Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Law School Confidential: A Complete Guide to the Law School Experience: By Students, for Students / Edition 3
  • Alternative view 1 of Law School Confidential: A Complete Guide to the Law School Experience: By Students, for Students / Edition 3
  • Alternative view 2 of Law School Confidential: A Complete Guide to the Law School Experience: By Students, for Students / Edition 3

Law School Confidential: A Complete Guide to the Law School Experience: By Students, for Students / Edition 3

4.3 49
by Robert H. Miller

See All Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0312605110

ISBN-13: 9780312605117

Pub. Date: 04/26/2011

Publisher: St. Martin's Press


Don't get to the end of your law school career muttering these words to yourself! Take the first step toward building a productive, successful, and perhaps even pleasant law school experience—read this book!

Written by students, for students, Law School Confidential<



Don't get to the end of your law school career muttering these words to yourself! Take the first step toward building a productive, successful, and perhaps even pleasant law school experience—read this book!

Written by students, for students, Law School Confidential has been the "must-have" guide for anyone thinking about, applying to, or attending law school for more than a decade. And now, in this newly revised third edition, it's more valuable than ever.
This isn't the advice of graying professors or battle-scarred practitioners long removed from law school. Robert H. Miller has assembled a blue-ribbon panel of recent graduates from across the country to offer realistic and informative firsthand advice about what law school is really like.
This updated edition contains the very latest information and strategies for thriving and surviving in law school—from navigating the admissions process and securing financial aid, choosing classes, studying and exam strategies, and securing a seat on the law review to getting a judicial clerkship and a job, passing the bar exam, and much, much more. Newly added material also reveals a sea change that is just starting to occur in legal education, turning it away from the theory-based platform of the previous several decades to a pragmatic platform being demanded by the rigors of today's practices.
Law School Confidential is a complete guide to the law school experience that no prospective or current law student can afford to be without.

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
Third Edition, Revised Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.04(w) x 5.54(h) x 1.18(d)

