Janet Says

“When I started in the profession, thirty years ago in a large national firm, the practice of law was a genteel affair, with afternoon breaks for tea served in china cups and brought around by a uniformed lady wheeling a tea cart, and evening drinks in a senior partner’s office replete with a well-stocked bar. I loved the clients, and I loved the cases, all interesting and intellectually challenging. I even liked many of my colleagues.
But gradually, over the years, lawyering became less a service industry and much more of a business. Add to that the economic collapse of 2008, and what was merely more of a business evolved into a cutthroat environment that rendered practicing law, at least for me, no longer fun. I left the firm where I had been a partner for years, and retired.
Although being a lawyer had stopped being fun, writing about my experience hasn’t. I started by writing reality books for young lawyers that, with humor, gave advice about learning how to practice law. As these kinds of books go, they were best-sellers. Then I thought—why not let everyone get a sense of what a lawyer’s life is like?
So I wrote Suggestion of Death, published this year. It’s a murder mystery with a lawyer narrator. I added a bit of wish fulfillment to my experiences, having one law partner murder another. The humor is there because as one of my colleagues said to me years ago, “if you didn’t laugh, you’d cry.”
As I look at my notes over the years, I realize I have material for many novels. And because I enjoy reading mysteries, I intend to include murders in all of my future novels. For some of the more outrageous situations I describe in my writings, be assured: truth is stranger than fiction. These things have happened, although not all to me. While my tenure in law firms has included coping with suicide and murder, no law partners of mine ever murdered other lawyers. They might have wanted to, but really, lawyers kill with words, not weapons.”