Book Reviews

Books on Lawyers and Law School

60-6091-WXFF100ZCartoon credit: The New Yorker

A large part of my working life has been spent in law libraries. There isn’t much in terms of lawyer-ly behavior–good and bad, -that I haven’t seen. I’ve made collection calls (the scum work), I’ve done research that helped win cases that benefited the Common Good and those that benefited the Big Corporations, Big Insurance, Big Pharma, Big Coal and Big Tobacco. Today, though, I’m offering a list of some of my favorite lawyer-related books. These all center on American lawyers.

One of my librarianish hobbies is looking at the books in the background in lawyer dramas and lawyer movies to see how absurd they are. Ditto scenes of legal research. Hilarious.

Reminder: I made no money off this blog. The links provided to Amazon are simply put there for your convenience. I do not earn money from your clicks.



The Firm (and others) by John Grisham. The “name” in lawyer fiction is John Grisham. Tom Cruise starred in the movie of The Firm.

The Associates by John Jay Obsorn, Jr. A look at the life of the grunts of the law firm, circa the 1970s. This, briefly, became a superb t.v. show with Martin Short as one of the associates and Wilfred Hyde-White as the senior most partner. See the bottom of this post for a short film clip or the show’s opening.

Biglaw by Lindsay Cameron.  Here’s a link my full review of this marvelous book–one of the most up-to-date and honest I’ve read.

Anoymous Lawyer by Jeremy Blachman The hiring partner at a big firm tells all, anonymously, on his blog. Hilarious.

Paper Chase by John Jay Osborn, Jr. A novel about life at Harvard Law School in the days before online research. It became first a movie and then a t.v. series.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Do I need to discuss this one?

The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk. A masterful look at military justice.

Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence.  The classic telling of the Scopes “Monkey” Trial that featured Clarence Darrow squaring off against William Jennings Bryant. The movie is a must.

New Yorker Book of Lawyer Cartoons Need I say more? Lawyers. The New Yorker. Cartoons.



One L by Scott Turow. The classic on Harvard Law school. A common graduation gift for the law school-bound.

Pinstripes and Pearls: The Women of the Harvard Class of ’64…. by Judith Richards Hope. This is a fascinating look at the women who first made big in-roads into law and politics.

The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin. A more recent book on the court.

The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court by Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong. The Supreme Court of the Watergate era.

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik. The very popular book on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.


2 thoughts on “Books on Lawyers and Law School

  1. You know how busy I have been at my law firm, but I took a short break (we are allowed two per day!) to read this post. LOVE IT!!!

    “One of my librarianish hobbies is looking at the books in the background in lawyer dramas and lawyer movies to see how absurd they are. Ditto scenes of legal research. Hilarious.”

    Mine, too! Pretty soon it will be especially laughable because there are almost NO books left in the libraries of law firms!

    Liked by 1 person

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