Top critical review
A year in the life of a law student
Reviewed in the United States on January 1, 2020
One often hears about Harvard. And, with this book, the reader is given the opportunity to see glimpses of one student’s life as a first-year Harvard law student. The student is Scott Turow (who later wrote the book “Presumed Innocent”). The school year is Fall1975 - Spring1976.
I suspect any young person, who is considering a career in law, would want to read this book to get some idea of what to expect in law school. Presumably, methods for teaching law have evolved somewhat since the Seventies. And, presumably, different law schools have somewhat different cultural approaches to teaching law. Yet I presume the basics described it this book still apply. (And, yes, perhaps I presume too much.)
As a retired engineer, I was simply curious about the education of law student – especially at such a prestigious and ultra-competitive school. I found the educational process for a lawyer to be markedly different than that for an engineer. Engineer students build on what they already know to solve problems and design systems; law students use what they know to argue either side of the coin. Definitely different worlds.
The author talks about his highs and lows as he contends with the high work load, peer competition, pressure to make Law Review, the make or break nature of Final Exams, and the interrogative style of teacher/student classroom interaction.
Bottom line: Somewhat like being back in school, but the pressure is on someone else rather than you. Certainly of greater interest to a budding lawyer.