Book reviews are usually posted in my personal weblog Puttering in the Study where I can explain why this book on history, that book on naval history, or this other book on Byzantine history was of interest to me, but since this book deals with the practice of law, I thought I'd post it here.
I heard about Curmudgeon's Guide published by the ABA Press a few weeks ago and ordered it, intrigued at whether all of the Jones Day partners were like the ones I've worked with for many years, most notably Tom Jackson, Mark Reiter, and Ken Adamo (listed in order of how quickly they have obtained summary judgments in our cases recently, as the Curmudgeon would wholly approve of). Well, I still don't know if they are, but at least now I know why these guys are the way that they are.
This is without a doubt the best book I have ever read on the practice of law, and explains a lot (especially to those of us that have never been tall-building lawyers) about how we should do our jobs. While much of the book deals with the environment of large firms, where associates market their services to internal "clients" for many years before they start actually being allowed outside the office unsupervised, it provides some useful guidance on what's important and what's not for the rest of us. Highlights are The Curmudgeonly Secretary (which I immediately gave my assistant to read) and The Curmudgeon's Law Dictionary (which was the original reason I bought the book - anything that gets compared to Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary I will buy, read, and station on my credenza for later use in writing briefs).
If you have the time, get a copy and read it. It's the best advice I've ever read for a young associate, especially at a large firm, and a good laugh for the rest of us. One warning - it will get into your subconscious. For example, the next time that you think about circulating an early or unfinished version of something with a big "draft" caveat on it, this annoying little voice will ask you why you are putting out something that is not yet complete or your best effort. (I just ignore it myself, but it may bother some other people).
Nice work, Mark. I look forward to getting my copy signed one of these days.