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How to Feed a Lawyer: And Other Irreverent Observations from the Legal Underground Paperback – September 20, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Palermo Publishing Company (September 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0988391007
  • ISBN-13: 978-0988391000
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,351,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Evan Schaeffer is a lawyer and writer from St. Louis. He has published fiction, satire, and commentary in Artful Dodge, the Chicago Tribune, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and many other publications. He is the author of Deposition Checklists and Strategies (James Publishing). His two blogs are The Legal Underground (now called Beyond the Underground) and The Trial Practice Tips Weblog. His complete publishing credits are at www.evanschaeffer.com.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cairo Brian on June 19, 2013
Format: Paperback
There are a few types of lawyer-writers than Evan Schaeffer makes fun of in his "How to Feed a Lawyer"- namely, lawyers who want to break out of being a lawyer by writing a legal thriller, and law bloggers. This book is essentially an extension of Schaeffer's popular legalunderground.com, but, like the blog, the book falls into none of the navel-gazing traps into which the professional-turned-memoirist usually settles.

Indeed, throughout the book, Schaeffer is aware of what he is doing, and frequently comments on how a certain section is going, or the state of a sentence, while he is writing it. One section can spend the bulk of its time explaining or apologizing for what the last one did. This sounds coy, but it is done with such a light touch and a has such a giddily surreal quality that it never gets tiresome or stops being amusing. And it is more than that, as I figured out 40 or 50 pages in: throughout the book, Schaeffer is pleading his case for its existence, as if he is arguing in court why this book should be written. I don't know if that was intentional or not, but it gives the whole book a certain recursive charm. It helps too that it is consistently funny.

I titled this "Hodgman for the Legal Set", because I think fans of one would enjoy the other. His "16 Types of Lawyers" has, intermixed with normal, assumed types, the Lawyer on the Run, who made some bad choices, and now is going to be killed. His advice columns feature questions that range from how to take your secretary out to lunch to what to do if your building is cursed. It is our world, but at an oblique angle, where there is a wealth of strangeness and even sadness behind the expensive suits and crushing workloads and sacrificed personal lives.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Bernard on December 30, 2013
Format: Paperback
Loved this book! Great fun to read and excellent writing by a Midwest lawyer who loves to poke fun at himself and his profession, while educating & enlightening his readers -- who are most likely -- though don't have to be -- fairly informed on the legal profession. The author's humorous, engaging style compliments the posts on his webpage [...]
An entertaining, smart, fun read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Crime & Federalism on June 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Evan Schaeffer is a unique lawyer for three reasons. He's extremely successful (rare in any profession) yet he also has a sense of humor (rare among lawyers) and is down to earth (even more rare).

In How to Feed a Lawyer, Evan offers insights and commentary about the legal system and through humorous essays, also shares what it's like being a lawyer.

His short essays on "the 16 types of lawyers" are where Evan really shines. In short essays he describes what we lawyers all know as *that* guys. For example, there's not a trial lawyer in the world who isn't convinced he has a true-crime novel in him. There's a separate entry devoted to that lawyer.

Evan's "Dear Abby" style advice columns are amusing as well. "Paging Dr. Freud" was my favorite.

The only criticism I would make is that Evan suffers from the affliction most lawyer-writers have. He is a lawyer - a top trial lawyer, actually. Because of that, he can't totally "let loose" when writing. After all, anything a lawyer says can and will be used against him.

I'd love to see what Evan would write if he went "all in" on a book and wrote without a concern for his reputation as a lawyer.

That said, just as every person has a book inside of himself or herself, every lawyer does, too.

Evan's book is well-written, insightful, and worth reading.
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