Table of Contents

Author's Notexvii
Part 1So You Wanna Be a Lawyer ...1
How to Use This Book3
I am a college student thinking about applying to law school, or I'm thinking about changing careers and applying to law school5
I've already been admitted to law school, and I'm nervous ...5
But I'm already in law school ... I wish I'd found this sonner6
I'm the parent, friend, sibling, or significant other of someone going to law school6
The Law School Confidential Mentors8
Chapter 1Thinking About Law School? Think Again ...20
My relative the lawyer made me do it22
I can't ignore this amazing LSAT score, can I?22
I don't have a mind for science, so ...23
It's the economy, stupid23
This ain't Hollywood, son24
A Realistic Evaluation of Your Fitness for Law School26
The reading load27
The discipline28
The atmosphere30
The writing31
The commitment32
Taking time off before you apply33
Plan Your Application Process in Advance35
Your criminal history36
The LSAT37
The big picture37
Chapter 2Your Five Most Critical Hours: How to Beat the LSAT39
So What Is This "LSAT" Anyway?40
The reading comprehension section41
Logical reasoning41
Logic games42
The minutiae and related suggestions42
So what about the test prep courses?44
I bombed it--I know it--Should I cancel my score?45
Chapter 3Applying to Law School: Bait the Hooks Carefully and Cast the Nets Wide46
Interview with Richard Geiger, Cornell Law School47
Additional strategies71
1.Try to decide where you want to practice before you apply72
2.Apply Early Action wherever possible72
3.Proofread everything73
4.Visit your top schools and keep in touch with the admissions office73
Chapter 4Choose Your School Wisely75
The school's regional and national reputation75
Pay the greatest attention to a school's placement record78
The harsh reality79
But what about ...83
Chapter 5An Investment in Your Future: Funding Your Legal Education84
Sources of funding85
General suggestions86
Some terms they'll throw around in your aid package87
Federal loan programs88
Stafford Loans (formerly the "Guaranteed Student Loan")88
Perkins Loan (formerly the "National Direct Student Loan")90
Private loans90
Grants and scholarships92
Federal work-study92
Your day of reckoning93
Part 2The First Year, They Scare You to Death95
Chapter 6The Ten Things You Must Do Before Classes Begin97
Before You Arrive on Campus98
1.Read this book from cover to cover98
2.Arrange for housing99
3.Use the summer to get in shape103
4.Read now, sign up later103
5.Buy a computer and become computer literate104
6.Check in with the registrar106
After You Arrive on Campus107
7.Set up "headquarters"107
8.Learn the "lay of the land"109
9.Update your resume110
10.Get your books, study aids, and other supplies113
Recommended commercial outlines114
Bonus: Go to orientation!115
Contacts for commercial outlines115
Chapter 7So What Is a Tort Anyway? A Brief Overview of the First-Year Curriculum116
The Subjects117
Civil Procedure117
Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure123
Constitutional Law125
Administrative Law126
Chapter 8Getting Out of the Gate--Applying the Lessons of Futures Past128
Case briefing--their way129
Case briefing--my way (The five-step plan to success)131
Step 1Start each night with a lesson from your commercial outline131
Step 2Brief in Technicolor133
Step 3Supplement your notes and tab your statutes in class136
Step 4Write your own outlines138
Determining your work schedule140
A word about study groups141
Chapter 9The Unspoken Code of Law School Etiquette143
Things You Should Do144
It is your duty to follow the honor code144
Share your class notes, hornbooks, and outlines with anyone who needs them146
Phrase in-class comments as questions--not statements147
The wrong way to make a point147
A better way to make the same point148
When you're speaking, speak up, and when you're not, shut up!149
When referring to cases or statutes, provide page or section numbers149
Reign in your electronics150
Maintain a sense of humor150
Things You Shouldn't Do150
Resist the urge to make unsolicited, tangential, or politically charged comments during lectures150
Don't boast about your study habits152
Safeguard your reputation153
Adhere to your school's recruiting guidelines154
Avoid all postmortem discussions about exams155
Never discuss grades156
Chapter 10The T-Minus One Month Checkpoint: How to Arrive Ahead of the Competition157
I've missed a couple of classes, a couple of reading assignments, and I'm two weeks or less behind in outlining for each class158
I've fallen way behind in my outlining--what do I do?159
Panic button160
Read Legalines to catch up, and find four good student outlines for your courses161
What Else Do I Have to Do Between Now and Exams?163
Acquire old exams163
Clarify exam rules with each of your professors164
Send query letters to potential employers164
Chapter 11Making Your Summer Plans: How to Win the 1L Recruiting Lottery166
The firm168
