Years ago, when I left the law to try my hand at another kind of fiction -- specifically, serious novels -- many of my barrister colleagues argued forcefully that I was making a mistake. What they feared was not so much that I wouldn't succeed (failure was a given), it was that I would be set adrift and flounder away unanchored -- the kind of shaky situation that drives lawyers nuts. Several books later, I'm not unaware of the extent to which the lawyers' perspective is different from that of the people who are their clients, spouses, lovers and friends.