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 schoolin fact, even before you began filling out your applicationsyou 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 convictedall 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.