Friday, July 27, 2007

Summer Reading

I've been catching up on the law library's new books lists -- somehow I just skip over them when I'm busy, which is most of the school year, so there are plenty to catch up on. I'm going to highlight some of the books related to trial practice in one way or another. Some are practical, some are journalistic, and some are scholarly.

I haven't read them myself (although I hope to get a chance to), but at least I can give you a little information about them.

What have I been reading? Most doesn't relate to law, but some does.

This week I'm in the middle of Joan Biskupic, Sandra Day O’Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice (KF8745.O25 B57 2005 at Classified Stacks) and I'm finding it very interesting. I had known that Justice O'Connor was on the Arizona Court of Appeals when Reagan nominated her to the Supreme Court; I hadn't known that she'd been a trial judge. Biskupic quotes (pp. 65-66) this remark she made in an interview with the Phoenix Gazette in 1974:

The whole experience of presiding over a trial in court is a remarkable experience. You see every kind of human emotion and human value expressed and you see people in very tense situations and you listen in detail to some remarkable problems and situations of every kind. . . . You have an inside look at crime and the kind of criminal behavior that we’ve all wrong our hands in an effort to stop. . . . There are moments of great pathos in a courtroom and there are moments of levity and there are moments of boredom.

Last month I read William Zinsser, On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction (PE1429 .Z5 2001 at Reference Area). It's not about legal writing, but tips about clarity, directness, and storytelling are applicable to lawyers' work.

No comments: