Getting Your Life Priorities Straight-a Fictional Account

I’m not a big reader of fiction. With three teenagers, a wife who works full-time, a coaching business to run and a dog who also deserves some attention, I can still find time for squash. I even find time to do a fair amount of professional reading.

Unfortunately, reading fiction doesn’t often make it to the top of my priority list. But since it did this weekend, I’m pleased to report that I have a good book to recommend.

The Life O’Reilly is a first work of fiction by a young litigator in New York, Brian Cohen. In his first novel, Cohen tells the story of Nick O’Reilly, a “successful” litigation partner at a top Wall Street Law Firm. O’Reilly seems to have it all professionally. He works on great cases, he owns an apartment that overlooks Central Park and he has been written up in several of the major legal publications. With a good track record of helping get his corporate clients out of trouble, he has also been able to generate a substantial amount of work for his firm. While he seems to recognize that he may not be leading the most balanced life, it takes a pro bono case to make him recognize that there may be more to life than a large pay check.

The Life O’Reilly is a quick and compelling read that captures the essence of our times. While most lawyers will not have quite the same awakening that the main character experiences, certainly the Great Recession is giving many lawyers an involuntary kick in the pants. The question raised by The Life O’Reilly is one that many lawyers are asking themselves right now: is this the life I want and if not, is it too late to change?

At this juncture, I’ll take the opportunity to recommend coaching to anyone who is contemplating a change and needs help. But in reality, this post is simply an endorsement of a law related book that you probably won’t be able to put down. Enjoy!

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