Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction

Archive 2012

Michael Connelly’s The Fifth Witness Named 2012 Winner of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal FictionMichael ConnellyFor his work in The Fifth Witness, New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly will receive the 2012 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. The Prize, co-sponsored by The University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal, celebrates the role of lawyers in society and the ideals represented by Atticus Finch.

The Fifth Witness was chosen by a distinguished selection committee, including New York Times bestselling novelist Linda Fairstein, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, New York Times bestselling novelist Lisa Scottoline, NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg and FOX News Political Analyst Juan Williams.

“When I was 13 and spending hot summer days in the air conditioning afforded by the Fort Lauderdale public library, a librarian made me read To Kill a Mockingbird,” says Connelly. “I discovered a story about a lawyer who was forthright and willing to do the right thing, even at great risk and cost to himself and those he loved. That is the definition of hero I have endeavored to capture in my own work. This honor tells me I’m on the right track.”

Connelly will receive the award during a special ceremony September 20, at 2 p.m., at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Following the award presentation, Ron Charles, fiction editor of The Washington Post, will lead a discussion of The Fifth Witness, in relationship to Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, including guest panelists Linda Fairstein, Lisa Scottoline, Nina Totenberg and Juan Williams.

About Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly is the bestselling author of twenty-five novels and one work of non-fiction. With over forty-five million copies of his books sold worldwide and translated into thirty-six foreign languages, he is one of the most successful writers working today.

A former newspaper reporter who worked the crime beat at the Los Angeles Times and the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Connelly has won numerous awards for his journalism and his fiction. His very first novel, The Black Echo, won the prestigious Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1992.

In 2002, Clint Eastwood directed and starred in the movie adaptation of Connelly’s 1998 novel, Blood Work. In March 2011, the movie adaptation of his #1 bestselling novel, The Lincoln Lawyer, hit theaters worldwide, starring Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller.

His most recent #1 New York Times bestsellers include: The Drop, The Fifth Witness, The Reversal, The Scarecrow, and The Brass Verdict. Connelly’s next Harry Bosch novel, The Black Box, will be published November 26, 2012. He spends his time in California and Florida.

For more information, including details about how to apply for the 2013 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, please contact Rebecca Walden, Communications Manager at The University of Alabama School of Law.

2012 Selection Committee

Condoleezza Rice

Linda Fairstein

Lisa Scottoline

Nina Totenberg

Juan Williams