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Law School Confidential: A Complete Guide to the Law School Experience Paperback – July 14, 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 229 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Anyone thinking about attending law school faces three years of discipline and hard work. Miller, an attorney and 1998 University of Pennsylvania law school graduate, shares his knowledge about getting through. Miller covers every aspect of the law school experience-from surviving the first semester to seeking summer internships-which makes this book unique. He presents experiences of other law students to help readers understand what is expected of them and how these expectations will affect heir social and personal lives. The author emphasizes that discipline and conviction are the keys to successfully completing law school. Chapters are of course included on how to study for entrance tests and select an appropriate school. Recommended for all college and larger public libraries.
Patrick Mahoney, Central Michigan Univ., Mount Pleasant
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

". . . pulls no punches in providing revealing and honest advice for all three years of the law school experience. . ." -- Law Preview

". . . walks the reader from the decision to go to law school through the bar exam. . . a useful, worthwhile book." -- New York Law Journal

"Miller has decorously armed his readers. . . excellent advice." -- The Docket

"This abundance of information is just the remedy for the nerves of a student anxious to enter law school. . ." -- Journal of the Denver Bar Association

"This book is a must for anyone attending or thinking about law school." -- The Houston Lawyer
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (July 14, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031224309X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312243098
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (229 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,566,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm a 2L who read this book before going to law school. It's worthwhile as far as intro guides go, but could easily be better.

Everybody knows the highlighter tricks and other techniques; there is no magic bullet in that respect. Not all the study tips will work for everyone (I don't know anyone who draws a little picture at the top of their case note), and don't count on being able to get outlines as easily as the book makes it sound. Even at a friendly school, people are still stingy about them.

The author does a lot to orient the reader to the basics of getting off to a running start in law school, but more information about choosing a school would have been helpful, as would more of how to diagnose the forensics behind a potential school.

Some of the most useful info will never come from the faculty unless you know what to ask. From students it usually only comes from 2Ls & 3Ls (1Ls don't know anything other than how to panic).

Useful things to know such as which law schools have pass fail grading available as an option; which legal writing departments are pass fail for the whole 1L class, what the grading curve is at each school, how bad grade inflation is, etc.

Other info like the fact that all law schools use the same text books from only two major publishers would be helpful in forming an overall picture of how law schools do (or don't) vary much from one to the next. Even the highly regarded US News ratings don't tell the whole story, as a big part of what makes many of the higher ranked schools Tier 1 and 2 is a direct result of expenditures per student. Something else that could have been explored in this "confidential" book.
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By A Customer on September 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am a 1L that read this book over the summer (more than once!) At that time, I found its no-nonsense approach comforting and helpful, and much more directly useful than what I had seen in other similar books. BUT now that I am at law school I have a slightly altered view of the book. It is too stress inducing! I just do not feel like the tone of the book fits the experience I am having - I work a ton, but it is not nearly as horrible and stressful as the book conveyed. Perhaps it is my school and not this book - but I often have thought while looking at it: Thank goodness I didn't go to UPenn. That said, I think the book is really effective in its practical advice about jobs, the application process, journals, course selection and lots of other non-studying related aspects of school. And the absolute best thing about is is the practical finacial advice and the honesty about the difficulty of loan burdens - something I think aspiring law students too often try to ignore. Overall a very useful book!
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Format: Paperback
A little about me: I'm now in my second year of law school and purchased both Law School Insider and the older book Law School Confidential last year. Back then, I didn't know that Robert Miller, the author, has written Confidential books on different types of schools (Law School, Business School, maybe Medical School's next?), and uses the same format and advice in these books. I wound up keeping only my copy of Law School Insider, which turned out to be more relevant and useful for me.
Law School Confidential is like the "for Dummies" books, down to simplistic tips that sound good but didn't really work when I tried them. Particularly unnecessary were the "etiquette" advice and handfuls of comments from yuppie "mentors" who didn't really add anything to the book. Because it has so much of this filler, Confidential also treads far too lightly on subjects that really concern me, like choosing courses to match my personal interests, possible areas of specialization, and picking the right place to take my bar exam.
By comparison, Law School Insider treats these subjects with depth and serious consideration. It actually speaks to the lifestyles and choices of different readers, including people who are married and worried about starting a life after law school, and tells people from diverse backgrounds how to maximize their chances of success. I also really liked Insider's story portions, which Confidential lacks, but tries to make up for in attitude.
On that subject, there is not a trace of Confidential's arrogance or artificial stress anywhere in Insider. Despite what Miller says, law school is not going to be like a war and it is still worthwhile even if you don't attend one of the top 10 schools in the country.
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Format: Paperback
LSC does a good job of hammering home the seriousness of law school, however much of the information is neither insightful nor refreshing. First, the emphasis the book places on the "right" schools is off the mark. Miller would make it appear that if you do not get into a top five law school, you are unemployable. This is false. There are many attorneys and not all went to a top five school [scroll through a law firm's roster online if you think I am lying].
Second, Miller's briefing method may be as harmful as it is helpful. Briefing is a very personal process. Miller's method may spare you some embarrassment, but it may not be the most effective way to grasp the material. Moreover, excessive highlighter bleeds through the pages. A better method is to highlight sparingly [maybe just the court's rule] and jot simple notes in the margins ["f" for facts, "h" for holding, etc.] Reciting facts will not help you on a law school exam, you have to know the material [specifically the applicable rule of law]. Furthermore, most law professors appear to appreciate a simple "I do not know" rather than wasted class time as a student searches for a highlighted section. Spend your time learning the law and spend your money on a hornbook or a treatise.
Of course not all aspects of the book are fruitless. If you could not follow some of the terms in my second paragraph, such as "hornbook" or "treatise," then maybe LSC will help you wade through the terminology. However, this information is readily available from a 2 or 3L for free in first few weeks of school. If must buy a book, buy a Civil Action [it is great preparation for Civil Procedure] or Law 101 [which gives an overview of all courses]. Or better yet, when you arrive at law school, learn from the class ahead of you. It is the cheapest, most effective way to learn how to succeed at your law school.
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