One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School

One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School

by Scott Turow
4.0 15

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One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School by Scott Turow

One L, Scott Turow's journal of his first year at law school introduces and a best-seller when it was first published in 1977, has gone on to become a virtual bible for prospective law students. Not only does it introduce with remarkable clarity the ideas and issues that are the stuff of legal education; it brings alive the anxiety and competiveness--with others and, even more, with oneself--that set the tone in this crucible of character building. Turow's multidimensional delving into his protagonists' psyches and his marvelous gift for suspense prefigure the achievements of his celebrated first novel, Presumed Innocent, one of the best-selling and most talked about books of 1987.

Each September, a new crop of students enter Harvard Law School to begin an intense, often grueling, sometimes harrowing year of introduction to the law. Turow's group of One Ls are fresh, bright, ambitious, and more than a little daunting. Even more impressive are the faculty: Perini, the dazzling, combative professor of contracts, who presents himself as the students' antagonist in their struggle to master his subject; Zechman, the reserved professor of torts who seems so indecisive the students fear he cannot teach; and Nicky Morris, a young, appealing man who stressed the humanistic aspects of law.

Will the One Ls survive? Will they excel? Will they make the Law Review, the outward and visible sign of success in this ultra-conservative microcosm? With remarkable insight into both his fellows and himself, Turow leads us through the ups and downs, the small triumphs and tragedies of the year, in an absorbing and throught-provoking narrative that teaches the reader not only about law school and the law but about the human beings who make them what they are.

In the new afterword for this edition of One L, the author looks back on law school from the perspective of ten years' work as a lawyer and offers some suggestions for reforming legal education.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781429939560
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 08/03/2010
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 337
Sales rank: 103,434
File size: 337 KB

About the Author

Scott Turow, a graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Law School, is the author of four worldwide bestselling: Presumed Innocent, The Burden of Proof, Pleading Guilty, and The Laws of Our Fathers. He lives with his family outside of Chicago, where he is a partner in the law firm of Sonnenschein, Nath&Rosenthal.
Scott Turow is the author of worldwide bestselling novels including Presumed Innocent, Innocent, Ordinary Heroes, The Burden of Proof, Reversible Errors and Limitations. His works of nonfiction include One L, his journal from his first year at law school, and Ultimate Punishment, which he wrote after serving on the Illinois commission that investigated the administration of the death penalty and influenced Governor George Ryan’s unprecedented commutation of the sentences of 164 death row inmates on his last day in office. Ultimate Punishment won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. He lives outside Chicago, where he is partner in the firm of SNR Denton (formerly Sonnenschein, Nath&Rosenthal).


Chicago, Illinois

Date of Birth:

April 12, 1949

Place of Birth:

Chicago, Illinois


B.A. in English, Amherst College, 1970; M.A., Stanford University, 1974; J.D., Harvard University, 1978

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One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a student starting law school I found this book inspiring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although I have no interest in entering law school, the story of Scotts experience was really informative. I always wondered what it was like in HLS, and even if this exp. is decades old...well, its much better than what Legally Blonde tells you.
Pastormom More than 1 year ago
Great read for a parent of a One L. Although many things have changed with the style of law education it gives you a good idea what your daughter or son is going through. It also helps you understand the "lingo" of law school so you don't have to keep asking them "anyoing" questions. It is a fast and fun read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
nikki1CO More than 1 year ago
I read One L when it first came out, having just re read it, it still inspires the same feelings of admiration, fear & virtual nausea, thinking about my own college days. Law school has changed in the ensuing years, however school has not, the same feelings, the same issues with others that you are competing with. There are no dull moments in this book, I literally read it in one sitting. The writer has gone on to write mysteries that gave been made into successful movies (Presumed Innocent for one); he was a successful attorney for many many years. There is nothing pompous about this book. you cheer for the students, you empathize with the author & you understand the dilemma of wanting to do something so much that you will give up your entire life, your emotional life, to make this possible. Excellent read, I highly recommend
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful read. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in attending law school.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book the summer after my first year of law school, and I laughed out loud as I read. I laughed not because the book was humorous, but because I couldn't believe how many experiences I shared with those relayed in the book. ONE L hit me like a happy confirmation that I had not been alone in my experiences. It made me proud that I had endured such an emotional roller coaster. And it reminded me of the good as well as the bad moments of the first year of law school. If you read it sooner, don't let it scare you - I LOVED law school!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a few weeks from starting law school, and while Turow's account is riveting, its dark, stark realities into the world of law and academics can make one a bit unnerved, as the title suggests. If you're anxious before starting, this may make matters a little worse. Sometimes I regret reading it before school starts and not delaying til later in the year. It does contain important themes on not losing yourself as a whole person while in school, something every law student should keep in mind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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