Thursday, October 17, 2013

Book Review: The Queen's Counsel Lawyer's Omnibus

The Queen's Counsel Lawyer's Omnibus

20 Years of Cartoons from the Times 1993-2013

Alex Steuart Williams

£9.99 (paperback) - Published by Law Brief Publishing: October 2013

The Queen's Counsel cartoons by Alex Williams will be familiar to pretty well every lawyer, having appeared on the law pages of The Times since 1993. The cartoons poke gentle fun at the legal profession, in a not dissimilar way to the Babybarista books by Tim Kevan, that I have previously reviewed here and here. Indeed, Tim has written a Foreword to the Omnibus, which is a collection of the author's personal favourite cartoons from the past twenty years, in which he rightly describes the cartoons as "irreverent, funny, intelligent, mischievous and above all hugely likeable".

The book has the cartoon strips arranged in chapters under appropriate headings, such as 'Law School', 'Junior Bar', 'Law Firm Partners', 'In The Courts' and 'Clients'. As an example of what to expect for those few who do not already know I have taken the great liberty (not to mention blatant breach of copyright) of including an example cartoon here, relevant to the subject of this blog (I trust that neither the author nor the publisher will mind):

There is the occasional cartoon strip repeated in more than one chapter, but other than that there is nothing that I could possibly say against the Omnibus. Whether you have read the cartoons previously or not and whether you are a lawyer or just have an interest in the law, dipping into its pages will not just amuse but also produce the odd wry smile when a familiar situation is encountered, such as the holiday file note that should definitely not be read out to the client.

In short, if you want some light relief from all those tedious legal text books, there is no reason why you should not treat yourself to The Queen's Counsel Lawyer's Omnibus.

The legal profession is often criticised for taking itself too seriously, but the fact that Queen's Counsel is still popular enough to be read by lawyers after all these years should reassure some that at least some of us can take a joke. Alas, The Times is now hidden behind the Great Paywall of Murdoch, but you can still enjoy the cartoons online for free at the Queen's Counsel Cartoon website.

 The Queen's Counsel Lawyer's Omnibus can be purchased from Amazon, here.

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