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What's on Your Summer Reading List?

Reading is the laboratory of the mind.

It is where we experiment with ideas, played out on an inner stage set by a writer against the background of another place and time. And when we choose a book for leisure reading, it should be for the adventure of that world more than to escape our own.

So you want to know how this ends? For law students and lawyers, try reading one of these books this summer:

Yale Law Student Turned Best-Selling Hillbilly Author

J.D. Vance came from ‘hillbillies, rednecks, white trash, choose your epithet,’ wrote the New York Times reviewer.

Reviewers say that Vance, who rose from Appalachian poverty to New York Times best-selling author, wrote the only book to make sense out of the election of President Donald Trump. Vance, a Yale Law School graduate, put it together in “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis.”

“Mr. Vance has inadvertently provided a civilized reference guide for an uncivilized election,” the Times said.

Is This a Lawyer Ad or a Trailer for a Disaster Movie?

Cue the woman screaming. Pyrotechnics. Action!

"Tents are on fire, people fighting for food," a frantic fan tweets as crowds run haphazardly through a refugee scene.

No, this is not a disaster movie. It's just Philip DeBerard advertising for business. The personal injury attorney is looking for clients to sue over an ill-fated music festival.

"Did you pay for and attend the 2017 Fyre Festival in the Bahamas?" he asks on his website. "You may be entitled to compensation!"

Want to start a New Wave cover band, performing the greatest hits from Boy George and Flock of Seagulls? Have you always wanted to stick a neckerchief and sleeveless denim jacket and do your best "Born to Run," maybe backed by the F Street Band?

Go for it. Even when you're a millionaire, that cover-band cash could keep rolling in. That was one of the revelations in the White House financial disclosures released last week, which noted that White House counsel Don McGahn made $2.4 million at Jones Day last year, with a few grand on the side coming from the '80s cover band, Scott's New Band.

A judge outside of Nashville, Tennessee is accused of trading sexual favors in exchange for dismissed fees, fines, even criminal charges.

Judge Cason "Casey" Moreland, of Nashville's General Sessions Court, was arrested last week and charged with obstruction of justice and witness tampering in connection to a quid-pro-quo scheme involving at least two women who obtained favorable judicial treatment after some hanky panky with Hizzoner.

How's your March Madness bracket doing? If it's like mine, you've probably given up. Which is fine, since college basketball isn't what matters. The law matters. And when it comes to leaders in the legal field, we've got plenty of titans.

We're not talking about the industry's biggest rainmakers here, nor the most innovative changemakers. We're talking about attorneys who are the best at behaving badly. Really badly.

Clever, subtle, cutting judicial citations are nothing new. The Ninth Circuit's recent opinion halting President Trump's travel ban is a perfect example, full as it was of citations to cases like Ex parte Endo (leading to the end of Japanese internment) and Texas v. United States (halting President Obama's immigration reforms.) There are the sorts of smack downs by way of the Blue Book that make judicial writing a treat.

But there's another, more interesting citation style trending among the judiciary lately: clever, unexpected cites to unexpected, perhaps incongruous, pop culture touchstones, be they 80s sitcoms or horror movie classics.

When you've got an environmental lawsuit, you call Earthjustice. Civil rights? The ACLU. And if you've experienced sexual assault in high school or college, you go to SurvJustice.

At least that's how 31-year-old attorney Laura Dunn wants it to be. An activist, lawyer, and survivor of campus sexual assault herself, Dunn founded SurvJustice to represent the rights of campus rape survivors. In just a few years, and on a tiny budget, Dunn and SurvJustice have been "credited with ushering in at least 120 federal investigations of schools around the country," according to a recent profile of the young lawyer by Buzzfeed.

Lawyer Jokes Will Never Die

David Lash thinks that lawyer jokes are over. "For the past two weeks, across the country, lawyer jokes have fallen silent," Lash, the managing counsel for pro bono and public interest services at O'Melveny & Myers, writes in Above the Law. Faced with attorneys' quick response to the president's travel ban, during which lawyers flocked to airports to offer legal services to detainees, the public's appreciation has overwhelmed its previous derision of the profession.

Or so the argument goes. But while attorneys may be getting some good PR these days, no matter how many good works attorneys perform, lawyer jokes will never die.

The Ninth Circuit heard arguments yesterday over whether to stay the nationwide injunction against President Trump's recent immigration ban. Well, the Ninth Circuit and well over 137,000 others, who tuned in to listen to the oral arguments on CNN and the court's YouTube page. When it comes to appellate advocacy, that's Super Bowl-level viewership.

Those arguments were complex and impassioned, with a few occasional stumbles. Alright, some major stumbles. Of course, we're not one to throw stones. That's what Twitter's for. So we rounded up some of the legal twitterverse's best criticism. Here you go.