A True Story
By Ian Graham
(Kaplan Publishing, Hardcover, 9781607146292, 256pp.)
Publication Date: May 4, 2010
The story—part memoir, part hard-hitting expose—of a first-year law associate negotiating the arduous path through a system designed to break those who enter it before it makes them.
Landing a job at a prestigious L.A. law firm, complete with a six figure income, signaled the beginning of the good life for Ian Graham. But the harsh reality of life as an associate quickly became evident. The work was grueling and boring, the days were impossibly long, and Graham’s main goal was to rack up billable hours. But when he took an unpaid pro bono case to escape the drudgery, Graham found the meaning in his work that he’d been looking for. As he worked to free Mario Rocha, a gifted young Latino who had been wrongly convicted at 16 and sentenced to life without parole, the shocking contrast between the quest for money and power and Mario’s desperate struggle for freedom led Graham to look long and hard at his future as a corporate lawyer.
Clear-eyed and moving, written with the drama and speed of a John Grisham novel and the personal appeal of Scott Turow’s account of his law school years, Unbillable Hours is an arresting personal story with implications for all of us.
Ian Graham is a lawyer living in Los Angeles, California. After graduating from Rice University in 1997 and the University of Texas Law School in 2001, he joined the law firm of Latham & Watkins in Los Angeles where he worked as an associate from 2001 to 2006. While at Latham his pro bono work on behalf of Mario Rocha, a young Latino man then serving a double life sentence for a murder he did not commit, was featured in the award-winning documentary film Mario's Story, currently airing on Showtime. He continues to represent Mr. Rocha, and worked as the Associate Producer of Kicking It, a documentary on the Homeless World Cup soccer tournament in Johannesburg, South Africa, that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007 and airs on ESPN.
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