6. The Style Strategy, Nina Garcia
Mary Quant said "The fashionable woman wears clothes. They don't wear her." Unfortunately, many law women look like their clothes aren't so much even wearing them, as attacking them. Not to say law men are great dressers, but with fewer options, they're considerably easier to fix. Garcia has several books out on women's fashion, but we chose this one because it has a recession motif to it, it's about creating a functional wardrobe while keeping price limitations in mind. Even out of a recession, it would be a good read simply because young lawyers do not yet have enough money saved up to afford many fashion mispurchases.
7. Free-Range Chickens, Simon Rich
While an undergrad at Harvard, Rich was president of the Harvard Lampoon, and before graduating landed a two book deal with Random House. His first job after graduation was to join the writing staff of Saturday Night Live as their youngest writer ever. He didn't even have to go to law school before embarking on an 'alternative' career path.
Why's he on this list? For one, he's here to remind you of what an abject failure you and your feeble law practice are. It gives you perspective. But, more important than your perspective on your life, it gives you perspective on humor. Lawyers have notoriously bad senses of humor, and it's easy to get out of touch with what the rest of the world considers funny.
8. Crazy, Rob Dobrenski
If you didn't think we were going to plug our own columnists in these lists, you're an idiot. But, Crazy does hold this spot for a reason. Just as Simon Rich can help you keep in touch with what humor is like, Dr. Rob can help you remember what people are like. Granted, he's not dealing with the most stable folk; well adjusted people seldom attend therapy. But, odds are your clients, coworkers, and opposing counsel are a little off kilter, too. Reading Crazy will give you some perspective on just how screwed up everyone you deal with is. Free-Range Chickens is on the list to make you realize that lawyers aren't really funny, but I believe Crazy will have the opposite effect, showing to you that you're basically dealing with an honest to God mad house day after day.
This isn't a book you just sit down and read, but it is one you want to have handy. For whatever reason, a pithy quotation can make you seem far more intelligent than you are, and in an age of electronic communication, you don't need to have the words in your head already. Instead, you can take a little time, look up something apropos, and then recite it as if it had always been your life's motto.
The internet can, of course, serve as an easy source of quotations, but you're likely to just come across hundreds of pages repeating the same few quotations for whatever topic you happen to be searching for. Bartlett's provides a depth chart that you won't get with Google, and despite still being ink on paper, the Bartlett's index is extremely well organized.
You don't have to read the whole thing, most of it is pretty dry and boring. But, The Federalist Papers, like the Constitution and To Kill a Mockingbird are books that lawyers are always referencing, without having a firm grasp on their contents. Want to win a political argument, simply say "This is precisely what Adams warned against in Federalist 27." No one knows. Hell, most people won't even recognize that Adams wasn't one of the authors.
You don't need to read them all, but at least go through the highlights: 10, 14, 39, 51, 53, 70, 78, and 84. ...One of these is not considered to be among the most important, but we tossed it in as a critical thinking exercise. You ought to be able to figure out from reading them which is the least important.