Constitutional Daily

Founding Principles

The Tenure Paradox - Robot pimp

Slap on the Wrist for "Non-Consensual Sex" - Lampshade, Esq.

Intelligence: The Gathering - Graphic and Gratuitous

Grads are the New Illegals - Robot Pimp

Meet Entitlement Eric - Robot Pimp

Wherein I Solve World Peace - Lampshade, Esq.

A Necessary Delusion - Shadow Hand

Do you even need to shave overhead? - Lawyerlite

LSAT Jenga - Publius Picasso

Time, Place, and Manner

...Should have some links here or something.


Books for Law Talking Guys: 11-15

E-mail Print PDF

[Books for Law Talking Guys: 6-10]

11. The Art of War, Sun Tzu

This is yet another book that people like to talk about without ever having read. MBA types have the biggest hard on for The Art of War, but lawyers aren't far behind. Both like to imagine that what they're doing is a fight of some kind, rather than just very high-stress paper work. Much of The Art of War deals with different types of terrain and troop movements and isn't at all relevant to anything except for pre-modern warfare.

The two lessons you need to know are that you should approach a conflict by being so prepared that you win even before it begins, and that people fight harder when given no room to escape (it's often best to give your opponent a way out). You don't need to read the book to learn this, and there are other books that better adapt the lessons to modern life, but you want to read The Art of War so that you can authoritatively shut up the wankers who talk about it like it's the freaking Bible of Business. Ask them how the concept of temporizing ground relates to the type of deal they're working on.


12. 48 Laws of Power, Robert Greene

And here's the book that takes the few applicable lessons from The Art of War and discusses them in depth for a modern office dwelling audience. You might think that Greene's 33 Strategies of War would be the modern Art of War, and in a way, it is. But, it still mostly dwells on esoteric military matters. Sorry,but life is not the sort of pitched conflict Masters of the Universe like to imagine it to be.

Some people will be thrown off by Greene's tone and amorality. If you are, slap yourself in the face very hard. Reading a book doesn't mean you have to follow its instructions. You can discard the concepts you find objectionable, but you should still be familiar with them. There will be amoral assholes in your office, and understanding their behavior will help you to deal with them.


13. The Devil Wears Prada, Lauren Weisberger

It's not chick lit.

It's about a young woman working at a fashion magazine, agonizing over her relationships, drooling over clothes, and they made a freaking chick flick out of it. But seriously, it's not chick lit.

The book is primarily about a conflict that has plagued men since the rise of the post-industrial service based economy: asshole bosses. It's if Ari Gold and Lloyd were both women, and all the whole entourage is dropped and replaced by a few annoying (!) style quirks.


14. The Harry Potter Series, J. K. Rowling

Yes, the books are only mediocre, and the last three movies were awful, but you're not reading them for literary appreciation. You're reading them because lawyers have a tendency to become disconnected from the rest of the world. Love it or lump it, Harry Potter was a huge international sensation. You should not be going through life so utterly disconnected from the culture you live in.

So what about the movies?

Fine. You can just watch the movies instead. Frankly, they're a good measure better. But, the cultural phenomenon is not just Harry Potter, it's this whole weird reader phenomenon. People are freaking reading! The Kindle exists! You have to read one of these series, and Harry Potter really is your best shot. It's far less painful than Twilight, and a whole lot quicker than A Song of Fire and Ice.


15. The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett

This one you are reading for pure literary appreciate. It's a damn good book. Old and famed enough that you get the snootiness of reading a classic, but modern and engaging enough that you don't have the pain of slogging through a classic.

[Books for Law Talking Guys: 16-25]

blog comments powered by Disqus

Philadelphia Lawyer, Unfiltered

The finest blend of analysis, advice, and fury on the internet. Sour mash, oak barrel aged, published at cask strength.


Most Recent Article:

In Defense of Risk (Happy Fourth of July)

All Articles from The Philadelphia Lawyer

Author Profile

The Robot Pimp

An in depth look at the emerging intersection of law, behavioral economics, and robots.

Most Recent Article:

The Tenure Paradox

All Articles from The Robot Pimp

Author Profile

Practice Makes Putrid

Legal practice would be all rainbows and buttercups, if it weren't for the clients, and opposing counsel, and co-counsel, and judges, and the law.

Most Recent Article:

Eat Mor Fiv Freedums

All Articles from The Namby Pamby

Author Profile

Gin and Glannon's

As Shadow Hand suffers through law school, the rest of us get a little Schadenfreude.

Most Recent Article:

I Just Work Here

All Articles From Shadow Hand

Author Profile

Irresistible Impulse

Dr. Rob Dobrenski's daring expedition into the psychology of lawyers and the law. (Not a substitute for a life well lived.)

Most Recent Article:

You're Not a Failure, You're a Narcissist

All Articles from Dr. Rob

Author Profile

Graphic and Gratuitous

Sometimes cartoons are the highest form of communication. Those times are known as "most of the time."

Most Recent Cartoons:

Intelligence: The Gathering

All Cartoons

There And Never Back Again

Defunct Big Law attorney BL1Y shares his misadventures as a writer who accidentally went to law school.


Most Recent Article:


All Articles from BL1Y

Author Profile

Lampshade, Esquire

We're dealing with some technical difficulties here. Hold up a minute.

All Articles From Lampshade, Esq.

Staff Infections

News, humor, and other non-billables from our underpaid, uncredited, unsexy staff.


News Articles

Smaller News Bits

Large Numbers of Law

Mixed Bag of Lawesome


Scofflaw Multistate Bar Review