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Titles Recommended by WSBA Members and Staff

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Show the Brief: Visual Writing Strategies & Techniques

By William S. Bailey

Author William Bailey, a trial lawyer and University of Washington School of Law professor, is here to teach readers how to write powerful, persuasive legal briefs. This book covers a variety of topics including what lawyers can learn from broadcast journalism, how to turn data into persuasive images, how to simplify technical or scientific information, and much more. The step-by-step approach Bailey uses will help you to become a better writer, lawyer, and teacher. 

Available at:

— WSBA staff

Predictably Irrational 

By Dan Ariely

We make very bad decisions as humans. As lawyers we overemphasize logic and rational actor economics. This book by an MIT Sloan economist shows again and again, with empirical examples, how we really think and act. A must for understanding the actions of clients, opposing parties, and judges.

— Sarterus Rowe, Bar no. 47010

Food Law: A Practical Guide

Edited by Tommy Tobin

Written for lawyers of all experience levels and practice areas, this guide introduces ways in which food intersects with legal practice—including food policy, regulation, intellectual property, and more. From the publisher American Bar Association website: “[T]his guide aims to whet the appetite for individuals looking to engage with the unique needs of clients in the food and beverage industry.”

Available at:

— WSBA staff

Citizen Justice: The Environmental Legacy of William O. Douglas—Public Advocate and Conservation Champion 

By Hon. M. Margaret McKeown 

William O. Douglas, the longest-serving justice on the U.S. Supreme Court (1939-1975), was a legal giant and a passionate defender of the environment. This book details the impact Douglas had on the physical environment and the field of environmental law, as well as the unresolved ethical dilemmas that arose due to his roles as Supreme Court justice and citizen advocate. 

— WSBA staff

What Comes After 

By JoAnne Tompkins 

In the fictional town of Port Furlong on the nonfictional Kitsap Peninsula (or thereabouts), two high school boys, Daniel and Jonah, live next door to each other. If not best friends, they are at least close friends, showing all the wavering emotions inevitable between teenage boys who hang together—affection, admiration, joy, inspiration, and … competitiveness, jealousy, secrecy, even rage. Daniel goes missing, with Jonah professing no knowledge while the search is commenced. Then three days later, Jonah goes missing. What comes after is the conclusion of the search, the investigation, memorial services, overwhelming grief in the school and town, and the tentative—and not-so-tentative—interactions of what is left of two small-town families and their neighbors. What also comes after is the emergence of Evangeline, a recently arrived high school student who insinuates herself and her unborn child into the lives of the survivors. In many novels the reader makes the tacit assumption that every character is telling the truth. For What Comes After, you may conclude that would not be a reliable assumption to make.

— Charles Bates, Bar no. 19819

Powder Days: Ski Bums, Ski Towns, and the Future of Chasing Snow

By Heather Hansman

An insightful and enjoyable look into an industry that has gone through astronomical changes since becoming an American staple in the mid-twentieth century, and one with serious growing pains to come as it approaches critical mass due to income inequality and climate change. If not too bummed out after reading it, hope to see you on the hill this winter!

— Samuel Willette, Bar no. 56617

A Perfect Spy

By John le Carre

This book came out in 2011 and I’ve had it on the shelf since about that time but only got around to reading it this year. It’s not a mystery, although you never know how it will end until you get there. It’s a poignant story of a spy with a complicated backstory who wants out of the espionage service and the steps he takes to “disappear,” countered by the efforts of England’s intelligence service, “the firm,” to track him down. His story is intertwined with that of his father and the many colleagues with whom he worked and whose own careers are at stake if he is not found.

— Andrew Lyn Symons, Bar no. 7770

The Great Reset

By Glenn Beck

“Just when you think George Orwell’s 1984 has receded into history, it becomes relevant again.” The Great Reset by Glenn Beck should be on every responsible citizen’s reading list. In clear terms, Beck frames the conflict between individual freedom and the power of international elites to control every aspect of our lives. Global warming and the COVID-19 pandemic will be used as excuses to lock us down, mask us up, shoot us up, and take away our economy. Regardless of your political persuasion, if you care about the future of the American republic, this book is an eye-opener. 

— Patricia Michl, Bar no. 17058

Quick Takes 

Book recommendations received via social media: 

Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America, by Ijeoma Oluo

What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing, by Dr. Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey

— Quinn Dalan, Bar no. 40056

. . .

1984, by George Orwell 

“I like the classics.” — Valerie Angel, Bar no. 56733

. . .

Book Lovers, by Emily Henry 

“My only 5-star read of 2022!” — Shanna Lisberg, Bar no. 45878

. . .

Trailed: One Woman’s Quest to Solve the Shenandoah Murders, by Kathryn Miles 

— Michelle Dellino, Bar no. 41732