Which books should you pack along with the sunscreen and flip flops? From OJ to the Anxious Lawyer, leading legal technology and law commentators offer their vacation must-reads.
1. Joshua Rozenberg
Joshua Rozenberg trained as a lawyer before becoming a legal journalist and was the BBC’s legal correspondent for 15 years. He is now a freelance writer, commentator, and broadcaster and presents the BBC Radio 4 series Law in Action
“I recommend The Legacy, a first novel by Melanie Phillips, and not just because the author is my wife. I found it both compelling and moving. And, as the title suggests, there’s even some law in it.”
2. Dr. Julia Shaw
Dr. Julia Shaw is a psychological scientist who co-founded AI company Spot, which allows employees to report workplace harassment and discrimination. She is the author of The Memory Illusion. Catch her recent TED Talk here.
“One of my recent favorites is Exit West [by Mohsin Hamid]. It’s a beautifully-written, eye-opening book that takes on the refugee crisis and migration, featuring magical realism. It touches on a lack of access to justice both in conflict zones and in the diaspora.”
“In non-fiction, there is The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It’s Broken (by The Secret Barrister). Or The Rule of Law by Tom Bingham, one of the greatest (now deceased) minds of our time.”
3. Brian Cuban
Brian Cuban, the younger brother of Dallas Mavericks owner and entrepreneur Mark Cuban, is a Dallas-based attorney, author, and addiction recovery advocate. He is the author of the bestselling The Addicted Lawyer.
Founder and CEO of Boundless Immigration, Xiao Wang came to the U.S. from China at a young age and is using technology to help U.S. citizens and Green Card holders apply for visas for their spouses.
“My summer reading pick: Washington, A Life (by Ron Chernow) winner of the Pulitzer Prize. The author also wrote a biography on Alexander Hamilton, which inspired a certain Lin-Manuel Miranda to create a musical that no one can get tickets for. It meets both of my criteria for summer reading: it should teach you something… but doesn’t require so much mental energy you can’t put it down every few minutes and grab a drink. Especially as we are in an unprecedented level of political uncertainty, it is a masterful story about a man who arguably did more than any other to shape America even to this day. What Washington was able to achieve through persuasiveness, foresight, and most of all, authenticity, is something leaders in all industries can learn from. I came out of the book with renewed inspiration for building a great company and for the future of America. Not bad for a 900-page thriller.”
5. Joshua Browder
Joshua Browder is the founder and CEO of DoNotPay who has disrupted the legal profession and saved thousands of motorists more than $11 million in parking fines. The company has since moved to ensure air passengers get cheaper fares.
“What do Kim Kardashian, LegalZoom, and the reputation of sleazy lawyers have in common? Their origins stem from the trial of O.J Simpson. The Run of His Life: The People Versus O.J. Simpson (by Jeffrey Toobin ) is much more than a nonfiction crime thriller and provides a first-hand account of injustice, inequality, and modern American culture. Perfect light reading for anyone interested in legal technology.”
6. Basha Rubin
Basha Rubin is the CEO of Priori, a legal talent platform for corporate counsel to find, hire, and manage top lawyers without the costly infrastructure of a firm.
“I’m currently reading The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts (by Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind). It’s no revelation that Richard Susskind is one of the leading thinkers in legal technology. Susskind recently came to Priori HQ to be interviewed for our blog and listening to him opine on the opportunities and risks to lawyers at small firms, big firms, and in-house inspired me to start reading the book. So far, that’s been an excellent decision. Onto the non-legal tech front: I read voraciously, so I’m always attempting to foist books on my team who occasionally listen to me. On my recommendation, one Priori employee is currently reading the Kingkiller Chronicles (by Patrick Rothfuss). It’s a fantastic, addictive fantasy series. Another recommendation is My Struggle (by Karl Ove Knausgaard). This is a six-part autobiographical series by a Norwegian author (I have a hard time convincing people to read this, so start with his NY Times travelogue and you’ll see what I mean). I’ve returned to these two series time and again over the past few years and each time they transport me.”
7. Nicole Black
“I recently finished reading Sisters In Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor And Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World (by Linda Hirshman) and would highly recommend it to lawyers and non-lawyers alike. This book offered a fascinating retrospective of the lives and careers of these two trailblazing women jurists. I learned so much about each justice and was inspired by the tenacity each exhibited throughout their careers in the face of the many obstacles placed in their way because of their gender. Also impressive was their dedication to gender equity, both personally and professionally. And most importantly, their wisdom and grace under pressure serve as an example to us all. So if you’re looking for an insightful, thought-provoking read this summer, this book is for you.”
8. Casey Flaherty
Casey Flaherty is a former outside and in-house counsel who founded Procertas, which offers The Legal Technology Assessment for lawyers.
“I would recommend Tomorrowland: Scenarios for law firms beyond the horizon (by Bruce MacEwan). It is the most cogent account of our possible futures from an economist’s perspective (even if I have to give Bruce a hard time for relegating the in-house counsel revolution to a footnote).” Outside of legal, The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species and Making Us Smarter(by Joseph Henrich). I’ve read no better explanation for the stabilizing and accreting force culture plays. For me, it put the status quo bias in a completely new light.”
9. Stephanie Corey
Stephanie Corey is a co-founder of UpLevel Ops, a consulting firm specializing in providing services for in-house legal departments and law firms. Stephanie is also a co-founder and executive member of the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium.
“I’m in the process of reading two books – one historical and one business. The historical book is The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote (by Elaine Weiss). We all know the 19th amendment was ratified and women got the vote in 1920, but holy cow, what a fight! It was literally nail-biting, right up to the very last second, and they suffragettes only pulled it off by a hair. The times have changed….but not by much. The book and the fight are so relevant in today’s tumultuous times! The second book I’m reading is The Four Commitments of a Winning Team by former basketball star Mark Eaton. This book was recommended by a client of ours who made it mandatory reading for his entire staff. It’s a short, easy read, but filled with great stories that make it a page-turner, which isn’t always the case with business books. Mark really details why some teams win and some teams lose, and it’s interesting to see him apply his sporting principles to the business world.”
For those looking to understand the exciting world of legal technology, the smash hit In-House Counsel’s LegalTech Buyers Guide is also available for free this summer. Download your free copy here.