Summary and book reviews of The Street Lawyer by John Grisham

The Street Lawyer

by John Grisham

The Street Lawyer by John Grisham X
The Street Lawyer by John Grisham
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 1998, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 1999, 464 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Michael was scrambling up the ladder at a giant D.C. law firm, but a violent encounter with a homeless man stopped him cold.  Who was this man? Michael did some digging and found a dirty secret.

Michael was in a hurry. He was scrambling up the ladder at Drake & Sweeney, a giant D.C. law firm with eight hundred lawyers. The money was good and getting better; a partnership was three years away. He was a rising star with no time to waste, no time to stop, no time to toss a few coins into the cups of panhandlers. No time for a conscience.

But a violent encounter with a homeless man stopped him cold. Michael survived; his assailant did not. Who was this man? Michael did some digging, and learned that he was a mentally ill veteran who'd been in and out of shelters for many years. Then Michael dug a little deeper, and found a dirty secret, and the secret involved Drake & Sweeney.

The fast track derailed; the ladder collapsed. Michael bolted the firm and took a top-secret file with him. He landed in the streets, an advocate for the homeless, a street lawyer.

And a thief.

Excerpt
The Street Lawyer

The man with the rubber boots stepped into the elevator behind me, but I didn't see him at first. I smelled him though - the pungent odor of smoke and cheap wine and life on the street without soap. We were alone as we moved upward, and when I finally glanced over I saw the boots, black and dirty and much too large. A frayed and tattered trench coat fell to his knees. Under it, layers of foul clothing bunched around his midsection, so that he appeared stocky, almost fat. But it wasn't from being well fed; in the wintertime in D.C., the street people wear everything they own, or so it seems.

He was black and aging--his beard and hair were half-gray and hadn't been washed or cut in years. He looked straight ahead through thick sunglasses, thoroughly ignoring me, and making me wonder for a second why, exactly, I was inspecting him.

He didn't belong. It was not his building, not his elevator...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Chicago Sun-Times
"An entertaining read with an important theme."

Chicago Sun-Times
"An entertaining read with an important theme."

San Francisco Chronicle
The plot surges forward, pulling us along as we turn those pages a mile a minute.

San Francisco Chronicle
The plot surges forward, pulling us along as we turn those pages a mile a minute.

Entertainment Weekly
;Compelling...if there's any justice, The Street Lawyer will be his biggest hit yet.

School Library Journal
Michael's transformation from greedy attorney to a sympathetic social worker is gradual and credible. Other characters are not as well developed. As Grisham includes many statistics and other relevant information on the homeless, this is an good choice for sociology students.

Reader Reviews

Caroline

From Highs to Lows,
I was required to read this book, for my senior AP English class, and of the other books that I had read so far were very boring and mostly non-fiction. When my teacher announced we were reading a Grisham novel, I was excited. I've read a few ...   Read More

Whittney Williams

Fast Track to the Streets
John Grisham does an elaborate job at provoking responses from one's sense of humanity, and drawing on the compassion within a given society. He shows us how easy it can be to do the right thing and help the less fortunate. I loved this book, for ...   Read More

gary

although this was not one of john grishams best books...it was still very interesting. i believe that his book The Client starts out great but then dies out as with The Street Lawyer. I do, though, recommend this book for people of all ages to read...   Read More

Christina

i am in the tenth grade and i thought this book was very interesting. it kept my attention and was always drawing me back for more. i think the street lawyer was an excellent book.

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by John Grisham

If you liked The Street Lawyer, try these:

  • Black Fridays jacket

    Black Fridays

    by Michael Sears

    Published 2013

    About this book

    More books by this author

    Jason Stafford is a former Wall Street hotshot who made some bad moves, paid the price with two years in prison, and is now trying to put his life back together. He's unemployable, until an investment firm asks him to look into possible problems left by a junior trader who died recently in an accident. What he discovers is big - there are ...

  • The Associate jacket

    The Associate

    by Phillip Margolin

    Published 2002

    About this book

    More books by this author

    A mesmerizing tale of deceit and criminal stealth in the high-stakes world of pharmaceutical research from the master of the courtroom thriller.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Divide Me By Zero
    Divide Me By Zero
    by Lara Vapnyar
    Divide Me By Zero begins with an encounter between the narrator, Katya Geller, a 40-something mother...
  • Book Jacket: Mighty Justice
    Mighty Justice
    by Dovey Johnson Roundtree , Katie McCabe
    What it's about:
    Dovey Johnson Roundtree was one of two lawyers who won the landmark case "Sarah ...
  • Book Jacket: The Seine
    The Seine
    by Elaine Sciolino
    Of the 24 members who reviewed Elaine Sciolino's The Seine: The River that Made Paris for BookBrowse...
  • Book Jacket: Fireborne
    Fireborne
    by Rosaria Munda
    Inspired by classical political theory and the French Revolution, Rosaria Munda's YA debut Fireborne...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Mighty Justice
    by Dovey Johnson Roundtree & Katie McCabe

    An inspiring life story that speaks urgently to our troubled times.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Seine
    by Elaine Sciolino

    "A soulful, transformative voyage along the body of water that defines the City of Light."
    —Lauren Collins
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Home for Erring and Outcast Girls

From the author of
Calling Me Home

An emotionally raw and resonant story of two young women connected by a home for "fallen girls," and inspired by historical events.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W G Up M C D

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.