Cover image for Climbing Jacob's ladder : a trial lawyer's journey on behalf of 'the least of these'
Climbing Jacob's ladder : a trial lawyer's journey on behalf of 'the least of these'
Smith, Jock M., 1948-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Montgomery, Ala. : NewSouth Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
304 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
KF373.S65 A3 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Jacob Smith, a prominent black lawyer and political and civil rights leader in New York in the segregated 1950s, was assassinated when his son, Jock, was eight years old. If this memoir told only of a child's loving remembrance of his father (and a desire to follow in his footsteps, thus "Climbing Jacob's Ladder"), it would be a success. But Jock Smith grew up to become a lawyer himself, a college professor, one of the first African-American assistant attorneys general in Alabama, and then a highly successful plaintiff's lawyer, sports agent, sports memorabilia collector, and inspirational speaker. Now a national partner to superlawyer Johnnie Cochran, Smith operates in a fascinating world of power, wealth, fame, and faith. Climbing Jacob's Ladder tells it all. Jock Smith is a great storyteller, and co-author Paul Hemphill is a great writer. Their collaboration brings us an insider's view of the legal system, big-time sports collecting, contemporary black life, evangelism, and civil rights.

Author Notes

Jock Smith received his Juris Doctor degree from Notre Dame University Law School and his undergraduate degree from Tuskegee University. He is a member of the American Bar Association and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America
Paul Hemphill is a veteran journalist and author of a dozen books

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

When Jock Smith was eight, his father, Jacob, a lawyer, was murdered by a client's husband; Climbing Jacob's Ladder: From Queens to Tuskegee A Trial Lawyer's Journey on Behalf of "the Least of These" is Jock's tale, written with the aid of journalist Paul Hemphill, of growing up to be a lawyer, too. Now a partner to Johnnie Cochran (who pens the foreword), Jock is also a sports memorabilia collector (his first purchase, after the baseball cards of his youth, was a 1972 Willie Mays jersey), an announcer for the Tuskegee Golden Tigers and an inspirational speaker. In efficient if unlovely prose, Jock bears witness to his successes, especially in championing the causes of the underprivileged and the overlooked. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Forewordp. 9
1 'They're Still Ahead, but We're Gaining'p. 17
2 Murder in Manhattanp. 29
3 Little Boy Lostp. 37
4 Tuskegeep. 48
5 Notre Dame Law Schoolp. 64
6 'Doctor Jock'p. 75
7 Attorney at Lawp. 86
8 Strong Womenp. 94
9 The Least of Thesep. 103
10 Moon Moneyp. 110
11 Born Againp. 119
12 The Sports Collectorp. 168
13 'Scoring for Life!'p. 184
14 Enter, Johnnie Cochranp. 196
15 Cochran, Cherry, Givens & Smithp. 207
16 Lawyers in Groupsp. 229
17 Politics and Race in Americap. 245
18 It Was All About Termitesp. 261
19 On Being a Trial Lawyerp. 277
20 Full Circlep. 288
Afterwordp. 298
Acknowledgmentsp. 299