Interning for a judge173
Working for a public-service organization177
Researching for a professor178
Working it179
Chapter 12Your First Semester Endgame181
It's time to find an off-campus location to study181
Mapping out the law184
How to create a "case map"185
Creating a bullet outline187
Taking sample exams188
Review sessions190
The final hours192
Exam day192
But wait ... my exam is closed book!196
The "doomsday scenario"197
The Performance Self-Examination: Part One198
Chapter 13Looking Behind and Looking Ahead: Assessing the Damage and Charting the Course for Your Second Semester203
I got straight As, mostly As and B+'s, or I am ahead of the curve in most classes204
I got a mix of grades, some ahead and some behind the curve205
One grade is widely disparate from the others206
All grades at or below the mean206
The Performance Self-Examination: Part Two209
Chapter 14First-Year Endgame: Succeeding in Exams and the Law Review Competition213
The law review competition215
So should you do it?220
Chapter 15Working for Free or Working for Pay, Your First Summer Paves the Way223
For those clerking for a judge225
For those going to a firm226
For those going into public-service jobs230
Thoughts about your 1L summer231
Part 3The Second Year, They Work You to Death233
Chapter 16Charting a Course for Your Upper Years235
The bar exam preparation approach236
The survey approach237
The major or career-focus approach240
The clinical approach244
Other considerations245
Chapter 17Your Survival Guide to Recruiting Season246
How to decide where to interview247
How to prepare yourself for the screening interview248
Know your audience248
Be prompt and polite250
Dress conservatively250
So what are they going to ask me, anyway?251
When a "stunner" goes over the line255
What you should ask255
The things you should avoid256
A few horror stories to calm you down257
Chapter 18Everything You Need to Know About Callback Interviews258
So what the heck is a "callback" anyway?258
Scheduling appointments260
Tackling the callback interview262
How to handle the recruiting meal264
When the callback is over265
Some horror stories to calm you down266
Chapter 19Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Law Firm Hiring: An Interview with Douglas H. Meal of Ropes & Gray and David W. McGrath of Sheehan, Phinney, Bass & Green267
The Summer Associateship Itself294
Chapter 20The Future Is Now: Using the "Relevance Calculus" to Choose a Firm301
How to compare starting salaries301
Salary Comparison Chart304
Choosing a firm using the "relevance calculus"306
Description of factors in the relevance calculus307
The Relevance Calculus312
Chapter 21Back on the Chain Gang: Advice About Journal Membership315
Writing your note or comment319
The case note319
The comment319
Choose a topic that fascinates you321
Find a mentor on the faculty321
Stay organized, and stay on deadline322
Chapter 22Restoring Balance: Moot Court, Public Service, and How to Reclaim the Life You've Lost323
Public-service opportunities325
Moot court326
Inns of Court327
Law school committees328
Chapter 23Keys to Ascension: Turning 2L Summer Employment into a Permanent Offer330
When you arrive331
Handling assignments332
Managing your workload333
Billing your time335
Using Westlaw and LEXIS at the firm336
Getting the work you want336
Getting feedback on your work337
Escaping the clutches of a possessive partner338
Confront problems immediately339
Getting along with the other summer associates339
Proper etiquette at firm social events340
Some closing thoughts342
Part 4And the Third Year, They Bore You to Death345
Chapter 24Demystifying Judicial Clerkships: Hie Thee to the Chambers347
State Court Clerkships348
State trial and intermediate appellate courts348
State supreme courts (highest court)349
Federal Court Clerkships350
Federal district courts350
Specialty courts351
Federal circuit courts of appeals351
The United States Supreme Court352
Why People Clerk352
How to Apply for a Judicial Clerkship353
Choosing your judges353
What to send355
The cover letter356
Your resume356
Your writing sample357
How to choose your recommenders358
Negotiating the new law clerk hiring plan359
Preparing your applications361
When you return to campus363
Scheduling interviews363
The interview itself364
Accepting an offer367
Chapter 25Opportunity Knocks Again ... A Second Chance at Recruiting369
How to handle phone calls from people at your old firm371
If you didn't get an offer from your 2L firm372
Chapter 26Last Semester Cross-Checks375
Ensure that you have enough credits to graduate375
Ensure that you've taken and passed all required courses376
Cocurricular or extracurricular requirements376
Verify that your tuition has been paid377
Register for the bar exam and get your firm to pay for it377
Register for and take the MPRE379
Arrange a start date with your firm, judge, or placement381
Make advance accommodations in your new place of employment381

