August 2011 Issue
The great Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. once confessed that his greatest thoughts were the result of wrestling with those of others. “Life-transforming ideas,” he wrote, “have always come to me through books."
Each summer for the last three years we’ve wrestled in these pages with the role lawyers play in the broadest range of our culture of literature—from the pages of pulp fiction to the grittiest portrayals on the silver screen.
This year, however, we thought we’d turn our view 180 degrees and observe the effects of literature on some of the lawyers we know.
We asked 30 lawyers to pick a book they’d recommend to other lawyers—a book they might not have already read or may have overlooked or might not know. The lawyers who’ve not read To Kill A Mockingbird at some point in their life probably could be seated in a small, uncomfortable room until they do so. In fact, they probably should.
It’s a warm day in April, and Skip Wiener is showing off the crown jewel of gardens that the Urban Tree Connection has created out of 29 vacant lots in the poverty-ridden Haddington neighborhood on Philadelphia’s west side.
Private detective Rocky Pipkin is a DNA thief and proud of it. Someone was sending bomb threats to one of his clients, a big manufacturing company in Fresno, Calif. But Pipkin soon figured out how to break the case. He took the mailed threat and brought it to a DNA lab, which discovered that the culprit had accidentally sneezed on one of the letters.