The subtitle of The Legal Lampoon lives up to its billing. This book is simultaneously helpful, humorous, sarcastic and at times deadly serious.
Richard T. Icci — a pseudonym — handles civil litigation in a one-person private practice, somewhere in New York. He has written his book, he notes in his Preface, “to demonstrate something sorely lacking in the press, on the big screen and on the television: that the truth about the legal profession is stranger and more comical than fiction.” And perhaps more importantly, “to convince those of you who thought you would become instant millionaires upon graduation from law school, to save your money, as well as your sanity, and to pursue some other career…”
Because of his own career path, criminal law is rarely mentioned in the book, a shortcoming. But the advice for potential and working civil litigation attorneys is both broad and deep. For example, Icci examines the experience of attending law school, of focusing intensely on passing the examination that allows the practice of law, of choosing between a large law firm and a small firm, of figuring out the personalities of opposing attorneys, and much more.
The most important advice Icci offers, in the “planning for a career” category, comes at the end: becoming a lawyer means entering a realm of strife, of adversarialism. Icci advises potential and actual law students, as well as those already practicing law, that any reader who seeks happiness as an attorney must answer “whether you want to spend the rest of your working life in a constant state of conflict, war, turmoil and negativity.” Perhaps the answer is yes; perhaps it is no.
Whatever your interest in the legal profession, the verdict is in: Icci’s book is a no-holds-barred glimpse behind the scenes of the field. Law school prospects may especially benefit from its wisdom.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.