Fuzzy Questions
Professors Having Fun

Buying Books as an Investment

Evan, commenting to a post I wrote praising Garner's Modern American Usage, wrote:

I have to pick up Garner's American Usage more often than I'd like to admit. In addition, I'm very much enjoying his book The Winning Brief, which I decided to buy after reading a post on Minor Wisdom.

I first saw The Winning Brief during my first semester of law school.  I wasn't learning anything in my legal writing class, so I decided to teach myself.  But at $50, I thought the price was steep. Besides, I told myself, "No book on legal writing is worth 50-bucks." 

I bought The Winning Brief two weeks later, after talking to a  plaintiffs' lawyers who brings in seven figures a year.  He told me:

Michael, if I had purchased this book when I first started practicing, I would be ten million dollars richer.  Don't laugh.  I am serious.  I would never hire anyone who was not familiar with every principle in this book.

I bought the book the next day, and have applied its principles on several cases (with very good results).  Some people art or play the stock market.  But perhaps the best investment a lawyer can make is using $50 to buy one book.