Best Books For New Lawyers?

I can’t think of a more important question. In this column, I’ll try to help you on the path toward making that decision with some helpful suggestions from both sides of the desk.

The first thing to keep in mind is that being a good lawyer doesn’t have anything remotely to do with being a good writer. Anyone who says otherwise has either never been around lawyers or hasn’t had any practice interacting with them for very long. There’s nothing wrong with writing well—a lot of people who are really good at it don’t write particularly well—but there’s no need to put yourself out there if you don’t have something worth saying. Besides, what about all those other things we’re supposed to be doing? Aren’t they more important than writing?

Well, yeah (and no). First and foremost among these is learning how law works; which is why it makes sense for us newbies not only to read books but also take advantage of every opportunity we get (in person and online) to talk about our own experiences and see what our colleagues and others in the profession are thinking about issues like tort reform, licensing requirements, client service regulations…you name it! A mutual education exercise like this will give us an inside view into what kinds of problems clients face when they come up against an unsympathetic legal system or just bad lawyers; plus we’ll learn how such problems arise in many individual cases where someone gets screwed over by his or her fellow citizens’

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