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One L

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  4,887 ratings  ·  391 reviews
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
Hardcover, 337 pages
Published November 1st 1988 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published January 1st 1977)
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bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bi ...more
Apr 24, 2008 Jen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone thinking about law school
Not that I was ever considering going to law school, but Scott Turow's account of his time as a "One L" at Harvard Law School in 1976 squashed that inkling of mine that it might be fun to try.

It's a well-written book, though, and certainly a must for anyone headed down that path. Turow doesn't sugarcoat any of it -- the unyielding professors, the cattiness between students. And just because the story itself is 30 years old doesn't mean it isn't valid: Very few law schools have changed dramatical
Apr 28, 2008 Aaron rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone anyone anyone but law students
Recommended to Aaron by: A bad lawyer
This book is fine, except how people keep insisting it has anything to do with the actual common experience of law school. A good read for anyone who does not want to go to law school, who has already gone to law school and wants to read a book that does not correspond in any way with their own experiences, those lawyers who persist in thinking that law is "really hard" and not just a terminal degree for the aimlessly clever, or those who will find confirmation of their existing prejudices about ...more

Before I started law school, I was repeatedly told to buy best selling author Turow’s version of his first year at Harvard “if for no other reason than everyone else there will have read it”.

Well, I’m one week into law school, and no one has mentioned it, thanks. Still, it wasn’t a totally waste of time. Reading how horrific Turow’s professors were to him steeled me for my first day of class. I was totally ready for someone to cry. No one did. I was almost disappointed at how nice all my profess
Rebekah ODell
Dear Dad,

Thanks for giving me One L to read! You rarely impress upon me the need to read any one book in particular, so when you put this book in my hands I actually put down the book I had recently started and instantly began devouring Turow’s memoir about his first year of law school. I don’t do that often. It stresses me out to put a book aside unfinished in favor of another book (which is also ironic considering the content of One L — it’s all about stress!). One L was also a little unusual
Not really a fan. Problems:

- I thought Turow, in protecting the identities of many students and professors, distilled them all into way less interesting, one-note caricatures. The urbane, wealthy aristocrat who makes a diligent but unremarkable student. The nervous basket case who constantly sandbags himself yet gets great grades every time. The scrappy Italian kid from Jersey who balks at authority and likes to make his own way. The pretty blonde with crying outbursts whose frequency serves as
Now, granted, I didn't go to Harvard Law, but I DID attend a fairly high ranked law school and, from my experience, Turow protests FAR too much. It makes for a good story, but oh, the drama! I only wish that William and Mary had been that exciting and filled with academic intrigue!
Jarrod Jenkins
Turow paints a largely accurate picture of the life of a first year student at a top American law school. He describes his gifted, high-achieving, and insufferably competitive peers and professors to a tee. Those who have survived the ordeal will immediately recall their own struggles to comprehend the first few cases they read and briefed, the hours, the jargon, and generally navigating unknown waters--should I buy a hornbook or stick with the thousands of pages of assigned casebook reading, is ...more
The traumatic experiences of Scott Turow at Harvard veneered in not-so subtle fiction. Read it years ago and loved it. My brother, who went to Harvard Law School says it's very true to reality. I was reminded or it by a scene from The Abbey in which Detective Sergeant Ashraf Rashid's cell phone goes off during law class. The professor in The Abbey, who bears a likeness to One L's Professor Perini/Kingsfield admonishes

Scene from The Abbey: “ 'And I’m sorry we allowed a clearly unqualified applic
Whiney recounting of Turow's first year at Harvard Law School.
Charles Clymer
I have often heard that any student interested in a legal career should read this book, and although I cannot be an authority on that account, I will say that as someone who is considering law school, "One L" is an engrossing read, marking the ups and down, triumphs and tragedies, and complex psychology of a student's first year at Harvard Law School, considered one of the most demanding academic programs in existence.

This is not at all a boring read. Turow gives enormous life to his experiences
For lawyers, it's a fond look back to a wonderful, occasionally harrowing time. For prospective law school students this book is a wake-up call as to what the study of law will demand of you. If you're entering law school at a time when you're married, have a family, or even a set of very close friends - reading this book will help them understand why you've suddenly disappeared and, on the rare times you do see them, are unable to discuss current events or popular culture.

It submerges you into
Feb 26, 2013 Trishé rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Aspiring law school students
Shelves: 2013-reads
I really enjoyed reading this first-hand account of Turrow's life as a Harvard Law School 1L. It terrified as well as invigorated me in my yearning to attend law school in the fall. I doubt that this account will be close to my own experiences (though perhaps maybe I'll be inclined to comment on the subject further once I finish my time as a 1L), but I enjoyed taking the journey with him.

