Dust off your old library cards because we have a list of 5 additional books every lawyer should read. Dr. Seuss once wrote, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go”. Truly, books have the undeniable power to entertain, educate, and even inspire us. Learning does not end once the diploma is in your hands. Lawyers have the responsibility to keep their minds fresh with legal knowledge and aware of the moral dilemmas inherent in their profession.
This bonus list contains an eclectic selection of books that will appeal to any taste. We looked through works of fiction, non-fiction, philosophy, and psychology to compile a list of books that every attorney should keep in their firm. With this list, we attempted to provide lawyers with multiple viewpoints and insights into the legal world. This way, attorneys can navigate the intellectually and morally complex legal system with a clear mind and expert wisdom. Ultimately, these books will make you into a well-rounded legal professional. You will be able to provide the best legal help to clients and advance your career.
- Anatomy of a Trial: A Primer for Young Lawyers by Paul Mark Sandler. Anatomy of a Trial is a must-read for litigators of any experience level. The book offers easy to pick up insights about every step of the legal process. He provides useful advice, clear examples, and straightforward critiques of the judicial process to guide the readers through trial techniques and strategy, effective advocacy, persuasive opening and closing arguments, and much more. Sandler’s book is simply one of the best how-to guides a lawyer can read.
- The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practicing Law by Mark Herrmann. The Curmudgeon’s Guide is a funny and brutally honest account of how to succeed in the legal profession. Herrmann’s book is short but full of valuable information about the mistakes lawyers make and how to avoid them. His practical advice will guide you through every aspect of the legal profession and make you an expert in the field.
- Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell. In this immensely interesting and engaging book, Gladwell discusses the “adaptive unconscious” we all have that helps us read/react to a situation, person, or idea. He informs the reader about how different types of thinking can help you make the right choice depending on the scenario. The book will help you rethink how you make decisions and help you develop the skill of “thin-slicing”-eliminating the many variables in decision-making and focusing on the factors that matter. You can apply this skill in a courtroom and become a confident decision maker.
- Civility by Stephen L. Carter. Manners do matter. Carter’s book is a user-friendly philosophical guide to why our society needs better manners. Not just at the dinner table, but manners that promote trust and respect for others, even strangers. Carter argues why we should open ourselves to the diversity of opinions and people, and to put the common good ahead of self-interest. These skills must inform the legal process to bring an even-hand to justice.
- Bleak House by Charles Dickens. Possibly Dickens’ best novel, Bleak House is a classic of English literature. Exciting and absolutely hilarious, Dickens used the knowledge he gained working as a law clerk to write the novel. He accurately depicts how slow, corrupt, and bizarre the legal system is and the unfair consequences it has on people’s lives. The novel is full of interesting characters and multiple storylines all revolving around a single court case. Bleak House is a perfect satire of the Victorian era legal system that is still relevant today.
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