Monday, December 11, 2006

A Note on One L

I finished my second From the Stacks Challenge book, One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School, by Scott Turow (author of Presumed Innocent). Although I don't imagine many people would be much interested in this book, I'll post a little bit anyway just because it was part of the challenge. I didn't really love it, but I didn't dislike it. As far as literary nonfiction goes, a favorite genre of mine, it pretty much fits the bill. It's nonfiction, personally experienced with no hiding of the author in the narrative, reflections on the author's experiences, written with a sense of story as similar to fiction rather than an onslaught of facts like a textbook. The book is made up of journal entries Turow wrote while in his first year of Harvard Law School interspersed with commentary he added in a year later. He attended his first year of school in 1975 so it's a little dated at times, but mostly it still works. Although he puts in a disclaimer at the beginning about how much he likes the law school itself and it proud to have gone there, he spends the rest of the book saying how stressful and horrible it is. He gives an interesting critique of the American law school system in general and it sure doesn't sound fun. It's a highly competitive, antagonistic, and dehumanizing environment for which he gives good suggestions on how to make it more practical and compassionate for up-and-coming attorneys. In 1999, I almost went to law school (took LSAT, applied, was accepted, paid money for seat in the class) then backed out and I'm glad I did. It wouldn't have been right for me, but the book was interesting nonetheless.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Funky Smith said...

I signed up for the LSAT too, took the study guide but chickened out and lost my money on the exam. My brother, however, did it and went on to be a good attorney! The rare kind. Although his job seems really stressful and I don't see him doing that forever.

11:13 PM  
Anonymous Camille said...

Talking about lost money--I spent about $800 on the LSAT prep course then $200 to start my school year. Then I ended up going to graduate school anyway. I wasted a lot of money in that little venture.

2:50 AM  

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