Michael was in a hurry. He was scrambling up the ladder at Drake & Sweeney, a giant D.C. law firm with eight hundred lawyers. The money was good and getting better; a partnership was three years away. He was a rising star with no time to waste, no time to stop, no time to toss a few coins into the cups of panhandlers. No time for a conscience. But a violent encounter with a homeless man stopped him cold. Michael survived; his assailant did not. Who was this man? Michael did some digging, and learned that he was a mentally ill veteran who'd been in and out of shelters for many years. Then Michael dug a little deeper, and found a dirty secret, and the secret involved Drake & Sweeney. The fast track derailed; the ladder collapsed. Michael bolted the firm and took a top-secret file with him. He landed in the streets, an advocate for the homeless, a street lawyer. And a thief.
This book starts out with a bang. A group of corporate, well off attorneys are held hostage at gun point by a homeless man and quizzed on their generosity. The homeless man is quickly taken out by a sniper but the issues raised launch the rest of the story. I had to admit to wanting to know more about the man but it is really only touched on in the rest of the story.
The main character becomes deeply disillusioned with corporate law. Many of his colleagues try to convince him to take time out and do some public interest work and then come back and continue to greedily line his pockets. Throughout the book, except for about three characters, no one can understand why someone would walk away from making a lot of money because they find it soul destroying. This was one thing in the book I found eminently understandable. I have walked in those shoes (miles) and the one good thing to come out of re-reading this is that it made me think about what I did before to make my own life more meaningful.
At any rate, the story revolves around the homeless: their invisibility, their resilience, their vulnerability and their facelessness. There are a few red herrings that I wish Grisham would have followed to a more logical conclusion and explained a little bit better. The reality is, life is often inexplicable so maybe it's better to just embrace what's written and enjoy the rest of the story without diving too deep - after all, Grisham books are more about entertainment than a deep examination of life.
This is a decent book for a two day read. It's fun, enjoyable and easy on the brain and eyes. It stimulates a little bit of thought without driving you crazy. It's summer. Grab this one and park yourself with a beverage in a comfy chair and read. Preferably while on a great vacation somewhere.
John Grisham takes the lawyer who is hungry to remember his conscience on a ride worth experiencing in Street Lawyer. Although the author consistently denies writing his legal thrillers with a social motive in mind, me thinks he doth protest a bit too much. You cannot read this book and remain comfortably barricaded on the upper floors of some skyscraper, awaiting the next billable hour report. Grisham's characters clearly show that The Law Hurts, and does so deliberately blind to the consequences of actions taken by those who are "just doing their jobs." As the novel unfolds, the reader cannot help but question whether professionals set apart for special recognition and privilege in our society ought ever be able to say, "I was just doing my job." The people for whom the law exists are out there on the street, waiting for you to remember why you went to law school in the first place. The pace and action are more plausible than most outside the bar will think - and hopefully Grisham's treatment of homelessness and social justice will impel more than a few within the bar to do more than think. The book is a must read for the lawyer who still can recall his or her calling, and an excellent adventure for everyone else.
A homeless man takes nine lawyers hostage in the firm's plush offices. When it is all over, the man's blood is splattered on Michael's face--and suddenly Michael is willing to do the unthinkable. Rediscovering a conscience he lost long ago, Michael is leaving the big time for the streets where his attacker once lived--and where society's powerless need an advocate for justice.
But there's one break Michael can't make: from a secret that has floated up from the depths of Drake & Sweeney, from a confidential file that is now in Michael's hands, and from a conspiracy that has already taken lives. Now Michael's former partners are about to become his bitter enemies. Because to them, Michael Brock is the most dangerous man on the streets....
I did NOT like Megan or Michael. (Or them together, for that matter!) I think both are a little shallow. Michael has this big and bad attitude that is slightly annoying. Megan was just too goody goody for me. However, I did like Ruby, Mordecai, and Mister (DeVon Hardy). Ruby "cracked" me up. (Ruby is a crack addict.)
The main character is very likable as an ex big-shot, big lawyer firm who quits his job after being held hostage by a homeless man. He sudenly "sees the light". He decides to become a "street lawyer" and helps the least fortunate.
Usually the one thing that you can depend on in a Grisham book is an interesting plot that speeds along. Even that was lacking in this book. A lot of the threads never seem to come together and the climax that resolves the conflict between the main character's two legal worlds fizzles. If someone is looking for a Grisham book that reflects a more realistic portrayal of the law and still offers a zippy plot, I would recommend The Appeal.