Reviewed by: David Pickup
Author: Jasper Kim
Isn’t being a lawyer fun? This book was written primarily for American law students to show what diverse and interesting lives we lead. It tells the story of a typical day in the life of various people who have studied law and gone on to have rewarding, lucrative and fascinating careers. Most, but not all, of the people interviewed are American.
What stands out from this book is that most lawyers seem to work all hours – no surprises there – and exist on one cup of coffee a day. Yet they balance their home and family lives with no problems, and find plenty of time to keep fit. There is little about the mundane issues of professional life, such as administration and staff matters. No one has a slow day, or spends any time feeding the office goldfish, or dealing with time-wasting clients. It makes the valid points that a law degree is still worth having and learning to think like a lawyer is a valuable asset.
I found the account of the military lawyers – judge and counsel – interesting, and also that of the DUI Defense Attorney (DUI, I discovered, means driving under the influence). I am not sure I would want to meet many of these people in a dark alley, or at all. Only one person had anything close to a normal life and that was the general practitioner.
A book like this would be good for English students to show what you can do with a law degree. I wonder what you would put if you were asked to describe a ‘typical day’? Well, no one has a typical day, of course. What would our version feature? The City lawyer, prosecutor, academic, legal aid criminal lawyer, conveyancer, high street lawyer – and shelf-stacking ex-lawyer?
David Pickup is a partner at Aylesbury-based Pickup & Scott