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Later-in-Life Lawyers: Tips for the Non-Traditional Law Student Paperback – March 15, 2012
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Cooper comes up with some statistics that seem mathematically unlikely if not impossible, like the only law grads who can hope to get a job teaching law anywhere are the top 5% from the top 10 law schools, or something to that effect. (My experience with professors does not bear this out.) You can only work for a large law firm if you're in the top 10% of the class at a top-20 school. What are his sources? Then he gives us gems like: "If your LSAT score was below the average for your school, you are presumed to be one of the losers until you prove otherwise." Ouch. The book contradicts itself in many places. So what to believe?
One of my biggest beefs with this book is that for all of Cooper's ramming home the importance of going to the right school and getting the best grades, nowhere does he say what law school HE attended, what and where he practices, or what qualifies him to write this book other than that he is "nontraditional," i.e., over 35 with a family. Sorry, but that hurts his credibility with me.
This book is literally brimming with sensible advice from non-trads like me, from how to study for the LSAT to how to get accepted at the school of your choice, to how to hold down a job, maneuver through study groups, and balance your family life without losing your mind. From people who have been there, its nice to know I'm not alone and am in good company.
The section that hit home the most for me is on "Handling the Stress." According to Cooper (as well as other non-trads I've come across in class), "it all boils down to maintaining balance and perspective (a.k.a.: time management.). 1L is important, but not more important than your health, your family, and your general well-being. Keep it in perspective - it's just law school." Definitely food for thought when you start to feel overwhelmed in the face of balancing your family life, a job, and law school all at the same time.
I was able to skim the first part because I had already passed the LSAT, gotten into law school and been through my first mini-semester over the summer. However, it answered all the questions and filled in a lot of blanks that I had when I started thinking about law school such as how to put the LSAT into prospective, how to choose your school and what to do when you do/don't get in. Plus it gives a nice overview of all the issues you, as a non-trad student have to consider like work, what bag to use, health insurance, balancing like and school (and trust me you need to find this balance and it is possible)brief, how the classes run, etc.
I definitely recommend this book for any non-trad student anywhere between pre-law and their 1L year. I wish I would have known about a year ago. It would have helped me skip a lot of aimless wandering around I did trying to figure out what the heck I was doing.
The other reason I was apprehensive about reading Later in Life Lawyers, was that I didn't consider myself to be later in life. I was married with kids before starting school, but other than that, I was a pretty traditional student. Let me say that first off, this book is a MUST for anyone who is starting law school a bit later in life. You really NEED to read this book because it has some advice and suggestions that apply directly to you. There are some great sections on whether you should make the switch and the effect it will have on you and your career. One of the most important thing I took from this book was its message on balance. There is a section that deals with having kids in law school--something that did apply to me, and I think the advice is sound.
If you're a traditional student, like I was, the book is still so chock-full of good stuff, that you would do well to read it before entering law school. (If you've already started school, it's never too late, and the book will help you regardless).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read up until the advice for the first year of law school.
I'm still deciding if I should go to law school or not. Read more
I found this book to be a helpful guide to understanding the process of applying to law school and the overall law school experience. Read morePublished 1 month ago by jwc81
Very helpful. I decided that law school wasn't for me after reading this.Published 13 months ago by Crystal (DC)
A decent read that covers a variety of issues one is likely to face in law school. The author's comments are the most useful, the comments from the other contributors were less so. Read morePublished 19 months ago by DLC
Having already raised a family, worked two careers, and another 20-30 years of strong healthy living possibly ahead. I again looked at law, as this was an interest many times. Read morePublished 19 months ago by katheran frank
Certainly the best book I've read this year.
Forthright, honest, off the cuff and sincere.
Many thanks for the courage to write such a frank book.
Finally, there is direct addressing of a topic that others choose to ignore: the older person seeking a law degree. THANK YOU!!!!!!!Published on July 10, 2013 by MH
This continues to be a great resource for me in law school. As a full time Respiratory Therapist and part-time/evening law student (who started at age 45), keeping things and... Read morePublished on May 2, 2012 by Ladytaskmaster
If you are looking for a well put together book on law students and grads quotes on 1L and everything then this book is for you. Read morePublished on November 16, 2011 by David Holohan