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It should come as no surprise that John Grisham holds a law degree. His criminal-justice background likely adds to his novels’ believability. The best-selling crime author earned his law degree from graduated from Mississippi State University and received a J.D. degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1981. He practiced criminal law for about a decade and served in the Mississippi House of Representatives from January 1984 to September 1990.
He began practicing as a criminal defense and personal injury attorney. But a case inspired Grisham to write his first novel, A Time to Kill. Then, Grisham wrote The Firm, which sold more than seven million copies. The book was adapted into a 1993 feature film of the same name, starring Tom Cruise, and a 2012 TV series which continues the story ten years after the events of the film and novel. Eight of his other novels have also been adapted into films: The Chamber, The Client, A Painted House, The Pelican Brief, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, Skipping Christmas, and A Time to Kill.
In 2010, Grisham started writing a series of legal thrillers for children aged 9 to 12 years, which feature a 13 year old, Theodore Boone, who gives his classmates legal advice ranging from rescuing impounded dogs to helping their parents prevent their house from being repossessed. He said, “I’m hoping primarily to entertain and interest kids, but at the same time I’m quietly hoping that the books will inform them, in a subtle way, about law,” he says
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