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Law School Without Fear: Strategies for Success (2nd Edition) Paperback – April 1, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-1587781872 ISBN-10: 1587781875 Edition: 2nd

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This is an indispensable book for law students because two law professors wrote it for a particular law student: their son. Authors Helene Shapo and Marshall Shapo, both law professors at Northwestern University, wrote this book when one of their sons decided to go to law school. They set out to answer a question that has puzzled thousands of law teachers and millions of law students; how can you explain in simple terms the most basic things that a law student really needs to know about law school? They set out to explain, in down to earth language that takes law students seriously, the hurdles that most often baffle law students and how to jump them. This book started out as a practical advice to the authors' child. Now every law student can benefit from its clearly written road map for success. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Foundation Pr; 2 edition (April 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587781875
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587781872
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,178,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

That may be beneficial, but it seems pointless to hide a real case under pseudonyms.
Adam Woodrum
I read this rather expensive book at the beginning of law school but didn't get much out of it.
BostonMan
I read the book because it was due for orientation, but it had some very useful things in it.
Ahmad Nofal

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
There is interesting and valuable information in this book, but the presentation -- the writing -- is about as dull as you can find. I would recommend it as supplemental material, but not your first read prior to law school. I can recommend "Acing You First Year Of Law School" by S.C. Noyes & H.S. Noyes. It touches on the same material, but the writing is leaner and far more approachable.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Adam Woodrum on August 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
I was asked to read this relatively expensive book before my one-week intro to law class. I am not impressed. It seems very dry and very basic and mostly tells you what you will learn in the first year. Well, I plan to finish my first year so I suppose I will learn everything they want me to know. I have no fear of law school, so maybe I'm biased. There are also several pages dedicated to grammar. Useful enough, but hardly information that is going to allow me to attack law school without fear. Oh, and if you don't have a BASIC understanding of the purpose of the US Constitution (as included in this book, along with advice like being prepared for class), maybe you should reconsider attending law school. Please, please, please, go to a library and look at this book. If you feel you still need it at that point, buy a used copy. It won't be heavily used.
Further, their "examples" are just notable cases with different names that you will encounter in law school. That may be beneficial, but it seems pointless to hide a real case under pseudonyms. We actually have to learn these things at some point.
I don't regret reading it, and I suppose that it true with any book I read. Nobody knows everything and I sure don't claim to.
I'll get to my point and say that there are so many better books on the market. Look at the recommendation section above to find some. Of course, I may be wrong! : ) Happy reading.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Bruce_in_LA on February 17, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was recommended in a class I took which had both law students and non-law graduate students like public health students. I found it a very readable introduction to both the legal system and the basics of law. Topics include the concept of jurisdiction, different levels of appeal, rulings vs. dicta, different types of law (legislative, administrative, common law, etc.) While the book is targeted at people about to start law school, it may be surprisingly interesting for the general reader as well. Even sections on how to summarize cases and write essays on law, might carry over to other kinds of professional writing as well.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
Law School Without Fear has its heart in the right place and fine sections regarding briefs, exam strategies, and psychological traps a typical first year law student will face. However, they bog down a great portion of the book with policy issues that give a forum for the authors personal beliefs. A clunky writing style doesn't win the book any stars, but the practical pointers make the book worth reading.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 22, 1998
Format: Paperback
I have read several books about preparing for law school and I found this one to be the best. It had a broad range of topics, each having an impact on a first year law student. I did not buy the book myself, the ONU Law School Dean Of Admissions sent it to me. It covered topics including- breifing cases, civil procedure, conons of statutory construction and more. Overall I found it really helpful.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. Thomas on August 20, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was required to read this book by the law school I've enrolled in. I'll start by acknowledging that it's important to remember that no book is totally without merit. A good reader with an open mind should be able to take something away from every book they read. That being said, I am trying to keep this optimistic maxim in mind while I write my review of this book.

Let me stress to you that before you spend the $30 plus s/h on this little volume, you should REALLY try hard to check it out at your local library or your current university. Order it through inter-library loan if you have to. At best, maybe buy a used (cheap) copy.

This book was obviously well-intended, but is still shockingly disappointing, and borders on the truly condescending. Yes, it actually contains chapters on how to use an apostrophe and how to make certain that your subjects and verbs correlate in a written sentence. Do the authors think everyone going to law school missed elementary school?

Likewise, there are entire sections devoted to how to read a footnote, what a statute is, what a law review is, and how the U.S. government is structured. Hello? Let me save you $30 and a lot of time. There are three branches of government: namely, the Legislative, the Executive, and the Judiciary. Just in case you missed not only your basic Social Studies class AND never saw Schoolhouse Rock, these basic facts have been included in the book. Please, if you grew up in the U.S. and don't know this by now, don't go into law or politics. We have enough trouble as it is.

(As an aside, the fact that BOTH authors teach at Northwestern Law School - a highly competitive school, I might add - should scare all of us. Is THIS the standard of quality of their incoming classes? Really?)

Get it from the library first, and decide for yourself. In the meantime, if you decide to buy it, don't say you weren't duly warned.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Fagan on January 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
No offense to the authors. I'm sure their intentions were good.
This book is dry as sand in your mouth and not specific enough to make any sort of difference to anyone.
My law school told me this was 'mandatory' and made sure that we purchased copies before orientation, specifically to learn about case briefing. Unfortunately, this book talks about case briefing in theory, but doesn't bother with teaching the student to brief or show examples of what a case brief looks like.
For a vague, general view of law school, this book does a decent enough job, assuming you have the patience, but if you want a book with tips and techniques, this isn't it. Law School Confidential is a much easier read and provides far more information in a far more organized and efficient way.
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