It is almost impossible to do an abstract of a book in a paragraph to which an author has devoted five years and six hundred pages--but those who remember Mayer's earlier perspectives of the schools, the street and Madison Avenue, will remember that he is able to convert a great deal of research into a book which is decisively informative. Nolo contendere. And this one presents the ""great public servants of America"" with an ethic designed not to ""offend the traditions and lower the tone"" of its profession. Still the average man looks at him with suspicion (""He that goes to law has a wolf by the ears""). Mayer reviews their fees, functions, skills (the draftsman's are the highest--the Judges at the bottom); the law schools who turn out ""a first class passenger on the talent escalator"" and their students (who goes; why); the laws and their provenance; the criminal law courts and processes (bail; confessions, penalties); personal injury actions 90 percent of which are settled out of court; the Legal Aid services; the big firms and the corporate lawyer; specialization; the courts from Small Claims to the Supreme; and the judges....Mayer is an energetic, entertaining writer and his book has a bona fide readability factor--no one should cease or desist.