What Did You Learn From Selling Encyclopedias?

Minnesota criminal defense attorney Joe Friedberg tells how he learned many valuable skills when selling encyclopedias.

Contact Joseph Friedberg

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 612-339-8626


I think I learned more about trying cases selling encyclopedias than I did in law school. You gotta remember, in law school when I went to law school, there was no clinical law. You didn’t deal with any actual cases. You didn’t deal with any actual clients. In fact, we didn’t even have a trial moot court. The only moot court we had was appellate moot court. And so I spent – I probably said “hi there” more than anybody in the history of mankind, but I learned, I think, how to judge people, to a degree how to handle people, critics might say manipulate people, but dealt primarily with a very young audience of people between 21 and 30. And it’s kinda fun to look back and tell stories about selling encyclopedias. It wasn’t fun while you were doing it. I tell you what: it’s cold around here. And about the third week I was here, I got sent to Duluth for the weekend, and I’d never been in weather like that in my life. And if you didn’t get indoors, you’d freeze to death.