top of page

How Books Help a Trial Lawyer

I suppose I am biased, but I can guarantee that this new book by my friend Dean King will be a great read. It will soon be on my pile of books to be read.

That pile seems to be growing larger. Sometimes, I vow that I will buy no more books until the backlog gets reduced. Maybe once or twice, I have actually followed through - for a month at most.

All my life I have been a fairly voracious reader. No one would accuse me of being disciplined about it, although I have a longstanding fascination with all things Russian.

Right now, I am reading Jon Meacham’s new biography of Lincoln. It’s great.

My proclivity for books helps me as a trial lawyer. While I focus on medical malpractice cases, every matter involves understanding human nature, interactions and circumstances. My reading gives me insight - often surprising ones. You could call it indirect continuing legal education, although I confess my primary intent is pleasure.

In various contexts, I have heard it said that the best lawyers have a driving curiosity. I agree. There’s more, however. Part of being curious is an openness to seeing things differently. From curiosity and openness, creativity flows. And I think the very best trial lawyers are the most creative ones.

Coming back to Dean’s book, have I ever thought much about John Muir? Honestly, no. However, I will read it and likely come away with unexpected insights. My curiosity will be triggered.

In the law, you can never stop learning.

That’s true of life in general. Obviously.



bottom of page