Lawyerland: What Lawyers Talk About When They Talk About Lawby Lawrence Joseph, Joseph Lawrence
"We expect law to get to the bottom of things. But if you ask lawyers, 'Does law get to the bottom of things'? they'll laugh. Lawyers watch other lawyers steal, lawyers watch other lawyers lie all the time." This exchange between lawyers in Lawyerland is true. Names have been changed, but as the author says, his book remains truthful rather than factual,/b>… See more details below
"We expect law to get to the bottom of things. But if you ask lawyers, 'Does law get to the bottom of things'? they'll laugh. Lawyers watch other lawyers steal, lawyers watch other lawyers lie all the time." This exchange between lawyers in Lawyerland is true. Names have been changed, but as the author says, his book remains truthful rather than factual, filled with flagrant remarks and unsettling confessions of aberrant behavior and compromised morals.In America's crime-obsessed, law-obsessed society, this series of brilliant, searing, probing dialogues delivers a seldom-seen side of the law-the lawyers? perspectives. The conversations recounted in Lawyerland represent the whole spectrum of law-criminal, medical malpractice, employee relations, corporate finance, real-estate-and a range of ethnicities and genders. These lawyers are literate, articulate, and self-aware. They are masters of contradiction and rebuttal who have learned to navigate in an increasingly chaotic justice system. Lawyerland is sure to engross lawyers and non-lawyers alike-in fact, all who are fascinated by the complexities of our legal system.
- Rave reviews and extensive press coverage for the hardcover edition.
- Should appeal to a large audience of lawyers and would-be lawyers.
Joseph (Law/St. John's Univ.; Common Sense, 1993) converses with 15 lawyers of various stripes, including a female federal judge, a medical malpractice solo practitioner, a criminal defense lawyer, a black partner in a municipal bond firm, a female labor lawyer, and several disaffected associates. The paychecks vary, but the lawyers share a deep disillusionment with the law: Says the criminal lawyer, "Every lawyer [should] tell his or her client that becoming involved with the legal system is like three years of experimental chemotherapy, 100% guaranteed not to work." The lawyers concur that justice is just what money can buy; that the work is maddeningly complex, too specialized to delegate to associates; that the role of attorneys as counsel has deteriorated, as clients now feel free to "tell youin no uncertain termswhat they want"; and that the highest rewards, such as partnerships and judgeships, "aren't worth shit." The depressing tales of mental and physical breakdowns, firings and demotions, are leavened by gabby, self-aggrandizing anecdotes with deferred punchlines and plenty of cusswords. (Despite the frequent vulgarities, only a confrontation between two labor lawyers actually gets ugly.) Joseph has altered the "names, circumstances, and characteristics of persons and places portrayed," but it's fun to try to pierce the veil. (For example, tabloid readers will recognize the partner "murdered up in the Bronx by a male prostitute at one of those fifteen-dollar motels" as a leading partner at white-shoe Cravath, Swaine & Moore.)
Oliver Wendell Holmes meets David Mamet in this collective portrait of lawyers' love-hate relationship with their profession.
- Penguin Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.30(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.63(d)
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