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Later-in-Life Lawyers: Tips for the Non-Traditional Law Student Paperback – March 15, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Law schools are, by their nature, traditional in attitude and in structure. Most books about law school take the same approach: they do not address the unique needs of the significant nontraditional segment of their student body. Other law school books focus on largely irrelevant factors such as rankings and employment in "prestigious" law firms. In short, while a large fraction of law students today would be considered non-traditional, there is little accurate, relevant material to help nontraditional students navigate the admissions process and ultimately succeed in law school. And that's where this focused guide steps in. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

The author, an attorney and university administrator, is founder of nontradlaw.net, the primary website for nontraditional law students.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Fine Print Press; 2nd edition (March 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1888960167
  • ISBN-13: 978-1888960167
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,800,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a nontraditional 2L, I found a lot of this book to be pretty accurate as far as what one can expect in the first year of law school. The title is a bit misleading: More than half the book is devoted to how to get into law school. Reading it in my first year, I was less interested in what the author had to say about the decision to go than what to expect during and after. While some of it addresses the experience of the older student, much of it applies to law students of any age. For example, while Cooper discusses Law Review and Moot Court at length, nowhere does he give us a sense of what these activities are like for the older student. I also would have liked more about job opportunities and age discrimination issues.

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.
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Format: Paperback
Going back to law school at the age of 35 can be daunting, more so if all of the law school advice books out there are geared for the average 22 year old. Fortunately, I found this book just at the point where I was starting to feel isolated as a later-in-life law student.

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.
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Format: Paperback
I wish I would have had this book about a year ago when I became serious about law school and studying for the LSAT. It gives you a great overview and realistic look at the LSAT, getting into law school, the 1L year and the rest of the trip.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was a little hesitant when I picked up this book for a number of reasons. Probably my biggest reason was that I was about to start my last semester of law school. I thought that I had it all together in law school. I was a third year law student, I'd gone through the process, picked up skills and habits along the way, and really didn't think that I'd get much from the book. I was wrong. And worse: I had this book in my hands that I knew would have helped me had I only picked it up earlier. There were pieces of advice that helped me in my last semester of school. I wish that I'd had the chance to read the book before even starting school.

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).
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