Posts Tagged ‘Will Baude’

ChicagoI will soon be in Los Angeles and Chicago for these Supreme Ambitions events, to which you are enthusiastically invited:

1. Los Angeles (Pasadena) — Sunday, April 19, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Ninth Circuit Open House

Previously discussed here. RSVP here. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments and inexpensive CLE credits will be offered.

2. Los Angeles (Mid-Wilshire) — Tuesday, April 21, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. — HLSA Event

The Harvard Law School Association of Los Angeles is hosting an event with me at Southwestern Law School (but you don’t need to be connected to either law school to attend; it’s open to all). To get details and RSVP, please go to Eventbrite. (You can say you’re coming through Facebook, but registration must be done through Eventbrite.)

3. Chicago (Downtown) — Wednesday, April 22, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. — YLSA event

The Yale Law School Association of Illinois is hosting an event with me at the offices of Skadden, to which law alumni of Harvard, Northwestern, the University of Chicago and Yale are invited. I’ll be chatting with Professor Will Baude of the University of Chicago Law School (who wrote one of my favorite reviews of Supreme Ambitions). Books will be available for sale. Details here; RSVP here.

4. Chicago (South Side) — Saturday, April 25, 3 p.m. — Book Chat At Sem Co-Op

I’ll be at the Seminary Co-Op Bookstore, a beloved Chicago institution, to chat with Professor William Birdthistle of Chicago-Kent Law School, my co-clerk from my Ninth Circuit days. The event is free and open to the public, and books will of course be available for sale. Details here; RSVP here (but RSVPs are not required; feel free to just stop by).

Please help spread the word. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. I look forward to seeing you at one or more of these events!

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Yale-Law-School-Room-127I consider Supreme Ambitions to be a “commercial” rather than “literary” novel, and I wanted it to be a fun, quick read. It seems that the average reader finishes it in about two days, which I take as a sign of success.

At the same time, I do believe Supreme Ambitions is a book of some substance. It explores important themes, including ambition, prestige, various “isms” in the legal profession (including sexism and elitism), law versus politics, and ethics.

In fact, the main ethical dilemma in the book has actually given rise to an interesting debate between two legal academics: Peter Conti-Brown, a fellow at Stanford Law School and future professor of legal studies and business ethics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and Will Baude, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School.

You can read Conti-Brown’s and Baude’s pieces via the links below. Please note: they do (by necessity) contain plot spoilers, so I’d refrain from reading them until you’ve read Supreme Ambitions. My thanks to the good professors for engaging so thoughtfully with the book.

Book Review – Supreme Ambitions: A Novel [Notice & Comment / Yale Journal on Regulation]
When, if ever, should law clerks betray their bosses? [Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]
Law Clerks and Duties of Loyalty: More on David Lat’s Supreme Ambitions [Notice & Comment / Yale Journal on Regulation]

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Supreme Ambitions cover high resolutionProfessor Will Baude, writing about Supreme Ambitions over at the Volokh Conspiracy, issued what might just be my favorite verdict on the book so far: “I still can’t decide whether this is a ridiculous book or an insightful one. It might be both.” As you might expect from me as the creator of Underneath Their Robes, a site that I like to think was both ridiculous and insightful, I took this as high praise indeed — an even greater compliment than Baude’s calling Supreme Ambitions “the best quasi-fictional account of law school that I have read (even though much of it is immediately post-law school).”

One thing I’ve enjoyed about reading book reviews is noticing how different reviewers pick up on different things. Rosemarie Yu, reviewing the book for the New York Law Journal, clearly sensed — and shared — the great affection I feel for Judge Christina Wong Stinson, the judicial diva who is my favorite creation. Yu quite aptly described Judge Stinson as “the charming, silver-tongued villainess that you secretly root for.”

Supreme Ambitions is now making its way into the hands of people other than reviewers. Folks who have ordered the book through Politics & Prose, Powell’s, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon have reported receiving their copies or notifications that their copies are about to ship.

If you’re a reader of Supreme Ambitions with feedback on the book, or if you’d like to contact me for any other reason, please don’t hesitate to email me.

Book Review: ‘Supreme Ambitions’ by David Lat [Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]
Book Review: Supreme Ambitions [New York Law Journal]

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