Author of Legal Detective Novels Corresponds with Students

Sheldon Siegel, a lawyer and author from San Francisco, has been communicating by e-mail with William Woods University students who were reading his books during the fall semester.

Siegel’s books are legal detective novels. They include “Special Circumstances,” “Incriminating Evidence” and the best-seller “Criminal Intent.” He has also just released his newest book, “Final Verdict.”

During the semester, students in the Law and Literature class read one of Siegel’s four books. They also wrote a book report and gave a presentation on the material as a final project for the class.

Fibbens A Koranteng, a senior computer information science major from Boonville, Mo., found the project particularly interesting.

“Mr. Seigel is quite a pleasant man with whom I enjoy corresponding,” Koranteng said. “Basically I asked him about little technicalities such as attorney-client privileges and cross examinations. He answered my questions promptly and, through those answers, I learned a little bit about how the law works.”

Koranteng, who has been accepted to law school at the University of Missouri,
said Siegel has also been helpful in advising him about choosing law school and what to expect. The two still keep in touch.

Peggy Nickerson, coordinator of the paralegal studies program and assistant professor in the department of legal studies, set up this opportunity for her students. She felt that this firsthand communication would be a great way for the students to get into the mind of the author.

“It is interesting for the students to be able to see how the author, who is a lawyer, views the modern American Legal System and the pursuit of justice,” Nickerson said.

Nickerson became familiar with Siegel’s work through her brother, David Nickerson, and his wife, Geri Freeman, both of whom are acknowledged in each of Siegel’s books. Freeman and Siegel are partners in the same law firm. David Nickerson is a criminal defense lawyer who gives Siegel advice on the criminal end of things for his books.

“I have received a lot of e-mails from Peggy’s students,” Siegel said. “It has been a great opportunity and a lot of fun to be able to talk to my readers.”

Siegel donated the books to the class and also gave several books to the university’s library.