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Publisher's Summary

This instant New York Times bestseller offers “a firsthand, eye-opening story of a prosecutor that exposes the devastating criminal punishment system” (Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award–winning author of How to Be an Antiracist) in this “compelling collection of engaging, well-written, keenly observed vignettes from [Laura Coates’s] years as a lawyer with the US Department of Justice” (The New York Times Book Review).

When Laura Coates joined the Department of Justice as a prosecutor, she wanted to advocate for the most vulnerable among us. But she quickly realized that even with the best intentions, “the pursuit of justice creates injustice.”

Coates’s experiences show that no matter how fair you try to fight, being Black, a woman, and a mother are identities often at odds in the justice system. She and her colleagues face seemingly impossible situations as they teeter between what is right and what is just. 

On the front lines of our legal system, Coates saw how Black communities are policed differently; Black cases are prosecuted differently; Black defendants are judged differently. How the court system seems to be the one place where minorities are overrepresented, an unrelenting parade of Black and Brown defendants in numbers that belie their percentage in the population and overfill American prisons. She also witnessed how others in the system either abused power or were abused by it—for example, when an undocumented witness was arrested by ICE, when a white colleague taught Coates how to unfairly interrogate a young Black defendant, or when a judge victim-blamed a young sexual assault survivor based on her courtroom attire. 

Through these “searing, eye-opening” (People) scenes from the courtroom, Laura Coates explores the tension between the idealism of the law and the reality of working within the parameters of our flawed legal system, exposing the chasm between what is right and what is lawful.

©2022 Laura Coates. All rights reserved. (P)2022 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about Just Pursuit

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Audible version most enjoyable

perfect narration in the audible version and great human interest vignettes holds your attention. Depicts problems in the justice (injustice) system in an understandable way.

5 people found this helpful

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Foxy Brown of Criminal Justice...

Incredible book... I was already in love with Laura but now she will have to prosecute me as a stalker. lol. This has got to be on the NY Times Best Seller's list. In this book, she reveals not only her brilliant mind but her deep passion to make a positive difference in the lives of those that traditionally marginalized and unheard. Lucky for us, she rose to her calling to become a prosecutor in an effort to help "balance" and historically imbalanced justice system and this book gives you a "front seat" view of the trials and tribulations of being a trailblazer in a traditionally white dominated field. I'm going to be the first that says this and I hope it catches on...Laura Coates is the Foxy Brown of Criminal Justice. If we could just clone her...

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EXCELLENCE

I encountered Laura Coats via radio show on Sirius Xm. She is an amazing person that reflects such high intellect. This book is so well written and narrated. I absolutely love it.

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Good book and narration!

I agree with everything the first reviewer wrote. That pretty much sums it up. This book will not disappoint. Highly recommend it. Respect to Laura. We could use a few more people (and prosecutors) like her:)

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A Must Read (Listen)

I flew through thus audio book. the author has a captivating way with words and story telling that draws you in. I didn't want it to end. I wanted more stories. more insight.

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Best nonfiction book I’ve ever heard

This was extremely difficult to listen to at times but I am so glad I did. This may be one of the most important books I have ever heard. The stories are concise and illustrate well the way the criminal justice system functions with reverence to the humanity of everyone involved. I cannot imagine writing this let alone living it…. Thank you Laura Coates.

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  • 05-07-22

Bravo To Attorney Laura Coates

Bravo,
For making the legal proceedings from arrest to the verdict more palatable. Your stories put some hard truths into perspective that details the discrepancies in the Justice System for people of color or with behavioral health issues. The unfairness is blatantly clear. The for being a “truth teller” and a Justice Fighter, we need more Attorneys like you all over the US

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  • 05-04-22

Eye Opening or Not so much

Laura Coates openly expresses and share her true battle or conflict internally with a justice system she so wants to be impartial right and just for all. It’s difficult for her like so many citizens to deal with failings disparities unfairness that exist against largely against black and brown defendants. At least you know that someone like Prosecutor Coates exists to do all she can for true justice

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Masterful!

I could barely stop listening! Perfect!
Can't wait for your next book! I LOVE IT!

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finished

Loved her style. Enjoyed and reminded me of being in Court as an advocate for vulnerable children and adults.