30 Books Lawyers Say You Should Read

Who can resist a “must read” book list?  Not me.  So when the American Bar Association Journal sent me an e-mail with a link to:

30 Lawyers Pick 30 Books Every Lawyer Should Read

I couldn’t help myself.  Here is the list:

1.  My Life In Court by Louis Nizer
2.  Colossus:  Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century by Michael Hiltzik
3.  1861:  The Civil War Awakening by Adam Goodheart
4.  The Story of My Life by Clarence Darrow
5.  Flourish:  A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being by Martin E.P. Seligman
6.  And the Dead Shall Rise: The Murder of Mary Phagan and the Lynching of Leo Frank by Steve Oney
7.  Personal History by Katharine Graham
8.  Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
9.  Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff
10.  The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
11.  Leadership on the Federal Bench: The Craft and Activism of Jack Weinstein by Jeffrey B. Morris
12.  My Personal Best: Life Lessons from an All-American Journey by John Wooden with Steve Jamison
13.  The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs
14.  The Horse’s Mouth by Joyce Cary
15.  In the Shadow of the Law by Kermit Roosevelt
16.  One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School by Scott Turow
17.  Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America’s Struggle for Equality by Richard Kluger
18.  The Man to See by Evan Thomas
19.  The End of Anger: A New Generation’s Take on Race and Rage by Ellis Cose
20.  Justice Accused: Antislavery and the Judicial Process by Robert M. Cover
21.  Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman
22.  A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
23.  The Legal Analyst: A Toolkit for Thinking about the Law by Ward Farnsworth
24.  Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
25.  A Nation of Immigrants by John F. Kennedy
26.  Respect for Acting by Uta Hagen and Haskel Frankel
27.  The Trial by Franz Kafka
28.  Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
29.  Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made by Jim Newton
30.  Civility: Manners, Morals and the Etiquette of Democracy by Stephen L. Carter

I’m afraid I can’t vouch for the list, as I have read only One L, The Little Prince, and part of The Invisible Man (yes, I am ashamed to admit, I have never read Kafka’s The Trial (somehow between my English degree, my legal studies, and my general love for reading, it still managed to escape me)).  But I did find some of the suggestions interesting (and no doubt, some would bore me to tears).

What does anyone else think of the list?  Has anyone read any of the books listed?  What did you think?

2 thoughts on “30 Books Lawyers Say You Should Read

  1. I’ve read:

    the Little Prince
    Invisible Man
    Emotional Intelligence
    A Lesson Before Dying
    Cry The Beloved Country
    Half The Sky
    The Trial

    The Trial is one of my very favorite books. The closest thing to being one of the Alice books without being one of the Alice books.

    How many of these do you have to read before you turn into a lawyer?

    • Obviously, you can turn into a lawyer without having read hardly any of them. But I doubt you could read the entire list without turning into a complete bore.

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