Vote for the Harper Lee Prize Plus More in Legal Fiction

hero_harper.gif.imagep.584x321There is plenty to read this summer for Texas lawyers, and hopefully long stretches of leisure time will be available too. Here are a few items going on in the world of legal fiction in case you are looking to relax with a new title or two.

The American Bar Association and the University of Alabama Law School are once again holding the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, with online voting for 2014 running through June 30.

The novels nominated this year cover both criminal and civil law topics, as told by Elizabeth Strout, Ronald H. Balson, and past-winner John Grisham. Of course, it is the human element that makes legal fiction interesting (and often an attorney’s job too), and each story contains a variety of settings and character types to explore the timeless theme of how justice and the human experience interact.

The State Bar of Texas hosted its own short story contest and recently announced the winners. The Texas Bar Journal will publish the top three stories, as determined by a panel of judges, in the upcoming June 2014 issue. The contest keeps growing, as this year’s winners emerged from a pool of 55 submitted stories.

Meanwhile, it is never the wrong decision to pick up or, for that matter, defend a classic. A news item coming out of the United Kingdom claims that To Kill a Mockingbird has effectively fallen out of the secondary education school curriculum due to Education Secretary Michael Gove’s insistence that students read more of their native literature. Many reactions ensued, including some people blaming Gove for outright banning the book, though Gove disputes this.

Happy summer reading to all!