Book Review: Leaning on the Arc - A Personal History of Criminal Defense

Gerry Schwartz-bach, a true artist in the criminal defense world, has crafted a powerful and very engaging reflection on his work on behalf of the accused that is part memoir, part teaching tool, and entirely inspiring for anyone coping with the conflict between justice and the justice system. The title, Leaning on the Arc, draws from the Martin Luther King observation that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Schwartzbach sketches a brief but engaging tour of the experiences that led him to a life in the law. His shared discovery of the potent prospect of making a difference, one life at a time, emerges from the story and resonates for the reader. It powerfully compels his journey forward. The book then shifts, transporting the reader into the very heart of the celebrated and lesser-known cases of his career, in a fashion that is inspiring, fascinatingly informative, and revealing of his method of strategic thinking, so essential to creating unimaginable outcomes from very desolate-appearing facts.