Law School 101

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Overview

Everything you need to know to excel in your first year of law school and beyond.

Whether you are thinking about law school, have already applied and been accepted, or started your first year, you need to know what to expect in law school and how to succeed. Law School 101 gives an honest look at the law school experience from someone who has been there, and tells students what they should really expect. It also helps students develop the skills necessary to survive the ...

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Law School 101

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Overview

Everything you need to know to excel in your first year of law school and beyond.

Whether you are thinking about law school, have already applied and been accepted, or started your first year, you need to know what to expect in law school and how to succeed. Law School 101 gives an honest look at the law school experience from someone who has been there, and tells students what they should really expect. It also helps students develop the skills necessary to survive the challenges and excel in their program. It includes the survival skills you need in key areas, including:

  • Handling the pressure of law school
  • What to expect from your classes and professors
  • How to study for and pass your law school exams
  • Job information for first and second year students

Avoid common pitfalls, decode law school myths, and achieve your dream.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572486966
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/25/2009
  • Edition description: Second
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 205
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

R. Stephanie Good received her law degree and her LL.M. in International Law from Hofstra University School of Law. She has practiced law on both the private and governmental levels, focusing most recently in entertainment law. Ms. Good serves as corporate counsel to SilverCreek Entertainment and resides in New York.
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Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter One: Thoughts to Ponder before Setting Foot on Campus

You have finally arrived at law school. The buildings are historic and carefully constructed of sturdy, red bricks covered in centuries old ivy. Tall, white columns elegantly frame each entranceway. Incoming students are greeted by sprawling, green blanketed lawns with dogwoods lining the walkways. The salt and pepper-haired professors are distinguished gentlemen dressed in tweed cardigans bearing suede-patched sleeves. They grasp pipes tightly between their teeth and carry law books neatly tucked under their arms. They walk with their heads tilted at a thought-provoking angle, and as they quickly rush by, they lower their eyes, glance at you above their glasses, and smile curtly. You shyly grin back, turning your head with curiosity to catch a glimpse of who they are before they disappear into a swarm of new recruits.

You continue moving across campus along with the flowing current of eager students until you finally arrive at the school's main building, where an upper class person welcomes you with open arms, hands you your schedule, and escorts you to your first class. You quickly scour the room for a seat, eagerly looking around at all of the new friends you will make. Everyone is chatting away about their new endeavor and you avidly join in like an excited child. The professor enters, welcomes you, gives a brief description of the course, and sends you on your way with your first assignment and a list of all of the materials you will need. You search the building for your next class, which turns out to be a repeat of the last one.

In approximately one hour, your first day of law school comes to an end and you run off to meet some of your new friends for lunch. But, just as you approach the group, things become fuzzy. You begin to hear the distant sound of an alarm. It's getting louder and louder. You look around, scanning the parking lot to see if it's coming from someone's car. Your vision becomes even more distorted and you begin to feel light-headed. You try to continue across campus, but you feel as though you have lead in your shoes. Just as panic sets in, you wake up.

Back to Reality!
As pleasant as that experience was before your alarm clock went off, unfortunately, it was nothing more than a dream. Hopefully, you realize that before setting foot into law school, because if you are expecting your first day to mirror that experience, you might want to go back to sleep and keep dreaming. A more sensible option would be to read on and spend some time journeying into the real world of law.

Obviously, your decision to attend law school was not entered into lightly. The three or four years you spend there are going to force you to make life-altering changes. Your thought processes will forever be refurbished. Your perception of life will be turned upside down. Your friends and family will often wonder what is happening to you. Law school is not like college, where, after graduation, you may be filled with a sense of excitement about all of the ways to utilize your newfound knowledge. When law school comes to an end, you will most likely have a specific plan laid out and it will probably revolve around the practice of law. Law school is a place where you will be indoctrinated into a world where the factual outweighs the theoretical, where reality smothers the imaginary, where the truth has to be sifted out from beneath all of the lies, where the good and bad seem to merge into a microcosm of uncertainty, and where you will be entrusted with the mission of sorting it all out and making sense of it. You have made a huge commitment and you believe that this is your true calling in life. This book will ensure that you succeed in making your dream come true.

So You Want to Be an Attorney
Prior to entering law school—in fact, even before you began filling out your applications—you most likely took a serious look at your reasons for wanting to become an attorney. Hopefully you recognized that being an attorney is not like what you have seen on shows like Law and Order. The truth is, weekly one-hour television series have very little time to present you with an accurate portrayal of what an attorney experiences on a day-to-day basis. You watch with excitement as crimes are committed, suspects are arrested, trials are held, and defendants are convicted—all within sixty minutes (including commercials). The end result is quick and painless, and you are left with the impression that the legal system is swift and stimulating, and that justice prevails almost all of the time.

