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Supreme Ambitions by David Lat
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Supreme Ambitions

by David Lat

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Quick read -- started and finished on a single flight. There are some portions that are a bit clunky; although the most likely readers of this book are likely lawyers and law students, Lat clearly wants this to be able to appeal to a broader audience. Unfortunately, the parts where he over-explains legal concepts in order to bring those people on board are also the least realistic and most boring, especially when they are shoehorned into dialogue.
On the whole, however, I think it's a great and entertaining exploration of (1) what it means to clerk; (2) the ambitious overachieving prestige-seeking that you really do encounter at T14 law schools and in federal courts; and (3) my personal soapbox, the problems/tensions that arise from political pressures on judges.
The plot itself is better than I thought it would be; the stakes aren't as high as in your average Grisham novel (the immigration case could have upped the stakes, but was really used more to highlight the judge's politics than to emphasize real-world consequences of judicial decisions).
Well worth a read and a great way to pass a few hours. ( )
  BraveNewBks | Mar 10, 2016 |
I have a legal background so I found this book to be mildly entertaining. It was OK, nothing spectacular. ( )
  flourgirl49 | Sep 5, 2015 |
This is a quick and entertaining read, particularly for litigators or others familiar with our Federal court system. It's no accident that the book is published by an arm of the American Bar Association.

This is the first novel by Lat, who is best known as a gossipy blogger about judicial affairs. He writes what he knows: like his protagonist, he was a Harvard undergrad, has a Yale Law School degree, clerked on the Federal Ninth Circuit, is a child of immigrants and is (at least) part Filipino.

The story is of the thinly concealed ambition among top law school grads for U. S. Supreme Court clerkships - and the somewhat distasteful journey that ambition takes them.
  bbrad | Dec 16, 2014 |
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Supreme Ambitions details the rise of Audrey Coyne, a recent Yale Law School graduate who dreams of clerking for the U.S. Supreme Court someday.

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