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The Best Law Schools' Admissions Secrets: The Essential Guide from Harvard's Former Admissions Dean Paperback – July 1, 2008

4.0 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"When trying to beat law school competition, how do you know what to do go get in the 'yes' pile? Insider Joyce Curll, former Dean of Admissions for Harvard Law School, provides some of the secrets to getting in that pile; from preparing the application and understanding differing state laws to learning how the admissions process vrorks behind the scenes. No other law school guidebook offers this level of expertise and insider advice, making it a' must' for would-be law students and libraries catering to them." - Midwest Book Review

About the Author

Joyce Putnam Curll served for 18 years as Dean of Admissions at Harvard Law School, where she evaluated more than 120,000 applicants for admission to the law school. She formerly worked at NYU Law School, as Director of Admissions for 16 years. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks (July 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402211821
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402211829
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #752,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Margaret A. Carlson on August 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
Ms. Curll has written an outstanding narrative on the process of admission to law school, and advices on how to choose the one that is right for you. She has chapters on how to prepare for law school while still in college, but also reviews the process for those who are starting out later in life. In one of the early chapters she tackles the question of whether law school is the right choice for you by asking many useful questions connected with the career.
As a former Harvard Dean in Law School admissions, she can write with many details about what the admission effort involves,including suggestions for positive interview results. She suggests some helpful work experiences you may want to explore before making a decision, and also reviews some questions on how to finance law school. Finally, she touches on some of the possibilities a law school graduate might consider after graduation, including clerkships, internships, and summer employment opportunities.
This is an extremely readable and informative book for anyone considering law school. She includes many useful anecdotes and personal stories from her own long career and personal experience.
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Format: Paperback
I really expected Curll's book to be much more detailed and coming from a former Harvard Admission's Dean, this was actually a disappointment. The only really good chapter was on the financial aid picture. Other than that, it was too general. That being said, it's a good starting point for those who have absolutely no idea about how the law school admissions process works. For those looking for more detail, Anna Ivey's The Ivey Guide to Law School Admissions: Straight Advice on Essays, Resumes, Interviews, and More is so much better and filled with nuggets of wisdom. Ivey does a far better job of breaking the whole process down.
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Format: Paperback
Joyce Curll has written the definitive guide for students considering admission to law school. Her background at Harvard and NYU offers instant credibility to her comments, which I believe will be very useful to her readers. Too much information at times? Maybe, but I'll trust her intelligent audience to sort that out. Such frank talk from the ultimate admissions insider (she's admitted thousands who have gone on to successful legal careers and even one President-elect) is rarely shared in public.

I've counseled students in law school and recruited for a top Wall Street firm for over twenty years- what I wish is that all those students I met over the years had had the benefit of Curll's common sense career advice. While always careful not to direct students in any one direction, Curll shares a balanced assessment of the many options in both the public and private sector open to law school grads.

This book is a perfect primer for anyone considering going to law school. Buy it for any undergraduate, but particularly for those students without access to a savvy pre-law advisor who can to coach them through the admissions process. Curll's careful tips to her readers helping them navigate through each step of the application process will do much to level the admissions playing field.
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Format: Paperback
Undergraduates would be well advised to read this readable, inexpensive volume before investing three years and more than $100,000 in a law school.
Dean Curll wisely begins her guide by raising and discussing whether the would-be applicant really wants a career in the law. The guidebook then reviews the many factors that effect law school admissions, making it clear that while there are no quick, clever ways to beat the system, there are any number of ways to improve one's chances.

My only concern about the book is the likelihood that undergraduates may lack the experience to appreciate the volume's intelligence, wisdom and wit.
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Format: Paperback
When trying to beat law school competition, how do you know what to do go get in the 'yes' pile? Insider Joyce Curll, former Dean of Admissions for Harvard Law School, provides some of the secrets to getting in that pile; from preparing the application and understanding differing state laws to learning how the admissions process works behind the scenes. No other law school guidebook offers this level of expertise and insider advice, making it a 'must' for would-be law students and libraries catering to them.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
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This was a solid book. It gave me a good big picture image of the admissions process, but it lacked a lot of the smaller things that would give me the edge at top schools, which I would have expected given the credentials of the author.
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