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Law School Confidential 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It minimized my law school fears big time. The chapters were very informative and I refer to this book and others when I need to step back and re-evaluate my progress. I would definitely pick up this book if you want to make sure you're on the right track.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read it from cover to cover in a minute. This is an extremely helpful, not only does it help with the steps leading up to law school, but it also provides tips for how to live your life throughout the law school experience. Lots of information - but it's not a book to buy if you want help with applying. It's got everything else though.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Robert Miller, along with about a dozen of his cohorts, have put together an excellent book that definitely is invaluable to any student either thinking about or preparing for law school. You will find in this book all you need to know about what to expect before, during, and after law school. The authors share to a great extent how to study for exams, prepare briefs, compete for law review, and apply for those critical summer associate positions, just to name a few. Each author's credentials speak for themselves as most of them have undergone law school at the most prestigious institutions and are currently working for top law firms in the United States. I also highly recommend Scott Turow's One L and Starting Off Right in Law School by Carolyn Nygren for further insight into what one can expect in law school.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first picked up Law School Confidential in the summer before my senior year of college to get advice about the dreadful law school application process. Being the first in my family to go to law school, and without personally knowing any professionals in the law world, I was quite anxious about what to stress in my personal statement, what impresses admissions committees, and how choose which schools to apply to. I found straightforward and helpful suggestions in this book. By the time I was done applying to schools, my copy of the text was filled with sticky notes marking off bits of advice I thought were especially helpful. I even used Miller¿s outline of a good personal statement to jumpstart my own essay. More than that, however, Law School Confidential has followed me through my law school experience. After completing my applications, I revisited the book in order to get some advice on where I should actually enroll. Miller presents the reader with an enlightening method of sorting out what school provides one with a best fit, along with realistic accounts of a law school student¿s debts. In addition, as a future IL, I also had concerns about what to expect in school in September. Once again I consulted Law School Confidential. Along with taking me through the application process, Miller¿s book reveals what to expect in the first, second, and third years at law school. Among the many topics discussed are classroom subjects, how to secure internships, and ways to study that have worked well for previous students. I plan to be attending a competitive law school in the fall, and reading Miller¿s book has made me feel much more confident about what to expect, how to react, and how I will succeed in my schooling and future career. This book truly is a complete guide to the law school experience. While those simply considering law school will learn from this book whether or not this route is for them, I highly recommend Law School Confidential to all serious pre-law students. Even if you¿re at the end of the application process, Miller¿s offers great advise for how to survive the three years you¿ll spend in law school. However, if you¿re lucky enough to discover this title before you start applying, read through to find invaluable advise on the application process and give yourself the best possible chance to get into the school of your choice.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been out of school for about 8 years and am going to law school in the fall. I was very nervous about learning how to study all over again. This book has calmed my fears. It gave me a great sense of what to expect and how to tackle the work load. I would recommend this to anyone that's even just thinking about going to law school.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Folks, If you're even thinking about attending law school, read this book! LSC walks you through every stage of the process: thinking about law school; determining if it's right for you; applying to law schools; how to settle in to law school; how to do well once classes begin; how to secure employment; and, LSC tells you how to pass the bar exam. In short, LSC takes you from beginning to end on how to become a lawyer. Get this book, and you won't say, 'I wish I knew then what I know now...' With LSC, you can have that wish granted! Regardless of whether or not you ultimately attend law school, buying LSC is the BEST $20 you'll ever spend. The worst that could happen is that you could save tens of thousands of dollars and learn about what law school is like. That alone was fascinating reading, at least for me. For an insider's view of law school and the legal profession, LSC can't be beat!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read 4 books on the topic thus far and this is by far the best. It's the most thorough and covers the topics I am most interested in, the others were quite lacking in comparison. Go ahead and trust all of the positive reviews on this website, this time they're not just hype! This book is by far the most informative and gives you a strategy on notetaking and studying for the consistent student and the procrastinator. Great tips on what to do, how much time you can expect to study, even a suggestion on a schedule for studying. LSC is tremendously helpful, before you go to law school you need to read this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I returned to law school after having worked for many years. I read several books on law school and found this one to be BY FAR the BEST! It provides a system for excelling in law school that works. I followed the advice on briefing in technicolor, outlining as you go, case maps, bullet lists etc. I also followed the advice on getting my resume together before starting law school. I am happy to say that I just finished my first semester with a 3.8 GPA and I landed a summer job with a large firm over Christmas break! Thanks Robert Miller!!! I will definately recommend this book to incoming 1L's next year!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I came across this book by accident while looking though the law school section of a boookstore. This book is truly the most insightful law school-related book that I have read. Miller and the other contributers walk the reader though the entire law school process, from "thinking about law school" to the completion of the bar exam. Although this is technically a "how-to" book, the conversational tone makes it truly appealing. The contributions of the "mentors" definitely sets this book apart from the rest. These individuals have attended law schools across the country, so they are able to make unique (as opposed to one-sided or redundant) contributions. I'll conclude by saying that I am glad that I found this book BEFORE law school!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm an undergrad and considering the whole process of the LSAT and law school. This book answered every question I had, as well as the questions I had not yet thought to ask. It is great because if I end up in law school this book is an amazing reference tool! If you have friends or family considering law school, or who just want to learn more about the whole idea, pick them up a copy as well!
Guest More than 1 year ago
