SWIMMING IN DEEP WATER
LAWYERS, JUDGES, AND OUR TROUBLED LEGAL PROFESSION
American Bar Association, 2014
Based on his thirty years of practice and reading about the profession, William Domnarski in Swimming in Deep Water: Lawyers, Judges, and Our Troubled Legal Profession delivers bite-sized bits of erudition in fifty 1,500 word essays that with a sharp edge skewer the status quo worlds of lawyers and judges, and argues for a rethinking of the legal profession and what makes the practice of law worthwhile.
Written with an engaging style distinguished in its aplomb, wit, and even humor, Swimming in Deep Water describes the legal profession’s perilous times and argues for a type of lawyer revolt against the tyrannies lawyers find in their offices, law firms, and courts.
Among others, Swimming in Deep Water considers:
· Judges with black robe-itis
· Big Law and its commodification of young associates
· Law firm tribalism
· Arrogance as the force driving the way lawyers act
· “Thinking like a lawyer” as an idea lawyers have come up with to enhance their own sense of specialness, and the dangers it poses to those who believe in it
· So-called “legal writing” and its ironic effect in contributing to the poor quality of what lawyers write
· Narcissistic and self-indulgent writing found in judicial opinions
· Zeal, as in zealous representation, as the pernicious force it is
· Legal fees, in all their glory and danger
· The way lawyers dress and keep their offices
· Discovery for the ugly exercise that it is
Rooted in experienced and tempered by learning and a iconoclastic sensibility, the essays in Swimming in Deep Water challenge, provoke, and raise fundamental questions about who lawyers are and what they do.