Thursday, June 15, 2006

How to waste the summer before law school...

The advice I got from my law school as to how to spend the rest of my summer:
Read the following books
Law School Confidential: read it, actually. Told me to highlight my casebooks in technicolor and buy a good bed. No lie. Not the most constructive.
One L: novel about Scott Turow's first year at Harvard. Yeah. Not gonna bother. Saw the Paperchase already.
Slaying the Law School Dragon: read through it. More about highlighting casebooks.
The Brethren: I think this is a John Grisham novel I read already. Yep, that'll help in law school. Oh, this is the Woodward book about the Supreme Court... ok, I'll read this as soon as I have any respect for Bob Woodward.

Film Recommendations
12 Angry Men (1957) Saw it. Classic. This will help me ... how?
The Accused (1988) Saw it. Ok. This will help me ... how?
… And Justice for All (1979) Missed it, but I doubt it will matter.
Class Action (1991) Missed it because I'm not a Travolta fan, but I doubt it will matter.
A Few Good Men (1992) You can't handle the truth: this will NOT help me in law school! "You want me on that wall, you need me on that wall..."
Inherit the Wind (1960) Saw it. Classic. This will help me ... become Clarence Darrow?
Judgment at Nuremburg (1961) Missed it, but I doubt it will matter.
Legal Eagles (1986) Missed it, or saw it and forgot it, but I doubt it will matter.
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) Read it, managed to miss the movie.
The Paper Chase (1973) Ok, so the point is to break into the professor's office and view the profs answers to ace the test... this *may* actually help me in law school...
The Rainmaker (1997) Yeah, read it. Grisham again.
A Time to Kill (1996) Yeah, read it. Grisham again.
The Verdict (1982) Missed it, or saw it and forgot it, but I doubt it will matter.
Comic Relief Movies (right, because the others were so seriously helpful)
Legally Blonde (2001) Okay, now this is awesome. But would a 1L be allowed to prosecute? And would a case really turn on whether or not one should wash one's hair the day after a perm? Who cares, Reese Witherspoon is cute and funny!
Liar Liar (1997) John Carrey at his John Carrey-est "Loser...SLUT!"
My Cousin Vinny (1992) "The two yutes." "What the hell is a yute?" Classic.

EDIT: In response to OldLawGuy's comment (which has disappeared, sorry): Yes, this list is really copied from an an actual email recently sent by my law school. You think I spent time making all those links? Only someone being paid for that would bother...


  1. Civil Action (the book, not the movie) was required reading for some of the Civil Procedure classes in my first year. But John Travolta isn't in the book :)

  2. We read A Civil Action as well, and the "Documentary Companion" that went with it (included the briefs, pleadings, etc.).

    I've a suggestion for preparing for law school: read some cases. That's the majority of what you'll be reading anyway; you may as well get familiar with the terminology, the vernacular, the form of a case. Try to spot the issues, try to find out where the judge writes the rule (maybe the most important thng to take from any case), the reasoning, and the concurrences/dissents - some of my classmates didn't even read these, but I think they're important.

    Anyway, read some cases - don't read books about what it's like to be in law school - you'll find out about that soon enough.

  3. actually, if you want to read an interesting book, try "broken contract" by richard kahlenberg. it's another harvard memoir, but kahlenberg does a decent job of telling about all three years of law school, and a bit beyond. it's also an amusing read.

    you'll like it if you're interested in, e.g., public interest work, or if you're not sure whether you want to work for a firm or do something else after law school.

    enjoy! :)