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Ivy Briefs: True Tales of a Neurotic Law Student Hardcover – May 15, 2007

54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

First time author Kimes is entertaining and funny in recounting her three years at one of the country's premier law schools. A smart young woman with a good, but not always engaged, sense of perspective, Kimes jumps from the University of Wisconsin to Columbia Law School on the wings of a spectacular showing on the LSATs. Once there, she faces the predictable sadistic professor, hypercompetitive fellow students and, of course, rampant elitism. Kimes is happy to treat with an equal measure of humor the highly stylized courting dance between summer law clerks and mega law firms, as well as the foreboding horrors of the bar exam. Though some stories seem hyperbolic and re-created conversations can be suspiciously pat, Kimes captures with accuracy the gestalt of the law school experience. Kimes did get a job at what she calls "Lavish Law Firm." But she eventually left to join the Make-a-Wish Foundation, which may be her final comment on the world of big-time law. The self-deprecating wit, catty observations and healthy sense of the absurd with which Kimes describes her approach-avoidance reactions to the world of law school raise the book above the ordinary. (May)
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"A must-read for anyone contemplating law school; and for those who have already graduated, a sidesplitting review of the law school experience -- torts and all."

-- Karen Quinn, author of The Ivy Chronicles and Wife in the Fast Lane

"Martha Kimes's candid tale of attending Columbia Law School is Legally Blonde meets One L. Told with sweet self-awareness and pervasive wit, I couldn't help but cheer Kimes on as she faced every daunting law school challenge, transforming herself from fearful Midwesterner to cool and confident Ivy League grad. Ivy Briefs makes me want to hug Kimes...and then hire her as my attorney."

-- Jen Lancaster, author of Bitter Is the New Black and Bright Lights, Big Ass

"With pitch-perfect dialogue and witty observations, Martha Kimes delivers a funny and charming look at the trials and tribulations of law school. I give Ivy Briefs an A."

-- Alison Pace, author of Pug Hill and Through Thick and Thin

"Martha Kimes has written a One L for the next generation. Ivy Briefs is a great addition to the reading list for anyone even thinking about law school."

-- Jeremy Blachman, author of Anonymous Lawyer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (May 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743288386
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743288385
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,331,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By M.J.M. on January 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I am a pre-law advisor. For years, I recommended that my pre-law students read the classic law-school memoir: One-L, by Scott Turow. Several of my students who have gone on to law school have told me, though, that reading One-L actually hurt them, because it scared them so much. They also found it somewhat inaccurate (probably because law professors are rethinking their use of the Socratic method since Turow's time). My new recommendation: Ivy Briefs. In fact, I will be making Ivy Briefs required reading in any class that is even somewhat related. It provides a look into how lawyers are socialized but it certainly won't scare anyone: Ivy Briefs had me laughing aloud.

In short, after graduating from University of Wisconsin with a degree in psychology, Kimes floundered around about what to do with her life. Out of default, as she says, she went to law school. In fact, aided by a phenomenal LSAT score, she got into and attended Columbia. Because her decision had been made in haste, however, when she went, she didn't know what torts or commercial outlines or hornbooks or Law Review or Moot Court were. Ivy Briefs describes how she learned these lessons and went on to a successful career at Lavish Law Firm in NYC.

This is a must-read for anyone contemplating law school.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By L. Vonbiela on July 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I just finished my first year at a Top 20 law school, and it is downright terrifying how well Martha captured the experience. I couldn't put the book down. I had to see what she would say or do next. I even found myself laughing out loud (thankfully I did not read the book in public). This was the perfect book to inject some much needed humor into a challenging situation! It was utterly hilarious, and helped to put a more sane perspective on things. And, unlike One L, it covers the second and third years of law school and all the rites of passage that come with those years. And the dreaded Bar Exam. Oh, joy!

I absolutely loved the book.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Pam Lilley on May 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I give you the types of readers who would enjoy this book.

The LSAT Ace: With an ego inflated by his 180 score, he thinks the law school battle is already won. Safely and humanely, Kimes will take his ego down a few notches before The Gunner gets his chance.

The current law school student: Kimes's book is perfect ammunition to fire at the loved ones in her life. "You see? It's not just me!" she proclaims, stabbing the book in the direction of anyone who dares to tell her to just chill out.

The regretful non-lawyer: Looking back on her education, I, er, I mean SHE regrets that she didn't aim higher and often wishes she'd gone to law school. Kimes detailed reflection on her education in law erases my, er, I mean HER regret as she realizes that studying law isn't something she ever would have been passionate enough about to become successful, as Kimes was. No, the passion had less to do with studying briefs than it had to do with studying Chris Noth in his briefs.

Written with humor and heart, Ivy Briefs has wide appeal.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sambo Gonzales on August 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Martha can really write. This is a very funny book about the dreary learning of law. She brings alive the Columbia School of Law with its snobby students - the cretinous offspring of inherited wealth, its boring professors who recite, year after year, the opinions of one Court of Appeals or another, and the long, long hours of study required to embed the rote learning into her brain. The scene describing the New York Bar Exam is priceless with the pigeons landing in front of her to leave their mark on the floor and the fork-lifts doing construction work behind her while she tries to concentrate on the differences between Multistate Law and New York law. The excessively long hours demanded by the big-name law firms have the effect of reducing the large starting salaries to a low hourly rate that would make me think twice about entering this profession. A marvelous book!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By K. Harris on June 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Like most recent law students, I read "One L" and watched "Paper Chase" - ultimately neither truly represented the law school environment of the last 20 years. THIS book, however, is scary real. I honestly feel like the author must have been watching me play solitaire on my computer in Civ Pro or cursing the Gunner in Con Law. And, I think I interviewed with the same joker my 2L year!

For those who have not yet attended law school: READ THIS and take a good, hard look at yourself and where you want to be - because it could save you a lot of angst and hand-wringing down the line. For those of us who have finished law school (and are willing to be self-critical and laugh a little about people): if you want to laugh and shiver at the same time...READ THIS.

The author's wit and her critical, descriptive analysis of the caricatures surrounding her during her law school experience are simply hilarious and, unfortunately, extremely accurate. So - leave any pompous, self-righteous denial at home, check any elitism and sense of entitlement at the door, and get ready to laugh your butt off as you read about the stripped-down, bare-bones truth about law school. I have already recommended it to all my law school friends (and have given it to a few others as well)! I suggest you do the same! The book is simply AWESOME and I can't wait to read her next one!
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