I have to make a few comments however on how outdated some of this is, most notably the monetary figures inc
Scott Turow tells his experience as a first-year student at Harvard Law School where freshmen are dubbed One Ls. I first heard about this book when it was recommended by one of our speakers during our orientation as first year law students in a premier university. But I was only able to read it when I was already in third year, or after I got kicked out and transferred to another school. Still, it was not a totally waste of time. I came to understand where I failed or what I lacked in my freshma ...more
The single most read book by people contemplating law school. There are clear pros and cons to this. On the pro side, Turow is a good writer who structures even this supposed transcript of his memoir with a fair amount of novelistic suspense. Our hero must confront good and evil personified by his various professors (seriously, there are times when you'd think you were reading Harry Potter). Ultimately, as in a good modern novel, he must face the true nemesis that lies within (his capacity to cr ...more
Chris Wolak
I never, ever had a desire to go to law school, but for some reason this book called me to it. I heard it mentioned somewhere and then kept running into it at the store where I work. It was on sale for $3.99, so that was another bonus. I haven't read any of Turow's legal thrillers, yet, but I may now. One L is the story of Turow's first year at Harvard Law School in 1977. He covers the emotional ups and downs of that first year and how and why he and his peers changed for the better and how some ...more
The one thing that I got form this book is that I'm very glad that I'm not a lawyer or ever contemplated law school. Even though this book is decades old, the systems still sound similar, the environment doesn't seem like one that is conductive to learning. I really hated how by the end it seemed like everyone was happy when someone else failed. Not sure how that could possibly build an environment where you have a good support system when you need one the most.
When my daughter started law school, a friend of mine who is an attorney recommended I read this book.

Scott Turow wrote this based on his journal of his first year of Harvard Law School. He wrote and published it soon afterward. One L is the term used for first year law students. That is just one of many things I learned about law school and the rigors thereof.

At first I thought "Oh no! What is my daughter in for?" But ultimately it made me think "Wow, when she gets through this she will reall
Mary JL
Mar 28, 2009 Mary JL rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with interest in the law
Recommended to Mary JL by: Familiar with Turow's work
Shelves: non-fiction
Since I have often read legal thrillers, I was interested in how the lawyers are trained. Scott Turow's book about his firt year at Harvard Law School I found very, very interesting.

Some of the technical data may have changed--prices for lawyers; people use laptops now not typewriters and so on. But human nature changes slowly if at all. The pressure, stress and competitiveness that Turow describes no doubt still fairly accurate even after all these years.

I recommended it for any interested in l
An exciting yet nerve-wracking (for an entering One L) account of the first year of law school. Although the harrowing pedagogical methods described by Turow have fallen out of common use in law schools, this is a valuable introduction to how the One L year is structured as well as some of the basic legal concepts discussed. It does not deal much with the substance of the field of law, but is nevertheless valuable for law students, if for no other reason than to know that you are not alone in th ...more
Anthony Rivera
"They will be the One Ls"

I was given this book to be given more insight in how the legal world works since I am leaning in that direction myself. I now understand that the first year of law school is something hysterical for many students to navigate through.

I think that Turow seemed a bit exaggerated at some places of his novel. However, the book was enjoyable. Through a tale of his first year, Turow manages to capture the headaches that students all around him suffered in a game of decipherin
I ran into this book on CD when I needed some in-car reading. So glad I did! I've always enjoyed Scott Turow, though knew nothing more about his history except that he was a lawyer based in Chicago. This books is his memoir of his first year in law school - at Harvard. Until I read the book, I had no idea about the intensity of the first year, nor did I realize it was any different than the other two years. Turow conveyed the high anxiety, intense competition and immense stress of his first year ...more
Chris Mora
Very good characters and, what I would believe to be, a good account of the existential joys and sorrows of law school. Perhaps in three years I will be able to say more.
David Greenberg
I am about to be a OneL, so this book meant a lot to me. I can imagine a lot has changed in 35 years, but the emotions have not. I am nervous, and I know my colleagues are too. We will face a different set of challenges than the protagonist, but it is nice to know what I am feeling is normal. Here is to the year!
After making many trips to the local Barnes and Nobles (and reluctantly refusing to buy new books ever since I bought a Nook), I was finally able to finish reading One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year At Harvard Law School. The book is told in a narrative style and follows the author, Scott Turow during his first year at Harvard Law School (thus the title!)

It may seem almost impossible to consolidate the experience of a 1L at HLS into a bound, two hundred page book, Turow does what he
Warren Wang
I went over this book in three days. Written about four decades ago, many things talked about in the book may have changed over the years, but it still remains a book worth reading to someone who is planning to go to a law school. The main reason is that the author lays before your eyes many of the problems,maybe the extreme ones, an 1L may encounter when starting to study law. Knowing the worst possible situations one could possibly be during the first year of law school can help prepare the mi ...more
Brendan Hall
I read this book the summer before I started law school. Gave me a glimpse at some of the concepts and experiences I would encounter.
It scared me and inspired me. Fortunately, law school at Wake Forest was hardly like this. It's much better than Harvard!
awfully whiny - makes one want to go to law school, if only to show up the pathetic author
Tara Lynch
I read this book the summer before I started law school. It is very true to life!
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Scott F. Turow is an American author and a practicing lawyer. Turow has written eight fiction and two nonfiction books, which have been translated into over 20 languages and have sold over 25 million copies. Movies have been based on several of his books.

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“The fundamental tension of the profession is the struggle between bold advocacy of the client's interests and the need to establish and hold to limits that prevent advocacy from leading to irrational and inequitable results; and thus the lawyer's job in practice is to be on one hand the impassioned representative of his client to the world, and on the other the wise representative to his client of the legal system, and the society, explaining and upholding the demands and restrictions which that system places on them both. ” 3 likes
“It was something like stirring concrete with my eyelashes.” 1 likes
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