Words have been, and always will be, the basic tools of the lawyer. As legal scholar Charles Alan Wright noted, “Whether we are trying a case, writing a brief, drafting a contract, or negotiating with an adversary, words are the only things we have to work with.” It is no surprise, then, that the profession attracts individuals with a fluency for words, and that the best of them hone that skill into a weapon more precise and lethal than a stiletto.
Not all lawyers are wordsmiths, of course, nor is everyday legal discourse a joy to the ear. Quite the contrary, in fact. But buried in the sludge, are nuggets of wit and wisdom that have been mined for this book. In compiling her selection of gems, Kathryn Zullo has read countless law reports, transcripts, press statements, interviews, profiles and a host of other writings. Some of the quotations are light-hearted quips; others are solemn truths. Some are by members of the legal establishment; others are by outsiders who have come into contact with the law and expressed their thoughts and perspectives in memorable ways. Some are modern; others are 2,000 years old. All of them are either pithy or insightful, and often both.
Whether you are a member of the legal profession or merely have an interest in it, this diverse and wide-ranging collection of quotations will amuse, educate and stimulate you.