Have you ever woken up one morning and realized how much you want to quit your job? In John Grisham ‘s latest novel, The Litigators, David Zinc walked away from a $300,000-a-year job at the prestigious firm Big Law to join the ranks of a Chicago ambulance-chasing street law firm with little promise. David’s struggle to learn lawyering in the trenches with so-called mentoring from an alcoholic, womanizing, middle-aged attorney with questionable ethics is rewarded as he discovers how he can use his skills to truly help those in need. The flawed partners teach David more in a year than he learned in three years of law school and five years as a young attorney. He learns as much about what he wants out of life – the kind of husband, father and lawyer he wants to be – and what he does not what to become.
The story portrays some of the realities of the business of law and the legal system with compassion and the inspiring message that there is karma and justice in the world. Zinc discovers the joy of being a lawyer as he finds a work-life balance that brings success and happiness in a career where these tend to be mutually exclusive. Grisham’s characters reveal the extremes in the business world (the greedy and the world citizen) and give us hope that there is still compassion and good in the world.
One message in the plot—that shortcuts never bring prosperity—is loud and clear as we learn that persistence, hard work and compassion are the tools of a true legal artisan. We observe how we all must be accountable to our actions and choices, and how we can change our own personal journey with one brave or unexpected decision. The story reminds us how giving a chance to a stranger in an unlikely situation can be rewarded with great integrity and loyalty. You won’t be disappointed with a story that reminds us about the best and worst parts of the legal profession with the great plot and characters we’ve come to expect from Grisham.