Scott Turow

Scott Turow

Speaker Scott Turow best selling author and legal keynotes

Speaker: Scott Turow

Attorney and Best-Selling Author

Speech Topics Include:

  • A Novelist Goes to Hollywood
  • How I Got To Be Two Things
  • Where Are You Perry Mason?
  • Confessions of a Death Penalty Agnostic
  • The Billable Hour Must Die
  • Storytelling in the Courtroom

Keyntoe speaker Scott Turow is a writer and attorney. He is the author of seven best-selling novels: Presumed Innocent (1987), The Burden of Proof (1990), Pleading Guilty (1993), The Laws of Our Fathers (1996), Personal Injuries (1999), Reversible Errors (2002), and Ordinary Heroes (2005). A novella, Limitations, was published as a paperback original in November 2006 by Picador following its serialization in The New York Times Magazine. His works of non-fiction include One L (1977) about his experience as a law student, and Ultimate Punishment (2003), a reflection on the death penalty. He frequently contributes essays and op-ed pieces to publications such as The New York Times, Washington Post, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Playboy and The Atlantic.

Turow’s books have won a number of literary awards, including the Heartland Prize in 2003 for Reversible Errors and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award in 2004 for Ultimate Punishment and Time Magazine’s Best Work of Fiction, 1999 for Personal Injuries. His books have been translated into more than 25 languages, sold more than 25 million copies world-wide and have been adapted into one full length film and two television miniseries.

Turow continues to work as an attorney. He 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 amount of time to pro bono matters. In one such case, he represented Alejandro Hernandez in the successful appeal that preceded Hernandez’s release after nearly twelve years in prison, including five on death row, for a murder he did not commit.

A Novelist Goes to Hollywood

A discussion of the rewards and perils when the movies buy your books. Six of my books have been purchased in Hollywood with one movie and two TV miniseries resulting. I recount 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.

How I Got To Be Two Things

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

Where Are You Perry Mason?

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.

Confessions of a Death Penalty Agnostic

A balanced discussion of capital punishment. As a prosecutor I supported the death penalty reluctantly, but my experiences as a defense lawyer and as a member of the Illinois Capital Punishment Commission made me 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.

The Billable Hour Must Die

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

Storytelling in the Courtroom

A novelist talks to lawyers.

Government Ethics In Illinois: An Oxymoron?

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?

Truth to Justice?

 How the truths of the legal system often seem alien to lay persons.

It’s Only Words:  Thoughts of a Lawyer & Novelist

 A serious dissection of the meaning of voice and rhetoric from the prospective of both a lawyer and novelist.

Language, Truth and Professionalism

How the law’s professional culture alienates lawyers from the public they mean to serve.

Being an Author in the 21st Century

The e-book and its effect on publishing, the threats of book piracy, Google books and the prospect of universal access, and the many challenges as our model changes from IP law as the haven of individual creators to an instrument for corporate competition.


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