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A Business Lawyer's Bibliography: Books Every Dealmaker Should Read

Journal of Legal Education, Vol. 61, No. 4, May 2012

49 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2012  

Robert C. Illig

University of Oregon - School of Law

Date Written: May 2012


To become a truly great business lawyer, one must not only master legal analysis and deal execution. One must attain a command of context. Attorneys are more than mere “transaction cost engineers.” We are counselors – purveyors of judgment, caution and insight.

But how best to cultivate such expertise? Wisdom is the reward of experience, and requires time to develop. How, then, can the young lawyer hasten her education and achieve an understanding beyond her years? And what of the seasoned professional who lacks expertise in a particular field? How is she to obtain a broader familiarity without re-living her novice years? An answer to both questions is to supplement practical experience by reading broadly in the area of contemporary business and financial history.

In this article, Professor Illig recommends a selection of scholarly and popular books that provide insight into the workings of the modern financial world. On offer are events ranging from the rise of the modern corporation to the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Also covered are the many institutions and players who dominate today’s financial markets, from investment banks and hedge funds to various regulators, advisors, and not-for-profits. Finally, the article suggests several books on accounting, drafting and negotiation, as well as a few general-audience books that introduce theoretical topics such as corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, and the role of markets in a post-Lehman world.

Keywords: teaching, pedagogy, bibliography

Suggested Citation

Illig, Robert C., A Business Lawyer's Bibliography: Books Every Dealmaker Should Read (May 2012). Journal of Legal Education, Vol. 61, No. 4, May 2012. Available at SSRN:

Robert C. Illig (Contact Author)

University of Oregon - School of Law ( email )

1515 Agate Street
Eugene, OR 97403-1221
United States
541-346-1723 or 541-510-4554 (Phone)

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