Question of the Week

Do you read novels?

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reading novel

Can reading literary fiction help lawyers develop more empathy? Or do reading such works warp your mind a little bit?

In a post at Attorney at Work, communications consultant and former lawyer Chris Graham notes a Scientific American article about a series of studies that indicate reading literary fiction can improve empathy.

But Graham says that since fiction lets you know exactly what’s going on in the mind of a character—which you can’t in real life—and persuades you to take a character’s painstakingly edited interpretation of an event as the only valid interpretation, it can be troublesome to take a novel-reading mentality into reality.

Graham advises lawyers who like to read novels to put a Post-it on the cover to remind themselves, that in real life, they must ask others what they are thinking. He also sees value in participating in book clubs and listening to others’ interpretations of the same text.

This week, we’d like to ask you: Do you read novels? Do you have any favorite legal novels?

Answer in the comments.

Read the answers to last week’s question: Should SCOTUS arguments be livestreamed?

Featured answers:

Posted by Sigmond333: “(The) fact that releasing it early this time didn’t cause problems doesn’t mean anything because nobody knew it was going to happen. If it’s livestreamed, the court will never get through arguments on significant cases because they will have protesters shouting out the whole time, which the media will show, causing more protesters the next time. If they are only streaming audio, it might not be such a problem.”

Posted by splyb: “Yes, absolutely. The argument that cameras and audio gear would be overly intrusive and distracting was never a good argument to begin with, but now it is utterly absurd. Playing to the cameras? Doubtful, and those that do will pay a steep price.”

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