The Law Library has plenty of very serious works -- like the human rights and genocide books I've mentioned in recent posts.
But there are some lighter law books, too. And the wish to amuse oneself in the midst of serious work is not new: consider Bench and Bar: A Complete Digest of the Wit, Humor, Asperities, and Amenities of the Law, published in New York in 1867 (K183 .B54 1871 at Classified Stacks).
Here are a few recent works:
- The Green Bag Almanac of Useful and Entertaining Tidbits for Lawyers & Reader of Good Legal Writing from the Past Year Selected by the Luminaries and Sages on Our Board of Advisors (2006, 2007, 2008), K184 .G743 at Classified Stacks and Good Reads. Not all of the Green Bag Almanac is humor -- most of the selected "good legal writing" is not -- but there are plenty of amusements tucked in.
- The Party of the First Part: The Curious World of Legalese, KF184 .F74 2007 at Good Reads
- Judges Say the Darndest Things, 2004 K184 .J83 2004 at Good Reads
- Amicus Humoriae: An Anthology of Legal Humor, PN6231.L4 A64 2003 at Good Reads
Books too heavy? Here are some online sources for lawyer cartoons:
- Courtoons (a daily blog).
- Stu's Views (website).
- Cartoonbank is the online source for New Yorker cartoons and covers. If you go to this page and choose the "Law Channel," you'll see a new law-related cartoon every 30 seconds.
Speaking of "free" -- the first UW law student, staff member, or faculty member who emails the reference office with the phrase "law-related humor" will win a small prize.
Graphic: Photograph of President Truman sharing a laugh with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill aboard the President's yacht, the U.S.S. WILLIAMSBURG, during Churchill's visit to the United States, 01/05/1952, from the National Archives and Records Administration.