How Legal Education Fails Minority Students

Three Must-Read Books For Law School

You’ve gotten into law school. Now, it’s summer and all you have to do is wait to embark on your legal journey.
But, there’s more you can do that just sit around. Above The Law recently highlighted three must-read books that will prepare law students for their incoming legal education.
Check out the list below.

  • One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School by Scott Turow One L is exactly what the title implies. An in-depth portrayal of a man’s first-year experience at Harvard Law School. Here’s the opening statement:“After years off, I have begun to smoke cigarettes again; lately, I seem to be drinking a little every night. I do not have the time to read a novel or a magazine, and I am so far removed from the news of world events that I often feel as if I’ve fallen off the dark side of the planet…At random instants, I am likely to be stricken with acute feelings of panic depression, indefinite need…I am a law student in my first year at the law, and there are many moments when I am simply a mess” (Turow ix-x).The book focuses on both the negatives and positives of the first-year law school experience. Many critics have called it an “honest portrayal” of the 1L year.“One L is a brutally honest portrayal of one man’s first-year at one of America’s most esteemed law schools – Harvard Law,” one reader writes in response to the book. “Through a series of diary entries and other anecdotes, Scott Turow provides nearly four hundred pages on the ups and downs of the life of a first-year law student.”Renwei Chung, at Above The Law, says the book offers insight regarding the thoughts, anxiety, and emotions of the 1L year.“Turow’s book is a prescient warning to keep your wits about you during law school,” Chung writes. “Don’t get too high or too low. Don’t worry too much about how others are doing. In other words, make sure to wear sunscreen this summer and remember: ‘Don’t waste time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.’”
  • The Partner Track by Helen WanThe Partner Track is a book about the struggle of being a first-generation law student on the track to become partner at a prestigious law firm. Written by Helen Wan, the story follows Ingrid Yung, a Chinese-American woman who is about to achieve the rank of partner at Parsons Valentine & Hunt LLP.The story offers a behind-the-scenes look into the bumps and challenges Yung faces in a Wall Street law firm.Hear what Susan Cain, New York Times bestselling author of QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, has to say about the book.”Smart, incisive, and fast-paced, THE PARTNER TRACK is a sparklingly readable look at the inner workings of a Wall Street law firm — from the vantage point of a brainy, beautiful and self-doubting Asian-American associate. Wan has the remarkable ability to make you feel as if “you are there” — inside the law firm, inside protagonist Ingrid Yung’s head. I did not want to put this book down.”
  • The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha The Start-Up of You isn’t a legal-focused book, but it offers a blueprint for succeeding in your career in today’s world. The authors, Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha, offer insight into how individuals can manage their careers as if it were a business.“This book isn’t about cover letters or resumes,” the goodreads synopsis reads. “Instead, you will learn the best practices of Silicon Valley start-ups, and how to apply these entrepreneurial strategies to your career.”Chung says the book is a necessary read for incoming legal students.“Too often I meet attorneys who followed the most frictionless path possible to their current lots in life,” she writes. “Some are unhappy and searching for a better alternative. The Start-Up of You provides a fantastic roadmap for someone at the beginning of his or her career or who is simply looking to pivot from his or her current position.”

Sources: Above The Law, Grace Marie, goodreads, goodreads

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