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The Street Lawyer

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  81,664 Ratings  ·  1,758 Reviews
John Grisham is back with his latest courtroom conundrum, The Street Lawyer. This time the lord of legal thrillers dives deep into the world of the homeless, particularly their barely audible legal voice in a world dominated by large, all-powerful law firms. Our hero, Michael Brock, is on the fast track to partnership at D.C.'s premier law firm, Sweeny & Drake. His dre ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published November 23rd 2010 by Dell (first published February 16th 1998)
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May 13, 2007 Nathan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first John Grisham book I've read. The story was straightforward and interesting, but the book was surprisingly less gripping than I expected from Grisham. I expected more plot twists, betrayals, and fast action. Instead, the story was actually quite predictable. On the other hand, it certainly never dragged, and it was actually quite believable, which is more than I can say about the Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, or Michael Crichton books that I've read (which is sort of the pop-ficti ...more
May 23, 2009 WK rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite books of all time. Not only does one of the most admirable characters I've ever come across, it has a meaningful moral lesson thrown in for good measure.
Aug 03, 2008 Brian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: r_fiction
Prosperous people should feel guilty because there are homeless people in our cities. That is the main message in this Grisham novel.

In the book are perfectly normal people who become homeless because they are down on their luck. Strangely, no mention is made of the primary sources of homelessness: drugs and mental illness. No, according to The Street Lawyer, the problem of homlessness is caused by the selfish prosperity of our country.

Besides the misled preachiness of the story, it's also rath
Bill  Kerwin

A very entertaining read from John Grisham, this is also an excellent introduction to the plight of the homeless on the streets of D.C.
Nishana Sujith
What started as a casual not so interested read turned out to be a great book that really touched me with its beautiful story. If you could ever fall in love with a character of a story, then i will be with Michael brock ; the protagonist(after prince of persia of course).Anyway the story talks about this multibillion law firm lawyer Brock who after a hostage situation by a man of the street decides to dig into the dirt taking pity on the man's story only to find out the darkest and the dirtiest ...more
Dec 04, 2010 Candice rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Boring. Preachy. Heartbreaking. Disgusting.

What was particularly disgusting was the protagonist's racism. There were remarks about a jury consisting of "12 black faces" ('cause there can't possibly be any white people in DC, right?) and the incredulous thought "a handsome white boy thrown in the pit!" and "the shoes in question were old Nike cross-trainers. They were not basketball shoes, and should not have appealed to [him.]" (because ALL black people play basketball, right?) Ugh.

Michael Bro
Trudee Hunter
Apr 03, 2011 Trudee Hunter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lawyer with a conscience? A Homeless man with a message? A law firm held to ransom? So much drama and so effectively told. We are taken quite brutally into the uncomfortable, compelling, and ugly world of homelessness which for manifold reasons exist in ever-increasing numbers in cities all around the world. Michael Brock is a man of character; a man who discovers he cannot live with who he thought he was, following a frightening hold up in his office. He witnesses the fear, disbelief and horr ...more
Jane Stewart
Good but not as entertaining as his other books.

The author’s intentions were to write about the plight of the homeless and generate sympathy, compassion, and hopefully some action. The character development and dialogue were excellent – as usual for this author. But the plot development wasn’t as exciting as some of his other books. At best I would say it is a good story – worth reading if you’re a Grisham fan. At times it gets a little preachy with statistics and problems of
Oct 10, 2011 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read a few of Grisham's early books years ago (The Firm, A Time To Kill) and thought they were, for the most part, formulaic legal fiction. I wouldn't normally have picked up another one of his novels,but years ago I read a short article he wrote for a high school magazine about how he researched The Street Lawyer, and I was intrigued. I finally grabbed the book last week and read it over the weekend. Standard fare for a Grisham novel: a young lawyer going up against a corrupt, powerful legal ...more
Jan 15, 2012 Sandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, fiction
WOW! I loved this book!! But for more reasons than the story itself. Published in 1998, before the current financial collapse, Grisham based this story around the homeless. If the homeless population was bad then, I can only imagine what it is presently. People in general look at the homeless as lazy and uneducated not worthy of their time or money. Nothing could be farther than the truth. The government talks a good talk but spends more money fighting the issue rather than helping.

