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Letters to a Young Lawyer (Art of Mentoring (Paperback)) Paperback – April 13, 2005
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Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I highly recommend this book to all those who are thinking of going to law school, are attending law school, or are planning their legal careers. Professor Dershowitz (whose student I have been) tells it like it is about the many flaws in the legal system, the ways that law and personal morality come into conflict, and the flagrant abuses of power that occur.
His purpose is to prepare you for what is coming, so that you can make a good decision about where practicing or teaching law fits the balance of professional challenge and personal integrity that makes sense to and for you.
He also warns against those who give advice, noting that most describe how you can become like them . . . or repeat all of their mistakes because they have never learned from those experiences.
Law is "ethically ambiguous terrain." Then, section by section, he describes those moral ambiguities, especially as they occur in the criminal justice system. Although not everyone will agree with his advice, you will certainly see the terrain clearly. Perhaps the most interesting argument is that "the truly moral person . . . does the right thing without . . . reward or . . . punishment." In making this case, he moves to a notion of morality that is beyond religious ethics.
I could see myself again traveling down the road of disillusionment that Professor Dershowitz describes. First, we find a legal hero. What we don't realize is that this hero also has human flaws of which we will not approve. When we find out about those flaws, our sense of the idealism of the law is diminished.Read more ›
Not a fan of the Bush v. Gore decision? You will find plenty of vitriol in this book to support that view -- sentences like: "The Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore should be followed ... But it should not be respected, any more than the robed cheaters who wrote it should be respected."
But on the positive side, the side with far less polarizing rhetoric, Dershowitz is at his best when explaining the moral and intellectual reasons for defending the accused. For instance, "If we move away from the American tradition of lawyers defending those with whom they vehemently disagree ... we weaken our commitment to the rule of law." Dershowitz explains well how the practicing defense attorney can defend a guilty person without any danger of ethical or moral compromise, and what's more, why the lawyer ought to do so.
Each of the chapters focuses on one discrete element, and Dershowitz excels at inspiring his reader to think. A myriad of topics are covered, from self-doubt to absolute morality, from winning and losing to dealing with criticism. Whether you agree or disagree with his opinions, Dershowitz provides plenty of food for thought, and I could scarcely read three pages before shutting the book to ponder a new idea. This is a great book to start a young lawyer (or aspiring lawyer) thinking about the profession, but be warned that the language and the rhetoric get a bit heated in places.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An insightful book that I loved, though I was not a "young" young lawyer when I read it, I started my career as a lawyer when my daughter went to college. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tatiana Neroni
Great read for anyone starting in law school, or considering law as a career.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
The book was everything the title suggests plus a little bit more character, personality, depth - in one word, Chutzpah. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Kind of worn but it was to be expected. It smelled pretty old, though.Published 10 months ago by Natalie Ortiz
Always get lots of great information from Prof Dershowitz. Am giving this to a first-year law studentPublished 10 months ago by Big Jeff in Atlanta
I am a 3 years post-grad practicing attorney, so maybe this book would speak to you differently as a law student. Read morePublished 12 months ago by margieebee
Alan Dershowitz takes in the reader and mentors the reader again, on every step of the way of law school, becoming a lawyer, life in law, and life politics. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Rick Rubalcaba
If ever there was a 'tell it as it is' book for the Legal Profession, this is it. Although it focuses on the American system, it does give good insight into the legal profession in... Read morePublished on October 11, 2013 by sushilla