Bar News - October 18, 2013
Book Review: Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks, by Grover Cleveland
By: Reviewed by James Shepard
West, 2010, 176 pages
This short and direct book would make a decent graduation present for any lawyer who has already scored a job at a big metro law firm, particularly one who intends to focus on representing business clients.
Much of the wisdom and tips imparted (e.g. do error-free work, saying no is better than overpromising, track all your time) are good pieces of advice for any new lawyer, regardless of size of practice or practice area.
The majority of the book, however, focuses on how to position oneself well to get work from more senior lawyers, how to make the most of that work, how to position oneself to advance at the firm and how to avoid common pitfalls with ancillary staff. Most of the book discusses the kind of interactions that only occur regularly at "big" law firms.
This is also a book by an author that practiced exclusively at one of the largest firms in Seattle, Wash., and New Hampshire practitioners would do well to remember that a different aesthetic exists here. Regardless, it is relatively light reading and many a New Hampshire lawyer would benefit from giving it a skim before passing it on to the aforementioned new graduate.
James Shepard is a member of the NHBA Board of Governors and a 2005 graduate of University of Maryland School of Law. He has never even considered being part of a big firm representing corporate clients and is really glad, now that he has read this book. Ugh.