In real life, the wheels of justice turn much more slowly. The commencement of a trial can take several months or longer, and the trial itself may last for weeks. Defendants who have committed crimes are not always found guilty, and when they are, their punishments do not always satisfy their victims. So, if you believe in the fantasy shows, it's time to come out of the world of make-believe and view what really goes on behind the doors of the legal world.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Section One: Preparing for Law School

Chapter One: Thoughts to Ponder before Setting Foot on Campus
Back to Reality!
So You Want to be an Attorney
Law and Disorder
Motivationally Speaking
Take Inventory
Lifelines
Sense and Sensibility
Returning to School Later in Life
Summer Solstice
Let's Recap!

Section Two: First Year

Chapter Two: Avoiding First-Day Fumbles
Things to Take Care of Before Classes Begin
What You Need to Buy
Let's Recap!

Chapter Three: Welcome to Law School
So Much to Learn Before Classes Even Begin
Honor Thyself
Re-Orientation
Welcome to the Jungle
First-Year Quarantine
Discover Your Own Secrets for Success
Bar Review Courses
Professors
Socrates Who?
Let's Recap!

Chapter Four: Non Illegitimi Carborundum
(Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down)
Handling It All
Isolation, Intimidation, and Humiliation
Beer Here
Habitat Habits
Method to the Madness
Let's Recap!

Section Three: Knowing the Ropes without Hanging Yourself

Chapter Five: Studying the Right Way
Researching in the 21st Century
Reading, Reading, and More Reading
Briefing Briefly
Note-Taking for Novices
Recording Rhetoric
Outlining for Success
Let's Recap!

Chapter Six: The Truth about Law School Exams
Tricks of the Trade
IRAC
Tricks for Passing Your Exam
Passing is Not that Difficult
Anonymity
Using Your Laptop
Let's Recap!

Chapter Seven: First-Year Employment
Tweaking Your Résumé
Résumé Writing and Rewriting
Rules for Writing a Riveting Résumé
Formatting Your Résumé
Résumé Dos and Don'ts
Creative Cover Letters
Cover Letters Dos and Don'ts
Let's Recap!

Section Four: Second Year

Chapter Eight: Freedom to Choose
Now That You've Gotten to Know Your Professors
Grading Methods
Other Important Questions
Prerequisites
Let's Recap!

Chapter Nine: Acclimatized Amnesty
Clinical Programs
Moot Court
Research Assistants
Law Review
Journals
Extracurricular Activities
Studying Abroad
Let's Recap!

Section Five: Career Chase

Chapter Ten: Finding the Right Job
Time to Tweak Your Résumé a Bit More
On-Campus Interviews
Interview Etiquette
Informative Interviewing
The Interview
Thanking a Prospective Employer
Callbacks
Brush-Offs
Let's Recap!

Chapter Eleven: Finding the Job That's Right for You=
Law Firms
Public Interest Jobs
Government Agencies
Judicial Clerkships
In-House Corporate Counsel
Educational Endeavors
Pro Bono Law
Let's Recap!

Section Six: Third Year

Chapter Twelve: The Last Mile
One Final Test
The Bar Exam
Things to Help You Survive During the Testing Period
Other Stressful Stuff
Soothing Thoughts
Nonfatal Failure
Bar None
What Next?
Let's Recap!

Section Seven: Where Do You Go from Here?

Chapter Thirteen: What You Really Learn in Law School
Objective Thinking—The Key to Being a Competent Attorney
Speaking Like a Lawyer
Looking at Life in Real Terms
Comfort Zone
What if This is All a Mistake?
Perceptive Blindness
Let's Recap!

Chapter Fourteen: A Final Thought

About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2006

    Everything I needed!

    This book has everything I needed to know about law school. I am so glad I found it. I just finished my first year and I don't know how I would have gotten through without it! Thanks so much to the author for taking the time to give us a head's up in real terms about what to expect. By the way, I am in the top 10% of my class!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2006

    Law School 101: Survival Techniques from Pre-Law to Life as an Attorney

    I don't know how anyone could get through law school without this! Thanks to a friend, I was able to check this book out before I went through the Hell that I had heard most first years go through. It's second semester now, and while it's hard, I'm definitely not stressing out like some of the other students. I know how to tackle things and I think that knowing what's coming at you ahead of time is a sure way to duck out of the way, so to speak. My parents had bought me another book last summer, but in no way did it prepare me like this one. This is a real life book written in a real life way with stories from real students and lawyers. It's not just a how-to book. It's like reading a novel, but it's so enjoyable and funny that I couldn't put it down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2006

    Law School 101: Survival Techniques from Pre-Law to Life as an Attorney

    This book is a great guide for anyone who is thinking about being an attorney. It answers all the questions I had before I decided to apply. I only wish it had been around when I went to law school, but I purchased it for my daughter who is starting next August. I wanted her to be sure about what she was doing and this book has everything she needs, including the true picture of what law students and lawyers face. It's a real-life book. You walk away knowing it all, unlike those of us who were blind-sided thinking it was going to be exciting and fun. It isn't! But, if I had known that up front, I would have been better prepared for what I had to face. Take it from me, this is the perfect gift for anyone studying to be or thinking about becoming an attorney! There's even a chapter in there for attorneys to read. I found that part extremely helpful.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2005

    Thank you for this book!!!!