...if you're thinking about law school (or even know that you're going. Of all the pre-law books I've seen, this definitely the best. Most importantly, the book is easy to read and keeps your attention. Also, Robert Miller's straigh-forward, no-bull, approach to describing law school is very valuable in deciding whether or not law school is the right decision. I refer to this book frequently and know I will continue to do so as I begin law school. The study approaches outlined in this book are easy to understand and I believe will be very helpful. It's great to have the insight of recent grads.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I will be attending orientation in the fall for Law School and honestly had no real clue about what I'm in for! Sure, I have mentors already in the field and a 2L for a friend... However, as I have exhausted them and embarassed myself with my bajillions of questions, this book was a Godsend. Miller answered all of my questions and I will use this book as my Law School bible.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was looking to buy a book that explained the law school experience. I read the reviews of many books on the subject, and by far, LAW SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL came out on top. But nothing could prepare me for the book itself. I am starting my law school career later in life, having worked for many years as an accountant. I am a CPA with a master¿s degree in taxation, so I wanted to make sure law school was a wise choice for me. This book was helpful, insightful, funny, often intimidating and very poignant. It is a complete guidebook from A to Z. Author Robert Miller suggests you read the book from cover to cover, and then read the sections again when they apply to you (for example, what you should be doing during the summer of your second year of law school). This book starts from simply thinking about law school, includes preparing for the LSAT, applying to law schools, surviving the first semester, and gives step-by-step hints (or what to expect) at each stage of law school, right up until the bar exam. There is a section on how to use the book, which can be used to quickly find a chapter once you¿ve read the book. Not only does Miller use his own wisdom and experience, he uses the assistance of several other recent law school graduates, all with different backgrounds, reasons for going to law school, and career paths. Many of the insights are very candid; some of the lawyers would not do it again if they knew about the experiences in law school. I¿ve always been an avid reader. I bought this book for some helpful information, but I never realized that this would be so gripping. I couldn¿t wait to come home after work to finish reading it. It reads like a good novel. If you are thinking about law school, or love someone who is, then buy this book! You won¿t regret it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read and reread this book, all before I even heard that I got into law school. My dad got this book for me. I already have half of the items they suggested. This book is not a waste of time or money!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was recently accepted into a law program, and have been getting more and more anxious as the Fall approaches. I found this book and, after sitting down and reading it for over an hour at the book store, I purchased it and finished it in just a few nights. I now know what to expect, and how I will prepare myself for the next three grueling years of my life. The book was a big help, and I highly recomend it to anyone even considering Law School.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My daughter did everything right to get into a top 10 law school...at least we and she thought so......invited into the prestigious undergraduate Honors College at a top 10 Public University...top 2% of 50,000 students...traveled abroad twice...EXCEPT, we did not read Mr. Millers Book until After the Law App process...now we collectively hold our breath, because of a strategic error. A private mentor might save applicants,and, their parents a lot of headaches...and this is a close as you'll get to a private FOR HIRE mentor...we know! Concerned Parents and applicants Must Read it as soon as their is a glimmer of an interest in : The Law and a top Law School Experience. Mr. Miller is truly at the top of his game having lived throught the process RECENTLY...and since he had close friends make strategic errors, including friends who were studying at Universities ranked in the top 5 for undergrad, he can speak closely to the 'dark side' of a mistake. There are many opportunities which are matched by equally obnoxious and unfair pratfalls within the HEIRARCHY of Law Scools Pay close attention to this in the book. Miller does a fine job of outling options...so that the students have an increased chance of getting into their top 'schools of choice' and knowing what that really means!! WE are finding out the hard way that everything in here is current, accurate, and he does not sugarcoat the reality of getting into 'THE BIG TOP' and what it will be like 'in the tent'.. Parents should read this so you are on the same page as your graduate. This may be the last and most influential thing you do for and with them. It may help you understand why your new 'star graduate' may even need some time off before law school...Remember...a top law student is not a 'Machine' and the Top Law Schools will prove it...Be sure its not at your mutual expense.. BUY The Book! READ The Book! BELIEVE The Book.!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book tells you exactly what you need to know about law school including scheduling, studying and how to wind down. VERY IMPRESSIVE
Guest More than 1 year ago
Being only a freshman in college, even I thought that this book served as a useful tool in helping my decision to be a future lawyer. Now I know what to expect! I am glad that Miller wrote this book, it was easy to understand and I couldn't put it down!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A few weeks ago, I was accepted at an Ivy League law school that was one of my top choices. Because my application had some serious 'issues' that the book specifically addressed, I wholeheartedly recommend that all applicants take the time to read Robert Miller's work. Miller's interview with a law school admissions officer does a superb job at clarifying the issues confronting a person who actually makes the decision on an application. I really never thought of some of the issues that the book discussed when I was filling out application forms. Some of the book's specific suggestions gave me the idea to say certain things on my admissions materials that I believe made a decisive impact in having the previously mentioned school accept me relatively early in the admissions cycle. I do not guarantee that others will have the same or even a remotely similar experience. But I do believe that the book will give future readers certain ideas about how to approach the application process that they never thought of.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the rage right now, and for good reason! I've read all the books available about how to succeed in law school, and Law School Confidential is unquestionably the best one. It is exceptionally well written, clear, and chock-full of helpful information about everything from applying to law school to optimizing study methods to studying for and taking exams to getting jobs and clerkships. This is a MUST READ for anyone in law school, or thinking about applying, and it is a book that you will use and interact with for all three years.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is definitely worth the money and time to read. It showcases everything you ever wanted to know about applying to law school as well as the small and large things about law school in general (as well as the specific). For anyone serious about going to law school, this is a perfect book to read.