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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 Author:Scott Turow "A wonderful book...it should be read by anyone who has ever contemplated going to law school. Or anyone who has ever worried about being human." -The New York Times — It was a year of terrors and triumphs, of depressions and elations, of compulsive work, pitiless competition, and, finally, mass hysteria. It was Scott Turow's first... more » year at the oldest, biggest, most esteemed center of legal education in the United States. Turow's experiences at Harvard Law School, where freshmen are dubbed One Ls, parallel those of first-year law students everywhere. His gripping account of this critical, formative year in the life of a lawyer is as suspenseful, said The New York Times, as "the most absorbing of thrillers."« less
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OK Gang, I read this book as a bright eyed soon to be law student prior to my first year of law school. Firstly, I have little credence in one who "claims" to have "aced" the LSAT. Secondly, although Turow seems to write about a hellish first year, I wish to point out, "How bad can it be, if he had time to have a wife, go to law school full time, AND write a book?" It simply is not a realistic view of what life as a first year law student at a top law school is like. My own experiences included classmates committing suicide for not being ranked #1 in their class for the first time in their lives. It also included classmates who quit the very first time they got humiliated by a law professor during a lecture. My own experience my first year was of the fear of falling behind, and playing catch-up for a semester. I was in the library by 8 AM, class at 9AM, and went home about 11PM, for the full 3 years, often with hundreds of pages to read an analyze nightly. How someone managed to write a book amidst all that madness is clearly beyond me. The only rationale I could come up with is that Harvard does not give grades in its classes; there is no student competition - your grade is either "Pass" or "Not Pass". I'd suggest doing some research on what it is to have to compete with fellow students for grades, and look at law schools where your notebook computer is stolen for the mere sin of getting up to go to the bathroom.
Melanie T. (mjtriplett) reviewed One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School on
Helpful Score: 3
Turow gives an amusing and true-to-life account of his life as a 1L at Harvard in the 70s. Although law school has since changed somewhat, many of the aspects discussed are still easily related to by current and incoming students.
My interest in reading this was sparked by how much I enjoy Turow's novels and by how much I respect his pro bono work on behalf of those wrongfully imprisoned. Had I not read his other works or known about his social philosophy, I probably would not have appreciated this autobiography quite as much a I did.