June 25, 2005
Favorite Legal Novels
Posted by Christine Hurt

Randy Barnett is talking about legal novels and touting law professor Kim Roosevelt's novel In the Shadow of the Law.  I look forward to reading it.  (Kim is currently guest blogging at PrawfsBlawg.

Prof. Barnett mentions that John Grisham novels are almost unreadable because of the writing style, and while I generally agree, I do have to mention one book.  I had not read a Grisham novel since A Time to Kill was released, so I was not excited when the director of the Ignatius Studies program here suggested that I read The Street Lawyer.  I bought the book in an airport and actually found myself drawn into the plot of an antitrust associate at a large law firm who has an epiphany that his calling is elsewhere. 

Yes, I skimmed through and read it quickly.  (Isn't it funny how good books make you slow down and actually read, so saying something is a "quick read" isn't the highest compliment?)  But, I thought that one of the basic questions that the protagonist struggles with was a universal question that everyone with high-earning capacity has to answer for ourselves:  If you believe that it is your calling to "feed the poor," then is it better to stay at a large firm making six figures and someday seven figures and give away a susbstantial portion or to leave the high-paying job and do legal work for the homeless for a basic living wage?

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