The Folklore of Legal Biography
Thurman Arnold: A Biography. By Spencer Weber Waller. New York and London: New York University Press. 2005. Pp. xi, 273. $40.
What types of lawyers are most worthy of a professional biography? The question requires one to pose a threshold for biographical worthiness, and here is mine: a legal professional whose practice or career path has resulted in a life that even non-family members would find interesting and important. Judging by a list of memorable legal biographies, the types of lawyers most eminently biographable are influential judges, political lawyers (including those who become politicians), great trial lawyers (especially criminal trial lawyers), a few very significant government officials, and the grand legal academics who define a generation’s scholarship.