I loved Micha
Dec 30, 2012 Devina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 measly stars compared to what it could have been.


First off, I think this would have been a great book, not great as in ‘gonna be a classic one day’ or a ‘bookshelf must have’, but great as in ‘an abrupt reality check right up close and personal’. But it wasn’t. What put me off was:

1. Michael’s apparent racism which Candice, a fellow goodreads reviewer, had aptly put it:

What was particularly disgusting was the protagonist's racism. There were remarks about a jury consisting of "12
Jun 06, 2012 Salymar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Privileged people don't march and protest; their world is safe and clean and governed by laws designed to keep them happy.”
--J. Grisham, The Street Lawywer


The novel is very idealistic, it's about a rich lawyer trying to find the purpose of his job- as an attorney.
-It describes a life of a RICH LAWYER WITH A CONSCIENCE.

It's always my dream to be a lawy
Jana Felice
Aug 21, 2012 Jana Felice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book that I've read by John Grisham. After this book, I got hooked with his novels. Street lawyer makes you look beyond wealth and riches. It makes you realize the more important things in life. :)
Huma Khan
Sep 25, 2012 Huma Khan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourite authors is John Grisham. His books are one of the reasons that I decided to study Law for my degree. Even though his portrayal of the law and the job that comes with it is slightly exaggerated and intense, I believe there is truth behind his novels. He is an American lawyer specialising in Criminal law. This is evident within his novels as he is best known for his legal thrillers. I have read the majority of his books and out of all of them, The Street Lawyer has by far been ...more
Oct 24, 2012 Seth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If I had to describe "The Street Lawyer" in one word, the word I would choose is propaganda.

It tells the tale of a yuppie lawyer named Michael Brock who reorders his priorities in life after he's held hostage by a homeless man for an afternoon. He quits his high-paying job even though he's only a couple of years from making partner - and goes to work for a free legal clinic that helps the homeless. He thinks his old firm was partially responsible for the deaths of a homeless family, so he commit
Tea Jovanović
May 09, 2013 Tea Jovanović rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Potpuno sam subjektivna kada je u pitanju Grišam... Najpre sam godina bila njegov prevodilac, a potom i urednik... I apsolutno je nenadmašan i maher kada su u pitanju "legal" trileri... :) Ovu knjigu sam prevela pre 15 godina i nedavno je doživela novo izdanje kod drugog izdavača...
Jen Estrella
When I started dating my non-reader boyfriend, I pushed him for books he had read and enjoyed so I could read them too. This was the book he chose to mention. He's not my boyfriend anymore, Nuff' said.
Jan 27, 2014 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always forget how much I love John Grisham until I start one of his books.
Oct 31, 2014 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think Grisham should always write in the first-person. His stories are livelier and more realistic from the first-person perspective. This novel is somewhere in the middle of his works, and it shows signs of becoming formulaic, but it still feels fairly fresh. The only reason that I'm giving it three stars and not four is that I didn't appreciate the racism implicit in ideas about homelessness in Washington D.C. Obviously, facts are facts, but there is a way to handle them without being sided ...more
Sep 14, 2016 Corey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book didn't feel like your typical Grisham courtroom drama, it just had a different feel to it, but in a good way.

