Bad Lawyer: A Memoir of Law and Disorder

Hachette. May 2021. 256p. ISBN 9780306846526. $28. LAW
Dorn chronicles her journey through law school and her brief legal career, which was ultimately only a stop on her path to becoming a full-time writer. Growing up in Washington, DC, she faced intense pressure to follow in the footsteps of her successful attorney father. But she felt she was simply going through the motions as she applied to schools, internships, and jobs. Dorn is unabashed in writing about her lack of studiousness, her love of weed, and her sex life. She spent little time studying, but often passed her tests anyway, though the brutal world of law school often made her feel less-than. She became disillusioned while working as an appellate attorney; in one case, appealing the case of a teen client whose charges directly resulted from being a victim of sex trafficking. Dorn was drawn to jobs that required research and writing, and she eventually realized that writing was where her passion lay. While Dorn’s tone is often lighthearted, she nevertheless gives searing social commentary on the systemic racism and misogyny of the U.S. legal system.
VERDICT Anyone considering a legal career should pick up this funny, thought-provoking memoir.
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