green Bag Almanac & Reader 2013 honoree for exemplary legal writing and a 2014 nominee for The National Women’s Political Caucus Exceptional Merit in Media Awards.

“This book shows how today’s cultural conflicts are played out in the lives of ordinary families in true-life cases that involve love, money, sex, betrayal, and power.”

–Lisa Scottoline, New York Times bestselling author of Come Home

“An excellent, non-technical crash course on how and why lawyers do what they do…substantive yet accessible enough to appeal to both law students and clients alike, this book accomplishes an admirable goal: to foreground the humanity in the halls of justice.” Read full review

–Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Conversational, entertaining…informative and smart…an accessible description of an intricate field of law, examined in an open-hearted style.” Read full review

–Kirkus Reviews

“With a lawyer’s mind and a writer’s heart, Klaw brings a deeper understanding of the way cultural attitudes about sex, money, women and relationships influence the law–and vice versa. Keeping It Civil grants access to Klaw’s most intriguing cases, exploring today’s hot button issues through the lens of ordinary people seeking counsel.”

Philadelphia Tribune

“With this eminently readable book, Margaret Klaw has captured the drama, conflict, intensity, and rapidly changing practice of family law. She shows how lawyers can be zealous advocates while retaining a sense of humor and humility.”

–David Rudovsky, civil rights lawyer and Senior Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

“With wit and emotional drive, a family lawyer sensitively reveals the changing laws regarding marriage in the modern era. Forget cumbersome legal terminology and stale prose: Klaw makes law seem exciting…Klaw’s book reminds readers that nothing about law is impersonal. Instead, human emotion remains the glue of the legal system, societal norms, and family law.”

–Lisa Bower, ForeWord Reviews

“If only more professionals could squirrel away moments in their work schedule to reflect and break things down into layman’s terms, perhaps we might have a clearer understanding as to what it is these people actually do. That’s a pretty tall order, and not many writers have achieved it. As for Ms. Klaw, I will never again view divorce attorneys in quite the same way.”

–Sandi Hansen, Reading for the Masses

“Refreshing, honest, smart, accessible…You don’t have to be pre-law, contemplating divorce, trying to write a pre-nup, or fighting for custody to read, enjoy, or learn from Klaw’s Keeping it Civil. Klaw, who is also a blogger, knows how to tell a story; each is told well and perfectly paced. But perhaps more importantly, Klaw’s Keeping it Civil isn’t just about family court—it’s about family—mothers, fathers, children, spouses, partners—even pets.”

–Catherine Ramsdell, Popmatters

Keeping It Civil offers a dishy behind-the-scenes look at family law, which takes place at “the vortex of marriage, divorce, parenthood, sex, money, love, anger, betrayal, sexual orientation, reproductive technology, and the rapidly shifting legal landscape on which it all plays out.” Interested yet? This fascinating book offers readers a front-row seat to all the drama…Klaw’s legal expertise and her warmheartedness…make this book so approachable—and her terrific prose doesn’t hurt, either. I especially recommend this for book groups, where discussions about these ethical and legal dilemmas will no doubt be spirited.”

–Kelly Blewett, Bookpage

“Author and Pennsylvania “Super Lawyer” Margaret Klaw shares her cases with excitement, energy, and compassion here…That makes this an easy book to jump into, one that will hold your interest throughout, and one that’s over, sadly, altogether too soon.”

–Terri Schlichenmeyer, The Bookworm Sez

“Klaw gives the “inside baseball” perspective…the nuanced tactics that only experienced lawyers know and that are never taught in law school. Keeping It Civil also shows the immense highs and lows that can come with a family law practice.”

–Keith Lee, Associate’s Mind

“A good writer as well as a good lawyer, Ms. Klaw takes us into a rich variety of the cases she has worked, putting us in touch with feelings of love, loss and desperation of her clients…an interesting peek into the life-altering events that take place in courtrooms every day all over America, this is thought-provoking and insightful stuff.”

–Vicki Goode, The Goode Word

“It is not a book of legal advice or a comprehensive analysis of family law but a set of reflections that are both intelligent and illuminating.”

Reference and Research Book News

Klaw writes in a chatty, easy-to-read way about the legal and emotional complexity of the work, engaging the reader with her humor and insights into the dynamics of this particularly volatile area of law. – See more at: http://www.callawyer.com/Clstory.cfm?eid=934798&wteid=934798_Keeping_It_Civil#sthash.nruwmhwr.dpuf
Klaw writes in a chatty, easy-to-read way about the legal and emotional complexity of the work, engaging the reader with her humor and insights into the dynamics of this particularly volatile area of law. – See more at: http://www.callawyer.com/Clstory.cfm?eid=934798&wteid=934798_Keeping_It_Civil#sthash.nruwmhwr.dpuf

“Klaw writes in a chatty, easy-to-read way about the legal and emotional complexity of the work, engaging the reader with her humor and insights into this particularly volatile area of the law.”

–Deborah Wald, California Lawyer

Keeping it Civil is about family law in all of its deliciously private and remarkable nuances.”

–Mary-Kate Breslin, The Philadelphia Lawyer

“This volume may prove to be to family law what Gideon’s Trumpet was to criminal law and procedure–the seminal work that should be read by everyone who is in the field, thinking about getting into the field, or involved as a family law litigant.”

–David Grunfeld, The Pennsylvania Family Lawyer