For the Sake of Argument: A Life in the Law [NOOK Book]

Overview

For the Sake of Argument: A Life in the Law is a first-person career memoir. It is anecdotal, frequently amusing, and at times candid to the point of rudeness. But while it's hardly a paeon to the profession as practiced today in America, it's also not angry or cynical. Just open-eyed. Many young people start law school idealistically only to learn that the profession has its own plans for them. For instance, many who plan vaguely to "do environmental law" discover upon graduation that most jobs in environmental ...
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For the Sake of Argument: A Life in the Law

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Overview

For the Sake of Argument: A Life in the Law is a first-person career memoir. It is anecdotal, frequently amusing, and at times candid to the point of rudeness. But while it's hardly a paeon to the profession as practiced today in America, it's also not angry or cynical. Just open-eyed. Many young people start law school idealistically only to learn that the profession has its own plans for them. For instance, many who plan vaguely to "do environmental law" discover upon graduation that most jobs in environmental law involve working for polluters – who, after all, are the ones who need guidance through the regulatory maze. Is it a sell-out to take the job? Or does the job provide more practical protection for the environment than any number of protest marches? Or both? Joel Jacobsen relates his experiences in becoming and being an attorney in a time when many attorneys think about giving up law and moving into doing something else. He describes the struggles, the changes in the partner system, the judiciary, and the legal profession as a whole.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781607143383
  • Publisher: Kaplan Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Sold by: Kaplan, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • File size: 956 KB

Meet the Author

Joel Jacobsen's law blog (or blawg) Judging Crimes: A View of the Bench from the Trenches was recently included on a list of the 100 best criminal justice blogs.He's appeared in courts ranging from Santa Fe County Magistrate Court, presided over by a non-lawyer judge, to the federal Court of Appeals in Denver. He's filed pleadings in the United States Supreme Court.Joel has been counsel of record in over 100 published appellate opinions and hundreds more unpublished ones.  He has also set up a conservatorship for an Alzheimer's patient and drafted a non-apology letter that spared an emergency room doctor from a slander suit.His cases have been large and small and have involved many areas of the law.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 19, 2009

    An Instant Classic

    For the Sake of Argument reads like an update on Scott Turow's classic One-L. It covers a lot more ground (with much less detail, which I think is a good thing, but that's just me) and has a much different perspective. Jacobsen begins the story before he applies to law school, then continues it through 20-something years of practice in a variety of settings.

    The book is very funny in places, and rarely fails to be insightful in unexpected ways. For instance, it had never occurred to me before that part of what law school so disorienting (I'm a lawyer) is that the students are there for trade school while the professors mainly want to be taken seriously as scholars. But, as the author writes, the practical knowledge the students want isn't of academic interest, and vice versa. It's a real disconnect.

    I wish I had read this book when I was starting out my career. There's a lot about the false starts in his career, beginning at a corporate law firm, then scraping along with a start-up firm taking whatever work comes in the door, before the author winds up as a prosecutor, thinking he would be helping people - only to learn that judges treat him as the oppressor rather than as the champion of the victimized.

    Above all he captures the pervading frustration of a lawyer's career, that so much of what you do can be nullified by others, and the others (such as judges, but also clients, etc.) aren't always either competent or honest. As he says, you can only learn (or try to learn) not to let it eat at you. I'm still trying to learn.

    But I don't want to give the impression that the author is complaining. Mostly he's funny, in an ironic, dry sort of way. I particularly liked his catalogue of types of bad judges, which probably won't win him any popularity contests in his home town. But I bet most lawyers would agree they've met most of the judges he describes. I know I have.

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