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Scott Turow

Multiple Award-Winning Author, including Presumed Innocent; Attorney, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal

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Fee Range:
$15,000 - $25,000


A prolific writer and successful attorney, Scott Turow is one of the world's most popular authors, penning nine bestselling works of fiction, including his first novel, Presumed Innocent, and its sequel, Innocent. He has also written two non-fiction books-One L, about his experience as a law student, and Ultimate Punishment, a reflection on capital punishment.

Turow has been a partner in the Chicago office of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, a national law firm since 1986, concentrating on white collar criminal defense, while also devoting a substantial part of his time to pro bono matters. His books have won numerous literary awards, including the Heartland Prize and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, and have been translated into more than 25 languages, with over 25 million copies sold worldwide.

Speech Topics

Is there such a thing as a culture of corruption? How does it sustain itself? How can the same political culture produce both Barack Obama and Rod Blagojevich? What are the prospects for reform? And what reforms seem essential?

A novelist talks to lawyers.

Reflections on how contemporary billing practices interfere with the practice of law.

A balanced discussion of capital punishment. As a prosecutor, Turow supported the death penalty reluctantly, but his experiences as a defense lawyer and as a member of the Illinois Capital Punishment Commission made him realize that the important question about capital punishment is not whether it’s moral but whether it can work as a legal institution to give Americans what they want from it.

A discussion of the popular image of lawyers, focusing on the dizzying ambivalence Americans feel about lawyers and tracing the reasons for both their liking and loathing: attorneys’ power in American society, their perceived dark sides and their ideals as reflected in stories in books, movies and TV.

Humorous reflections on having two careers. Tracing Turow’s early ambition to be a novelist, his many early failures and how the great break of his literary career turned out to be his decision to go to law school, with the ensuing challenges of maintaining careers as both a writer and a lawyer.

A discussion of the rewards and perils when the movies buy your books. Six of Turow’s books have been purchased in Hollywood with one movie and two TV miniseries resulting. Turow recounts the fun–interaction with stars and many good creative experiences– and the follies of Hollywood’s complex business calculations, which sometimes make sense when you understand their perspectives.

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