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The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  221 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
This collection of essays written by The Curmudgeon, offers practical, honest and you need to know this advice for surviving and thriving in a law firm. The book covers the basics of law practice and law firm etiquette, from doing effective research and writing to dressing for success, dealing with staff and clients and building a law practice. Concise, humorous and full o ...more
Paperback, [With Bookmark], 135 pages
Published March 25th 2006 by American Bar Association
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Aug 25, 2015 Kitty rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: law students and associates
Recommended to Kitty by: lawyer
During my third year of law school, an associate at the firm I was clerking for gave this book to me to read. I believe whole heartily this is the one book your should read (apart from your textbooks) during law school. Read it earlier rather than later in your career. It is not only hilarious, but accurate...scary accurate to what you should be doing your first few years out of law school.

The book is small, but contained within its pages are years of wisdom that can make or break your legal ca
Robert Bunn
Mar 22, 2017 Robert Bunn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing Book!!

Every attorney should read this and give it to their staff for them to read, understand, and implement. Straight talk, and invaluable perspective!
Dec 21, 2008 Jackie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reference
I would say that my love for this book is a sure sign that I am getting old, but I have kept a copy close-at-hand since law school (right next to my treasured copy of The Bluebook), so I guess it just means that I am a nerd. It sets forth expectations for young associates in a concise, grumpy manner -- not unlike the manner of many of the partners for whom they will be working. I have given copies to a number of my mentees over the years; I think firms should give a copy to all new associates. A ...more
Aug 27, 2012 Michelle rated it it was amazing
The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practicing Law by Mark Hermann is a short, snappy guide full of years of law firm wisdom for young associates delivered tongue-in-cheek–and yet quite seriously at the same time.

Hermann lives up to the “curmudgeon” in the title with page after page of “the truth hurts” kind of knowledge, offering advice on writing memoranda as an associate, entering time so clients will pay for it, building a practice, and so much more. Several parts of the book were laugh-out-loud funny
Yousef M
Mar 16, 2014 Yousef M rated it really liked it
Shelves: law, humor, reference, career
Received this concise tongue-in-cheek guide during law school, written from the perspective of a fictionalized humorously harsh BigLaw partner. Didn't really understand it at the time, but having worked at a large law firm for the past 6 months, the sage advice offered is a great wake up call on where associates fail, how to do basic tasks to the satisfaction of partners/clients, and how to develop your own practice. Give yourself a few months in a large law firm and this book will become a grea ...more
Dec 04, 2013 Abby rated it it was amazing
One of my professors told me this book would be the most helpful book I ever read before I graduated law school. I waited for it to come in the mail with baited breath. When it arrived, I was appalled. It was so... Shrimpy.

It. Was. Amazing.

The book is full of practical advice that I wish I had known my first year of law school, let alone now. Additionally, it is written in the charming and hilarious voice of the "Curmudgeon"- Mark Herrmann. I recommend this book to any young professional.

Go rea
Sep 03, 2007 Robert rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all new firm attorneys
I know, I know, there's something sad about reading books about practicing law in your spare time from practicing law. But this one was a great primer. While my head was fogged at work with work details of memos and briefs, this book helped remind me of the simple truths of firm practice. Consider it LRW for the 1st yr associate. Worth the short time required to read it.
Nelson Rosario
Nov 23, 2016 Nelson Rosario rated it it was amazing
Shelves: new-lawyer
After reading this book I feel sufficiently curmudgeonly to practice law. Joking aside, this book is a fantastic straightforward collection of practical tips on practicing law. A lot of it is common sense, but presented in a way that drives home the importance of what seems obvious. Sumed up: be nice, be courteous, be thorough, and be thoughtful.
Dec 29, 2012 Ke rated it it was amazing
Shelves: grad-reading-2
This book succinctly informs law students and junior lawyers of the legal profession, especially litigation. While I think there is much more to learn about legal writing, taking depositions, etc, this guide provides a pithy overview.
Jun 29, 2008 Foster rated it liked it
The curmudgeon provides good information for all of us, not just lawyers. These include good advice on how to write, how to argue, and how to set up your voicemail message. Recommended for general "how to do good work" advice.
May 05, 2009 Sarah rated it liked it
This is a fun and cute read for any new or young lawyers. It is full of the Curmudgeon's tongue and cheek advice on practicing law, some of which I agree with and have reiterated to our starting associates.
Zeb Snyder
Feb 11, 2011 Zeb Snyder rated it really liked it
Powerful insights are hidden behind the author's biting sarcasm. This is a must-read because it teaches young lawyers that they are replaceable cogs until they prove themselves. A copy should be issued to every law student before they start their first clerkship.
Jul 26, 2011 Ernest rated it it was amazing
This book was fun and, more importantly, very insightful. The advice will stand me, and those who read it, in very good stead.
Jun 21, 2015 Michelle rated it really liked it
I wish I had read this book before beginning law school. It is short, funny, and helps you know what to expect when entering a firm as an associate.
Sep 09, 2007 Mike rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Firm types
Good advice; read it.
Feb 26, 2009 Chris rated it liked it
Interesting book. It is a quick read. There are a few points making it worth the read. I especially liked the pages dedicated to research and brief writing.
Aug 27, 2013 Frank rated it liked it
Best for young law school graduates who might actually practice law and who have never held a full-time job before.
Colin Power
Oct 22, 2014 Colin Power rated it liked it
If you are an attorney and have billable hours, pick this up and just read that section.
Feb 03, 2013 Adam rated it really liked it
Great advice in a fun format. Brief enough to read several times.
Sarah Atkinson
Nov 05, 2013 Sarah Atkinson rated it really liked it
Must read for those right out of law school
Oct 25, 2007 Kevin rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: lawyers
Too expensive on a dollar-per-page basis but still worth it
Jenny rated it it was amazing
May 10, 2012
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Emily rated it it was ok
Jun 13, 2016
Daniel Page
Daniel Page rated it it was amazing
May 21, 2016
Tisha rated it it was amazing
Dec 13, 2016
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May 30, 2016
Jim Cook
Jim Cook rated it it was amazing
Jun 13, 2008
Brian rated it liked it
Apr 04, 2016
Bryce Farrington
Bryce Farrington rated it it was amazing
Apr 24, 2017
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