Philip's Reviews > Unbillable Hours: A True Story

Unbillable Hours by Ian       Graham
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's review
Jun 20, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: kindle-lendable
Read in March, 2011

I rather liked this novel, as evidenced by the four stars. I recall spending the majority of a Friday reading it because I didn't want to take a break to do other things. After reading it, I had a strong urge to be a lawyer, which is saying something. It made me want to work to help other falsely-incarcerated innocent people.

That's what a lot of this story is about. Ian (the author is writing about his life) starts the story with him being in law school and being invited to a summer internship at a big law firm, ultimately being hired. He then tells about being a new hire at a big firm, etc. etc. and ending up working on a case for Mario who was quite obviously innocent of the crime for which he was convicted. Ian then works through the justice system to free Mario.

I read this a while ago, so I don't remember it exactly, but I do know that I learned much more about being a lawyer from reading this book than I ever knew. Ian really tells about all the good things about being a lawyer, all the terrible things about being a lawyer and all the weird things that I hadn't a clue happened. Sure he was telling about lawyering in the '90s, but I can't imagine it has changed all too much in the meantime.

The bulk of the story is around the case with Mario. For as boring as the work Ian does sounds, it still really pulls at you. I can't remember exactly how they tell the story of Mario, if it's through flashbacks or Ian reviewing the case, but whatever it was works. I felt for Mario; I wanted it to go right. I cheered for him and Ian when things worked, I groaned when it didn't, etc. etc. It's like that movie about Deep Throat and Watergate with Robert Redford... Nothing particularly action-packed or exciting is going on, but what is happening is portrayed in a way conveying all the tension involved. (All the President's Men. And I'll admit, I haven't actually seen it (though I want to) but I've only ever heard good things about it and the clips I've seen - there's one with Robert Redford on the phone calling people for like five minutes, yet still manages to be super involving - are just great.)

There's not too much more specifics that I can write about the book, since it's been a while, but I don't remember anything in the writing or whatnot sticking out as being annoying and I only remember good things about the book, which is a good indication in my mind that it had a lot going for it.

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