Steve Jobs and Lawrence Maxwell

In an out-of-the-way hallway of our law firm are some shelves with long-unused, leather-bound volumes of US Supreme Court reporters from the 1800s. Here’s a pic of one of them. 

For bibliophiles out there, the aesthetics of an old law book will be appreciated: tobacco-colored; nicked and stained; reinforced with the 19th century equivalent of duct tape; pencil notations; a stamp on the inside saying it was from the library of Lawrence Maxwell, past Solicitor General of the United States and a long-ago member of Graydon Head. This book looks like it went to court more than a few times and has the scars to prove it.

I opened Mr. Maxwell’s book, laid it next to my iPad and in two or three seconds pulled up a recent US Supreme Court case.


Steve Jobs’ great insight was to combine technology and engineering with aesthetics and design. The ability to hold a law library in the palm of the hand within a sleek and fast tablet design continues to amaze.