The Devil's Advocate - A Peart And Rewarding Handbook
In 'The Devil's Advocate', Iain Morley puts the 'quintessentially captivating' in QC, providing a handbook which is a 'must-have' for anyone remotely interested in the legal profession. Unlike many other books on advocacy, The Devil's Advocate oozes humour and genuine interest in the reader, fostering an atmosphere which is conducive for learning and appreciating the complex nature of this art form. In order to help readers stay engaged with the book, and to help students learn and, perhaps more importantly, remember what they've read, Morley employs a conversational style. One of the great benefits of this is that you never feel like reading and taking in the hints, tips and advice is an exam, a chore or otherwise trying experience. Perhaps of higher praise than any other is that the book continues to be just as relevant today as when it was first published, well over a decade ago!
Somehow, Morley has managed to take a very serious, and somewhat dense, topic and made it into something which reads like having an encouraging and advice-laden conversation with a mentor, a figure of pastoral care. This feat of calligraphic origami is certainly no small task, as anyone who has read law books would know, but just as impressive to me is the fresh approach to the format of the book. I must confess that at first I was overcome with a feeling of guilt and concern, reading a book with half of each page being blank does that to anyone who is thoughtful of the environment (even in the case of this book being made out of farmed trees, with new ones planted for each tree used), however I soon realised how must easier it made it to stay intrigued with the book (avoiding those mountains of text, which are the norm in legal books, whilst still being able to read and take in new ideas and knowledge has been refreshing for sure). It is also rather handy having that space on each page for making notes, should you wish (I hate to 'spoil' books by writing notes on them normally, but having space to do such without clogging up the main text is rather clever).
In an attempt to make this book review and recommendation succinct enough that others may actually read it, and in order to not reveal any 'spoilers', I shall not write about the specific contents of the book. I shall, instead, just summarise by saying that this book is rather innovative, extremely interesting, extraordinarily engaging and ought to be on every law students reading list (the same could well be said for those who are newly qualified, or simply wish to understand the art of advocacy more and perhaps improve their own skills, even if they aren't involved in court cases at all).