The Importance of Attentive Reading

Bryan A. Garner
By the time you master a skill, you develop your own distinctive technique—based in part on what you’ve admired in your predecessors.

By the time you master a skill, you develop your own distinctive technique—based in part on what you’ve admired in your predecessors.

Shutterstock

The company we keep is crucial to who we are—in all sorts of ways. For example, imagine that you aspire to be a first-class figure skater, but you don’t ever see one perform, much less skate with one. If you aspire to master any challenging skill at all, your progress will suffer if you don’t learn from others who’ve already become proficient. Left to your own devices, you could stay mired in mediocrity.

Spend more time reading. And stop reading what lawyers are writing, because mostly lawyers read what other lawyers are writing . . . and that’s mostly bad.

Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook

Premium Content For:
  • Current ABA Member
Join - Now