Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law

In The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law, Mark Herrmann -- a law firm partner and part-time law professor -- offers advice to new lawyers in a cranky style that amuses while getting across his points.

Chapters are:

  • How to Write: A Memorandum from a Curmudgeon
  • How to Fail as an Associate
  • What They Didn’t Tell You in Law School
  • The Curmudgeonly Secretary
  • The Curmudgeon’s Law Dictionary
  • Seven Hours Locked in a Room
  • The Curmudgeon Argues
  • Dress for Success
  • How to Enter Time So That Clients Will Pay for It
  • The Curmudgeon on Couth
  • The Curmudgeon on Clients
  • The Curmudgeon’s Guide
    to Building a Practice
The book is published by the ABA, whose web page for the book also includes an interview with the author (I enjoyed to it while I was walking the dog last weekend) and (bonus!) a pdf of chapter 1, on writing.

Diane Murley (who practiced law a lot longer than I did before finding the joys of law librarianship) says (Law Dawg Blawg, Nov. 3, 2006):
This slim volume of blunt, but humorous, advice for new law firm associates is right on target. The curmudgeon's advice covers assignments that a new associate is likely to receive, including research, writing, defending depositions, and arguing an appeal, as well as everyday matters such as billing, etiquette, what to expect from an assistant, and how to treat a client.

I recommend this book for anyone about to begin work at a law firm as an associate or summer associate, and for any second- or third-year law student. The cover price seems high, but it is worth it to have this information before you begin employment with a firm you want to impress. The price is discounted for members of the ABA's section of litigation or law student division.
And it's also in the library: KF300 .H47 2006 at Classified Stacks. (It's currently checked out, but that's a temporary condition.)

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