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Don't Go To Law School (Unless): A Law Professor's Inside Guide to Maximizing Opportunity and Minimizing Risk Paperback – October 26, 2012
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A dose of reality was needed. A wake-up call. And Campos' book, "Don't Go To Law School (Unless)" has provided that antibiotic. Continuing the fairytale theme, Campos has ventured into the forest with a bright torch, illuminating the better paths to follow, the ones that will minimize the likelihood of falling into the most common traps, the ones that aren't lined with deceptive candy. The ones that other professor-authors are deliberately hiding, for their livelihoods depend on it.Read more ›
If you are considering law school you must also add his (and his co-author Professor Merritt) blog (insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com) to your feed list to stay current. The comments there are frequently as invaluable as the main postings.
Prior to the publishing of this book, my greatest "criticism" of Professor Campos' work was how difficult it was to determine from his blog who, exactly, should go to law school, if indeed he thought anyone should. (To be fair, he has several posts devoted to this question; it just took a substantial amount of time in the archives to find them.) Fortunately, this book has several chapters devoted to precisely this question. Rather than name names on schools to attend, he sets up categories (National Elite, Sub-Elite, Top Tier Regional) and offers his opinion on the maximum in tuition it would be reasonable to pay at each.
These conclusions come at the end of the book, however, and in the preceding chapters he lays out the wide array of reasons you would be wise to follow his advice. Some highlights:
- Only go to law school if you want to be a lawyer doing legal work. Really. No other desired employment is fair compensation for the stress, increased risk of substance abuse, and debt you will take on over the course of law school. Read that again. I am serious.
- Average debt figures quoted by schools are a mirage. One, they don't include interest accrued during the life of the loans while you were in law school.Read more ›
This book pulls together the information that everyone - including people my age whose kids may be considering law school - needs to know about the law school situation. It's appalling but true that law school is now a trap for the unwary. High tuition, low employment rates for graduates, staggering levels of student debt that are not dischargeable in bankruptcy: it's a recipe for disaster. Campos lays it all out, and even warns about the "Special Snowflake Syndrome," that marvelous victory of optimism over reality which convinces us that whatever the statistics say (or whatever our academic history), we WILL be among the top ten (or two) percent-ers who'll waltz out with that J.D., straight into highly paid professional paradise.
Dream on. Better yet: don't dream. Get real. Read this book. Think about it. Read it again. Ask questions. Do the math. And do it again. Campos doesn't say not to go to law school, but he all but implores the reader to make an informed decision at every stage. Including the time when those first year grades are posted, when there's still time to get out alive.
From now on (I'm a recently retired lawyer) I will tell anyone who so much as mentions to me that they (or their kid or boyfriend or aunt or whoever) is thinking about law school: read this book.
Campos, bless his heart, is unshackled by orthodoxy. He writes with composure, passion, practicality, and humor.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a really worth reading book. I hope that this book can come with a Chinese translation so that incoming LLMs and JD transfers can read it and present it to their... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Rongxuan Li
Very depressing. Focuses only on the dollars involved. I wish there had been one more chapter: "good reasons to go to law school even though you might be in debt... Read morePublished 11 days ago by BillyBob
Horribly pessimistic and shatters any childhood hopes and dreams. Campos has ruined lives with this book. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Michael Johnson
Poignant! Candid! Paul tells it like he sees it. The irony is my son took the LSAT recently and the test center filled four college-sized classrooms with testers. Read morePublished 1 month ago by D. Dean
very practical, this book offers a ROI equation for evaluating if you are a match for law school. highly recommendPublished 1 month ago by jen
The book is a concise, short, and informative read on the perils of chasing a legal education. It just might have talked me out of chasing the law school dream. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Josh Hanson
Opened my eyes to circumstances I was not aware of regarding law school and graduate school. Makes you think there's has to be a better way.Published 4 months ago by Mike
I wanted to become a law student and now I'm better informed and you'll be if u read it tooPublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer