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Author/Attorney Scott Turow To Speak at Downtown Library

Turow TalksEminent attorney and bestselling author Scott Turow will speak at the Downtown Library, 300 Park Avenue, on Friday, April 18 at 10:00am. This free Question and Answer session will follow Turow’s guest appearance at the Library Endowment Trust’s 6th Annual Literary Voices™ Author Dinner the evening before at the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club.

“We are really happy to have Scott Turow visit the Downtown library on April 18,” said Metropolitan Library System Marketing and Communications Manager Kim Terry. “The Literary Voices™ writers who have spoken to library customers in the past have all been very well received and I’m sure that Mr. Turow will be no exception.

“Anyone with an interest in the law or writing popular fiction, or both, can learn a lot from the man who invented the modern legal thriller,” Terry said.

Many people in the legal profession know about a condition called “Scott Turow Syndrome,” which strikes lawyers who have a secret desire to become novelists.  The name is no misnomer, but what many people don’t know is that Turow was a student of literature before he became an attorney.  He graduated with honors from Amherst College in 1970, received a fellowship in Creative Writing at Stanford, and taught writing there from 1972 to 1975.  It was disillusionment with academic life and a dislike of what passed for literary writing in the early ‘70s that drove Turow to look in another direction.  He saw that many of friends were lawyers.  He entered Harvard Law in 1975 and has been going strong ever since.

“Something about the questions at the heart of the law--” he told an interviewer, “defining what is right, what is wise, and how effective rules can be make—were more congenial to me than the ones that English professors deal with.  All in all, it added up to a deep attraction to the law and the people drawn to it.”

Upon graduation, Turow got a “proctologist’s view” of the legal profession when he decided to eschew private practice and took a job as Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago.  He soon found himself as part of the prosecution team in Operation Greylord, a federal investigation into allegations of corruption in the Illinois judiciary.  In some cases, Turow served as lead counsel.

He tried many jury cases, the most prominent being the prosecution of Reginald Holzer, a sitting judge and former candidate for the Illinois Supreme Court, who was convicted of extortion and bribery.  Turow was also junior prosecutor on the trial of William J. Scott, who was at the time the Attorney General of Illinois.

“I saw the worst abuses of the law, and craven dishonesty by attorneys,” he confessed.  “But I was a lawyer, too, and I thought highly of myself, my colleagues, and many other lawyers I knew.  So it was a mixed bag.”

Although he became a full time writer in 1990, three years after his breakthrough legal thriller “Presumed Innocent” dominated the bestseller lists, Turow continued to put around 300 hours a year into his partnership in the Chicago law firm of Sonnenschein, Nath, & Rosenthal.  He specializes now in white collar crime, but his new emphasis and shorter hours didn’t prevent him from winning reversal in 1995 for a man who had spent 11 years in prison, and many of those on death row, for a crime to which someone else confessed.

 “Now my practice is divided between criminal representation and my work as chair of the Illinois Executive Ethics Commission.”

Turow is also a trustee at Amherst College, a member of the Council of the Author’s Guild, and is active with several local charities in the Chicago area.

Turow’s latest novel was “Limitations,” published in 2006, but he has a new one scheduled for release later this year.
The free library program on April 18 will have limited seating.
For more information call 606-3833.

The Metropolitan Library System of Oklahoma County includes 12 libraries and five extension libraries.  Libraries include Belle Isle, Capitol Hill, Ralph Ellison, Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library and Southern Oaks in Oklahoma City, as well as Bethany, Choctaw, Del City, Edmond, Midwest City, Village and Warr Acres.  Extensions are located in the communities of Harrah, Jones, Luther and Nicoma Park and include Wright Library in Oklahoma City.  You can also reach us at www.metrolibrary.org