Ex-Lawyer David Baldacci Talks Secret Service, Plugs New Book

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on May 11, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Introducing our Ex-Lawyer of the Week: David Baldacci.

Baldacci is a well-known lawyer-turned-bestselling author. His first novel, Absolute Power, became a major motion picture in 1997; its plot, about a Secret Service scandal, may seem like it was ripped from today's headlines.

But the ex-trial lawyer prefers to write fiction. "I like to sort of blend my own stories together," Baldacci said on "CBS This Morning" last week. "But some of these facts [in the current Secret Service scandal] might end up in a book later on down the road."

Author David Baldacci shared some of his Secret Service insight as the agency's Colombia prostitute scandal unfolded. "It was just a total mess-up," he said.

"As a former lawyer, I like to let the investigation do its job," Baldacci, 51, told CBS. "It might be a culture that's developed there, a negative one, and they'll have to take care of. This might be a blessing in disguise to turn it around now."

In the same interview, Baldacci explained his transition from law practice to fiction-writing; his 24th and latest novel, The Innocent, was released April 17.

"I was paid to be a storyteller as a lawyer," said Baldacci, who earned his law degree from the University of Virginia and practiced law for nine years, according to his website.

"I won cases because I was a better storyteller than the other lawyer, and I lost cases because that lawyer was better than I was," Baldacci said. "When both sides have the same set of facts, you have to tell your story that best represents your client."

"So if you want to be a great novelist, go to law school?" CBS anchor Charlie Rose asked.

"Go to law school," ex-lawyer/author David Baldacci said with a smile. "I'm not saying 1.5 million lawyers can be great writers, but some of us can be."

You can watch Baldacci's entire interview here:

Curious about other ways to use your JD, or how ex-lawyers have found success in other fields? Check back here for more ex-lawyer profiles and success stories. And if you have suggestions for our Ex-Lawyer of the Week series, let us know by posting your tip on our FindLaw for Legal Professionals Facebook page.

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