    I am just about to finish my first year and someone told me about this book last fall. I can't stress enough what a difference it has made for me. I can't believe this isn't required reading for everyone applying to law school!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2005

    Eye-Opening & Enlightening!!!

    This book was fantastic! It answered all the questions I had about pursuing a career in law...author R. Stephanie Good writes it as it is, from Pre-Law through being an attorney. Thanks to 'Law School 101' I feel so much more confident about deciding to pursue law studies, and am looking forward to a great experience in doing so. I recommend this book to ANYONE who wants to know how to go about pursuing a career as an attorney. I know I definitely would've felt lost without reading this book first!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2004

    SAVED MY BUTT!

    Finals are in full gear now and I can honestly say that reading this book saved my butt this semester. My classmates were actually asking me for advice!!! Everyone has pointers to get you through, but this book really put it to the test and it passed! Thanks Ms. Good!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    A must read for future law students!

    I have been prepairing for law school for a while now. Reading Law School 101 has helped me better understand what I need to and not do! Iy has also reasured me that I am making the right choice in my life in going to law school!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2006

    Law School 101: Survival Techniques from Pre-Law to Life as an Attorney

    This book was a great break from law school drudgery and it got me through my first semester. I was skeptical after hearing about other books being the same old BS, but this one is really good. Can't say enough about it! I'm way ahead of my friends! Whew!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2005

    Terrific and Entertaining!!!

    This book is great! It's not like all the others that are pretty boring and standard how-to books. It's funny and has great stories about what real law students and lawyers have gone through. It also helped me to see that I am not alone in all of my frustrations and fears. A big plus - the tips for surviving the tough classes, the long, dreaded assignments, and excruciating exams. Also helpful - job-hunting info. and tips for resumes and cover letters. But, take special note of the chapter on lawyers. It's an eye-opener!! Kudos to the author for taking the time to give us what we really needed to deal with law school and the profession!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2005

    Just what I needed!

    Told me all the ins and outs of law school and asked me to answer all I need to know about myself to decide if going into law is the right move for me. It's not! Thanks to the author for saving me years of stress trying to make my family happy. After checking out the book, they even agree with me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2004

    Law School 101: Survival Techniques from Pre-Law to Life as an Attorney

    I just started law school and I'm so glad I read this book! It really prepared me for what I am going through and I'm having a much easier time than most of my friends. They are getting it now, too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2004

    My New Best Friend!

    In all honesty, it would be a great injustice to humanity if not every prospective lawyer read this book. I gained valuable insight into the profession of law, as well as developed a new appreciation for what I plan on getting myself into.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2004

    Law School 101: Survival Techniques from Pre-Law to Life as an Attorney

    I had almost forgotten what law school was like until I read through this book. What an intense journey back in time! I only wish this book was around when I went. It appears that law school is the same as when I attended many years ago. I bought the book for my daughter because she is in college and about to attend, but I couldn't put it down myself. It really gives an inside look at what the law school environment is like. I also enjoyed the 'Exhibits' which contain little stories that helped me to envision a situation.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2004

    Law School 101: Survival Techniques from Pre-Law to Life as an Attorney

    I picked the book up as a gift for my son who is starting law school next semester and I skimmed through it. It was right on target, so I read it more carefully. I think the book is excellent for people who want to know what someone is going through in law school. I especially liked the last chapter. It really makes you think about life in terms of how your own way of doing things melds with your profession. Get it. You won't be sorry!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2004

    Law School 101: Survival Techniques from Pre-Law to Life as an Attorney

    I've been looking for a book like this since I started college. I wasn't sure about what I wanted to do and thought about being an attorney, but I wanted more information than what I was finding. Law School 101 has so much information about the downside and upside of law school and what it's like to be an attorney. I feel much more comfortable about making the commitment to go now.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2004

    Law School 101: Survival Techniques from Pre-Law to Life as an Attorney

    I read the book after a student brought it to my attention and I think it's great for kids to read while they are still planning their futures. So many of them think about becoming attorneys and this book will certainly give them the kind of guidance that only someone who has lived the experience can offer. It had many details about law school and attorneys that I was unfamiliar with. I'm going to keep a copy on my office shelf.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2006

    Really got me through!!

    I am so glad that I got this book! It has it all! I don't know how I would have gotten through my first semester without it. What a lifesaver!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2004

    Law School 101: Survival Techniques from Pre-Law to Life as an Attorney

    Really explains what I wanted to know about law school. I thought it would be like college and now I see that it is totally different. I wouldn't have had a clue without this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2004

    Law School 101: Survival Techniques from Pre-Law to Life as an Attorney

    This book is right on target! I can't think of anything it didn't say that I needed to know. My friends told me about it and I thought it would be just another book with tips, but it is great reading!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2004

    Law School 101: Survival Techniques from Pre-Law to Life as an Attorney

    This book is great! I am in college and considering going to law school. Finally, someone has told the truth about lawyers and law school. I see things in a completely different way now. What a mind-blower!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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