Still Need Ideas for Holiday Gifts?
What about a “Decision Paperweight”? Eighteen dollars at Uncommon Goods. What about a first edition of John Jay Osborn’s The Paper Chase? I love what the Unemployed Philosopher’s Guild has on offer, including the Supreme Court Cases Mug and the Banned Books Mug. The National Archives sells a Declaration of Independence silk scarf ($60). You can also check out sites such as Etsy and eBay for interesting items; I’ve found lovely Brooke Cadwallader Declaration of Independence silk scarves, a scarf related to the famous Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins case, and other items. I collect scarves so those are the items I look for, but there are lots of mugs, pens, pins, ties, paperweights, bookends, decks of cards, first editions, gavels, lamps, and other things that would make any legal eagle chirp happily. I even found a lovely small watercolor of Alexis de Tocqueville on Etsy a couple of weeks ago; I snapped that up immediately.
Here’s a book to put on your holiday shopping list for lawyers and law students on your list this holiday season: Laura Little’s Guilty Pleasures: Comedy and Law in America (Oxford University Press (Oxford University Press, 2018).
Few people associate law books with humor. Yet the legal world–in particular the American legal system–is itself frequently funny. Indeed, jokes about the profession are staples of American comedy. And there is actually humor within the world of law too: both lawyers and judges occasionally strive to be funny to deal with the drudgery of their duties. Just as importantly, though, our legal system is a strong regulator of humor. It encourages some types of humor while muzzling or punishing others. In a sense, law and humor engage a two-way feedback loop: humor provides the raw material for legal regulation and legal regulation inspires humor. In Guilty Pleasures, legal scholar Laura Little provides a multi-faceted account of American law and humor, looking at constraints on humor (and humor’s effect on law), humor about law, and humor in law. In addition to interspersing amusing episodes from the legal world throughout the book, the book contains 75 New Yorker cartoons about lawyers and a preface by Bob Mankoff, the cartoon editor for the New Yorker.