Ruby Reads: 'Just Mercy'

Reading time:

By now, you have heard of ‘Just Mercy’, written by attorney Bryan Stevenson, and now a major motion picture starring Jamie Foxx and Michael B. Jordan.  ‘Just Mercy’ was both a critical and commercial success when it was published in 2014. The book tells the true-life experiences of Bryan Stevenson, a fresh Harvard law school graduate who founded the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama working to defend the poor and the wrongly condemned in an area of the country deeply steeped in profoundly segregated political and legal traditions. 

As a busy attorney running a small firm, I rarely have time to read for pleasure. At the end of a long day, I usually want to disconnect from what I do and try and enjoy time with my friends and family. But “Just Mercy” is a must-read for anyone interested in or connected to the legal system. Mr. Stevenson’s journey in the deep South was an uphill one from the start but the clarity, empathy, compassion, and hope with which he writes about his struggles to vindicate an innocent man on death row is as inspiring as it is uplifting. This book will inspire you and give you hope that there are attorneys fighting for justice and mercy without billions of dollars behind them.  

While this book is mostly centered around the case of Walter McMillian, there is a deeper message beyond the legal ramifications and brinkmanship that is woven throughout the narrative. Mr. Stevenson makes the point that we are all more than the worst thing we have ever done.  And all of us – and he really means ALL of us – are worthy of mercy, which is undeserved and unearned. This is a message that has resonated with me deeply and something I constantly repeat to clients, my children, and my colleagues. Without being overtly religious, Mr. Stevenson’s message is one of the most pious statements that can be expressed in modern times and one that we all would do well to remember in all our interactions, both in-person and online.

Finally, I have met Mr. Stevenson in person.  He is as engaging, humble, and dedicated to his cause as his book and the movie convey. I strongly recommend spending a few hours of your precious ‘downtime’ to read “Just Mercy”. It’s a page-turner as a legal story, an unflinching look at problems in our legal system, and yet full of hope. (You may even notice a famous musician’s father making an unflattering appearance!) It is my sincere desire that when you turn the last page of this book, you will be filled with a sense of hope and grace that will change the way you look at our legal system and your judgments of those around you. 

Somita Basu

Somita Basu is a Founding Principal and the Co-Managing Partner of the Santa Clara, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas offices of Norton Basu LLP. Ms. Basu addresses complex issues in estate planning, probate and trust administration matters. She is a member of the California Lawyers Association and serves as Vice-Chair on the Executive Committee of the Association’s Solo and Small Firm Committee.  She is also on the Project 2021 Committee for the California Lawyers Association, providing input into how California’s largest bar association will adapt and function in the future. Ms. Basu is a member of the Silicon Valley Bar Association, which focuses exclusively on the issues of estate planning and probate and serves as a Board Member at Channing House, a senior living facility in Palo Alto, CA.

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All
Title card: Creativity, connections, and client relationships—with Nathan Wilson, The Narrative
Small Business Tips

Creativity, connections, and client relationships—with Nathan Wilson of The Narrative

Illustration of a woman with a lovely voice speaking

How to make your voice sound better

Ruby customer feature series title card: Rebecca Flanagan, Flanagan Legal Services
Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: Rebecca Flanagan, Flanagan Legal Services

Business handshake: close-up part of two young women shaking hands and smiling while sitting at business meeting with their coworkers
Small Business Tips

Coopetition: how to grow your business by partnering with a competitor

Headsets hangs on powered-off computers in an empty office
Small Business Tips

Worker shortage explained: what 2021’s workforce issues mean for your business

A traffic light sign is nearly submerged by a massive flood—one example of the extreme weather events caused by climate change.
Small Business Tips

Getting real about climate change

Man makes notes in a notebook on a table with a phone
Small Business Tips

What you lose when you send every call to voicemail

An illustration of a phone ringing next to a magnifying glass that reveals text: "Ruby calling…"
Receptionist Tips

Receptionist secrets revealed: 5 tricks to grow your business by wowing your customers

A group of professionals sit in a well-lit office watching a man in a hoodie present and point to a whiteboard
Small Business Tips

How IT answering services help you engage & retain customers

Collage of people on phones with title: Real receptionists. Unreal results. Build lasting loyalty with Ruby.
About Ruby

Getting started with Ruby: what to expect

Female-presenting freelancer wearing elegant sweater and round earrings working in front of open laptop, sitting in cozy home office interior, drinking coffee, browsing websites
Small Business Tips

Does your business really need a website? 6 myths about your online presence

An illustration showing that people who call translate into money for a business, while people who visit a website are left without a next step, and bounce to competitors' websites
Small Business Tips

You don’t leave your callers hanging. But what about your website visitors?

Collage of group of young people over colorful vintage isolated background smiling doing phone gesture with hand and fingers, pantomiming talking on the telephone.
Receptionist Tips

The power of answering the phone in one ring

Ruby logo + Clio logo
Legal Practice Tips

Ruby + Clio = happier clients + more billable hours

Small Business Tips

You don’t have to be the “everything business.”

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up
Sales Support

Already a Ruby customer?

Let’s get started.

Ready to turn more callers into customers?

Missed connections translate to lost revenue. With Ruby, you have a partner in gaining and retaining customers. Plus, we’re so confident you’ll love our service, we offer a 21 day money-back guarantee*.

*Ruby is delighted to offer a money-back guarantee to first time users of both our virtual receptionist service and our chat service. To cancel your service and obtain a full refund for the cancelled service (less any multi-service discount), please notify us of the service you wish to cancel either within 21 days of your purchase of that service or before your usage exceeds 500 receptionist minutes/50 billable chats, as applicable, whichever occurs sooner.

Legal_Final

The Secret to Successful Law Firms

The inside scoop on Clio’s latest legal trends report.

Phone Thumbnail 2

10 Questions to Ask a Virtual Reception Provider

Ask the right questions and rate virtual reception services with our handy guide and scorecard!