summer reads 2019

 

With Memorial Day fast approaching, it’s time to get ready for summer and a little relaxation (yes, even for lawyers, too!)  So to get you ready, we asked lawyers what’s at the top of their reading list this summer. Here’s what they had to say:

“This summer I plan to read Marcia Clark’s debut novel Guilt by Association. I have always found Marcia Clark, the former OJ Simpson prosecutor, to be a smart intelligent woman and I am looking forward to read her first novel. I hope that her expertise as a prosecutor and also her insights into the criminal justice system will make this book a great read this summer.” –David Reischer, CEO of LegalAdvice.com

“I’m looking forward to reading another Walter Mosley novel, Down the River Unto the Sea, this summer.  Walter Mosley writes detective novels from an African-American perspective that makes everything fresh and interesting.  These are the same novels that Bill Clinton enjoyed when Congress let out for the summer.” –Russell D. Knight, a divorce lawyer in Naples, Florida

“Every day of my life as an attorney is spent living a legal thriller or crime drama. When I unplug and unwind, the last things I want to think about are prosecutors and judges. I need to escape, so I keep a growing stack of comic books and superhero graphic novels that I grab when I have down time. Comic books like Spider-Man are light, fun, and distracting from the life and death of the courtroom. Excelsior!” –Joseph Tully, a criminal defense attorney in San Francisco

“This summer, I plan to read Governing Immigration Through Crime by Julie Dowling. I also have a few non-law books on my Kindle that I hope to read, such as The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness and a biography of Leonardo Da Vinci.” –Elizabeth Ricci, an immigration lawyer in Tallahassee, Florida

“I had the pleasure of introducing John Grisham at a recent book festival. I have read his books since I was a teenager. Thirty years later, I still enjoy them although I will admit I missed about a decade of his books while actually somewhat living them. I plan on catching up on Playing for Pizza and The Last Juror.” –John M. Phillips, a board-certified specialist and expert in civil trial law in Florida

The Ultimate Guide to Social Media by Mitch Jackson is definitely on my summer reading list. Mitch Jackson, California Attorney of the Year, has written and compiled a comprehensive yet easy-to-read guide on wise and effective use of social media in branding and client and personal relationship building.” –Jeffrey L. Robinette, a personal injury lawyer in West Virginia

“I can’t wait to read Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent. What a great movie with a surprise ending. I’m looking forward to seeing how the novel reads. I also plan to pick up The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind. It’s not exactly a legal thriller, but instead a true story about breaking the law. I read this in the early 2000’s after closely following the collapse while working on Wall Street, and I want to read it again from the perspective of a small business owner and attorney.” –Eric R. Goldberg, a certified elder law attorney in New Jersey

“I want to read Confessions of an Innocent Man: A Novel by David R. Dow.  It has gotten rave reviews, and I am interested in its commentary on the death penalty and how our legal system handles those complex issues. It sounds like a gripping and interesting story.” –Dylan Franklin, a business lawyer in New York City

“This summer, I plan to read Trial by Woman by Courtney Rowley and Theresa Bowen Hatch. The book is about women in the law profession and how to thrive in the environment of gender dynamics. Their tagline, which I love, is ‘Tired of waiting in line at the old boys’ club? This is the book for you.'” –Candess Zona-Medola, a senior trial paralegal in Houston

“I plan to read The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly and Legal Tender by Lisa Scottoline this summer.  My partner has recommended both books and since I have exhausted every John Grisham title, I am looking for a new legal thriller author. I hope they are both on par with Grisham!” —Matthew Ryan, an attorney who practices business law in New York

“I’m going to read The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town by John Grisham. It’s about a wrongful murder conviction and Grisham’s only foray into nonfiction. After watching the Netflix series, I knew I had to read his whole take on the case. He said in the documentary that if he’d written the story as a novel, people wouldn’t have believed it.” –Seth Bader, a personal injury, automobile accident, and workers’ compensation attorney in Atlanta

“Legal fiction does nothing for me. I will spend my summer reading business and marketing books by Joe Pulizzi, Kevin Kelly, Randy Frisch, and Joe Lazauskas.” –Ruth Carter, an intellectual property and social media and internet law attorney in Phoenix, Arizona

“I plan on finishing Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller.  I have a small criminal defense firm in New Orleans, and I am trying to learn how to captivate my audience in a way that sets me apart from my competitors without having to spend a fortune on billboards, a new website, or some other expensive tactic.” –John J. Radziewicz, a criminal defense and personal injury lawyer in New Orleans

“Legal thrillers have a tendency to make me obsess about case work left behind at the office. So, in the summer I prefer local non-fiction history for the area we are visiting (while on vacation) to learn more about the sites and forts we plan to see. Also, my guilty pleasure is reading business process improvement books I just never have the time and energy to read during the work year. Measure What Matters is currently partially read on my desk and certainly worthy of a close read.  The classic Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill is a good yearly read to energize me about my purpose and to help me regain focus to attack work after vacation.” –Lin McCraw, a personal injury lawyer in Texas

“I am boring and most of my reading is around business development.  So, coming up this summer I will read Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith, which I read about every six months. I am also planning on finishing The Go-Giver by Bob Berg and Be the CEO of your Law Firm by Alexandra Lozano.” –Jordan Ostroff, a lawyer in Orlando with expertise in criminal law, family law, and academic hearings

“I have to admit that John Grisham’s novels, in part, inspired me to become a lawyer. And, while I did not end up joining a prestigious but corrupt Mafioso firm like Mitch McDeere did in The Firm, it does not mean that I have given up on Grisham’s penchant for gripping legal thrillers. This summer, Grisham strikes again with The Reckoning. Mixing history with legal suspense, Grisham’s novel is sure to be a page-turner. This book has all the hallmarks of a great summer read, and one I am sure to be reading when the temperatures heat up.” –Nicholas Camargo, an attorney in Michigan for a firm that provides comprehensive legal services for businesses, non-profits, municipalities, families and individuals

“This summer, I want to read The Zen Lawyer by Michael Leizerman and Jay Rinsen Weik. Every good lawyer looks to improve their practice in some way. The point of the book is how mindfulness can bring greater clarity and persuasion to your cases, be it from research to depositions to trial.” –Jory Lange, a food safety lawyer in Houston

“I am very focused on growing my practice, so I have been mainly reading non-fiction marketing books these days. This summer I am considering a few books on copywriting, including Content Strategy for the Web  by Kristina Halvorson and How to Write Copy That Sells by Ray Edwards.” –Tina Willis, a personal injury lawyer in Orlando

 

Kristin Johnson is an executive and corporate communications professional, and founder of KSJ Communications, a communications and public relations firm. She consults with a diverse roster of clients spanning the technology, professional services, financial services, public sector, consumer, and healthcare industries. In addition to Rocket Matter, Johnson writes for various other publications as well.