Sunday, December 11, 2005

Presumed Intelligent

Scott Turow, a partner at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP, has written six best-selling novels, which have been translated into 20 languages with sales of 25 million copies. He has been on the cover of Time Magazine.

He wrote One L—a book many of our students have read—during his first year at Harvard Law School (from which he graduated with honors). He worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Chicago for eight years ... during that period, he wrote Presumed Innocent on the commuter train to work.

Journalist Jeffrey Cole published and interview with Mr. Turow in the Winter 2003 edition of The Journal Of The Section Of Litigation of the American Bar Association.  I stumbled upon it while searching the net for BLOG material. 

Why mention it here?  The following quote from the interview may shed some light on that. 

Turow Q: In One L you wrote that you thought you were less intelligent than everyone around you; you began to smoke; you began to drink; you had difficulty keeping up conversation even with your wife. Basically, you described yourself as just a mess.

A: Yes, I was. I thought I had failed. I thought I had failed as a writer. I had gone to law school looking for a fresh start. I was just really mixed up about myself and how I came to saying I am going to law school so I can support another habit. I was sure I was interested in this, but I wasn’t sure how to commit to it. It was a major U-turn in my life, and the question of my identity was involved. ...

Q: You graduated with honors?

A: Yes.

When the next student you counsel seems to be "just a mess," consider this: you may well be talking with someone who has extraordinary capabilities, in or out of law school. 

To read the entire interview (very interesting, if you've read Turow's books), click here: An Interview with Scott Turow: Reflections on Law and Life and Other Things That Matter.   (djt)

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