The Street Lawyer takes place in Washington DC, Michael Brock is working for a big law firm that pays big money. Until one day a homeless man enters the firm and takes Brock and many other lawyers hostage. The police take out the suspect, but afterword's Michael discovers something going on in the very firm he's been working for. So Brock has a change of heart, he quits the fir
Kristine Hansen
Interesting premise, a high priced lawyer becomes an advocate for the homeless after being held hostage by a man wronged by his firm. Interesting, decent paced story. My only complaint is the occasional tirade blaming the republicans for everything that led up to the homeless problem in D.C. (not wanting to get political, but seriously I'd say there's a lot of blame that can be laid all the way around for homelessness, not just on the doorstep of one political party or even one group of people. ...more
Adam K.
Apr 30, 2015 Adam K. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was very pleasantly surprised by this one. I always enjoy Grisham on a four-star kind of basis, but this one went deeper and really resonated with me. Something I've always liked about Grisham is that his legal thrillers are never just that. They're deeply human and they touch the emotions. Some people might think he's emotionally manipulative, and that's fine, but I enjoy having my emotions manipulated in the right way sometimes. I'm realizing that I read Grisham because I want to feel someth ...more
Andrea Ika
May 24, 2014 Andrea Ika rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Street Lawyer is a pretty interesting book that talks about an experience that a lawyer had when he was held hostage by homeless man and the investigation that he went through to find out why the homeless why did what he did
Thought-provoking with a razor-sharp plot line. This book moved me to be aware of the less fortunate in my own community, and I will do more to help others who need it.
I highly recommend this if you enjoy human-interest combined with top-notch story telling. This is the
Gloria Piper
May 12, 2015 Gloria Piper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, drama
Here is a novel of contrasts. The big corporation lawyers live in wealth and luxury, driven to work 80 hours a week, in order to make more money. Money is what it's all about. Then there are those who are dedicated, not to the pursuit of wealth, but to helping the street people who live in crime ridden areas. Some of those on the streets are there because they are mentally ill, or into drugs and petty crime. Others are on the streets because their minimum wage jobs can't pay the rent. And they a ...more
Jul 05, 2015 Muneeb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I was hooked from the start and read the first 1/3 in the first go.
This book talks about some of the issues of homelessness and it gives you a lot of food for thought.
Highly recommend reading this to everyone
Aug 11, 2015 Brandon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daniel Bastian
Aug 19, 2015 Daniel Bastian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Equal parts sobering and illuminating, The Street Lawyer was my first introduction to Grisham. (I tend to avoid household names; just below the mainstream is where I feel most at home.) Nevertheless, I was mightily impressed with this mid-career novel of his (1998) and the social concerns it raises.

The story, set in D.C., follows Michael Brock, a Big-firm attorney who finds himself in the right place at the wrong time. He and his colleagues are taken hostage in their own office suite by a derang
Jan 25, 2016 Marleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A compelling, thrilling and refreshing read by Grisham. I wasn’t expecting it, but I was pleasantly surprised and captivated by the story of Michael Brock, a 32-year old corporate lawyer, specializing in anti-trust, on the fast-track to become partner in a big D.C. law firm. Until one day his life changes for good, when a homeless man takes him and 8 other lawyers hostage in a conference room.
Michael doesn’t walk away unscathed in the sense that he’s the only one of the hostages who wants to kno
Edmond Gagnon
Oct 10, 2015 Edmond Gagnon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I expected a little more from Grisham, but there was nothing wrong with this book. I gives you a scary look at the homeless people that are all around us. Good characters in a very good story.
A good read!
Sep 13, 2016 Ana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kobo
O que leva um advogado bem sucedido a deixar o seu escritório luxuoso e virar advogado oficioso ??
Quando um dia de manhã Michael Brock encontra um sem abrigo à porta do prédio onde trabalha está longe de imaginar que esse encontro casual vai modificar a sua vida pessoal e profissional.
Desta vez a vertente judicial dos livros de Grisham cede um pouco para as questões humanitárias.

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"Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel.

Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of
More about John Grisham...

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“I didn't dare think of the future; the past was still happening.” 90 likes
“Privileged people don't march and protest; their world is safe and clean and governed by laws designed to keep them happy.” 23 likes
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