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Law School Confidential: A Complete Guide to the Law School Experience: By Students, for Students

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  497 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
Law School Confidential is written for students about to embark on this three-year odyssey by students who have successfully survived. It demystifies the life-altering thrill ride that defines an American legal education by providing a comprehensive, blow-by-blow, chronological account of what to expect. It arms students with a thorough overview of the contemporary law sc
Paperback, Revised, 352 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published July 14th 2000)
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Mutant Supermodel
Jul 12, 2013 Mutant Supermodel rated it really liked it
I'm reviewing this from the perspective of someone who is thinking about Law School but has not yet applied or attended.

It's very useful, very practical. It makes the difficult reality very sharp which is necessary for something so expensive and so stressful and so long-term as law school and a career in it.

A couple of things I found a little meh:

1) There is a lot of law school jargon right from the beginning and it's rarely explained. That's a little annoying for most people who are not in la
Dec 22, 2009 Toe rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
Much like "Getting to Maybe," this book is good for what it attempts to accomplish, and what it attempts to accomplish is lame and very far removed from anything a well-rounded human being would care about. This book will walk you through the process of "succeeding" at law school, from prior to studying for the LSAT until your first job. Why the scare quotes around "succeeding?" Because I'm using the term as traditionally understood: doing well on exams, being prepared for class, getting on Law ...more
Feb 27, 2008 bonnie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: law students
I read Law School Confidential, liked it, used some of the methods it suggests, and refuse to be ashamed of any of that. I read a couple of "don't get blindsided by law school" type books, such as Planet Law School, and this one was by far my favorite. It prepares you for all the various sequential occurrences in law school (outlines, the socratic method, exams, 1L job search, on campus interviews, law review, clerkships, etc.), and does so without going all-out negative. The people who wrote it ...more
Ultimately, this book is a starting resource for those thinking or inquiring about law school. It also helps with your expectations, worries, and doubts about entering and duration of law school. Some parts were remarkably helpful, but can vary from school to school and learning process depends on the person as well. However, I strongly believe it is helpful overall.

I also receive insight and help through CLEO ( with law seminars and programs offered periodically sin
Feb 17, 2015 Rick rated it really liked it
Liked this book and think it should be must reading for college men and women who think they may want to attend law school. The author covers a wide range of topics - from the LSAT admission test to the bar exam after graduation. A 1998 law school graduate himself and utilizing quotes from a dozen other recent law school graduates with varying experiences the author puts the reader in the know about many law school misconceptions.

I suspect the best time for a prospective law student to read thi
Nov 15, 2009 Erik rated it liked it
Although a better and more detailed overview of the process of getting into and surviving all three years of law school than Law School for Dummies, I found that Miller is just as similarly biased in writing to the twenty-something crowd as Rebecca Greene was. That is, they both tended to write to the just-out-of-college crowd, who often know little about what they want out of their lives. So for this very reason, there are a number of sections that I found tiresome.

Despite that, Miller does pr
May 15, 2011 Catherine rated it liked it
I haven't started law school yet, so I can't speak honestly about the study methods and so on presented in this book. However, I think it gives a good overview of what to expect in law school. I felt better prepared knowing what was coming in 1L. I don't think Miller writes to be alarmist or to terrify first years, but instead he tries to be blunt about what's coming.

His writing style is easy and enjoyable to read. The book is not a tough read by any account.

There are a few important caveats to
Jul 14, 2008 Bridget rated it liked it
Now that week 2 of law school is over, I feel a little more justified in my review. basically, it's a good overview of the process and it is helpful to see a sketch of what could lie ahead in order to begin with the end in mind. But, it seems to me that although the author bills it as a book with multiple perspectives because he interviewed a bunch of young lawyers, he only interviewed people who have the same general ideas about law school that he does. If you're still in undergrad and gunning ...more
Dec 30, 2014 Louise rated it really liked it
Shelves: law
This book held my attention much more aptly than I'd anticipated. Despite the stressful subject matter, it's well written and manages to imbue even the driest of explanations with a sense of inspirational urgency. Not an easy task when you're explaining, say, what to write in a cover letter.

One caveat: I would suggest reading the updated version of this book. Every mention of technology (or in the case of mailing letters, lack thereof) is hopelessly out of date. It is my understanding that the
Nov 24, 2009 Alexandra rated it liked it
Law School Confidential was pretty much what it set out to be - a guide to all the different steps in law school. As someone who is applying now and likely going in the fall, it seemed pretty comprehensive and is a must-read for any future or current law student. That said, we'll see how helpful it really is once I am in school. Unfortunately, the author only writes from the perspective of someone going to law school out of college and although it's a good law school book, doesn't do much to add ...more
Mar 16, 2013 Sophoula rated it it was amazing
Because I was neurotic (and feeling completely undeserving of having just gotten into law school), I read this during my last family vacation before law school. I'm in the end of my third year, and I can still hear my mother telling me to just enjoy my final moments of freedom. To be truthful, I probably should have. But, some of the study tips in this book have proven priceless, even this far into my law school experience. I would completely recommend this book to anyone entering law school -- ...more
Courtney Stirrat
Oct 30, 2007 Courtney Stirrat rated it it was amazing
Shelves: law
This was actually the most helpful book that I read in preparation for law school and law exams. One might want to sneer or be snobbish about its approach, but it is efficient and effective. I am quite sure I actually had time to do things I liked -- such as read, spend time with my friends and family, see movies and generally have a life in law school as a result of some of this book's insights. I certainly reevaluated and made changes as I went on, but this helped me not only achieve my goals ...more
Apr 13, 2008 Ruth rated it it was amazing
This is by far the best prep book for law school. I recommend reading it before signing up for the LSAT or applying to law schools because it gives important, straightforward advice about how to select a school and what to expect once school starts. I used the study methods described and found them practical and effective. Don't be dissuaded by the traditional method for success described in this book. Because the legal profession is conservative, this traditional method is the most efficient wa ...more
Laura Baker
Mar 26, 2008 Laura Baker rated it really liked it
I thought it was an extremely realistic approach to applying for and going to law school. It may have been "negative" at times but it brought up a lot of things I hadn't thought about, like the fact that you have to do about 150 pages of reading a week. I read this and I won't be applying to law school for another two years. I just think it's a really great way to know what you have to "look forward to" with law schools.
May 28, 2014 Brian rated it it was ok
Shelves: law, education
More than a decade after its publication, this book still retains at least some of its value. Its highlight is, well... highlighting. The color-coding system of highlighting cases was the most useful information I got from this book. There are other study techniques that may or may not prove useful to other students. Much of the book, though, could be skipped over, which leads me to think that it may be more effective as a pamphlet or magazine.
Sep 11, 2007 Zsaleh rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: pre-law people
Parts of this guide are a little fluffy, but it can be easily skimmed in a couple of hours, and does have some very good advice. Even though I think a lot of the tips are things that I might pick up eventually on my own, it's a great stress-reliever going into law school. Miller's study tips aren't as helpful as his more practical/life tips, but it's a good overview of the law school experience.
Jen Huang
Aug 26, 2007 Jen Huang rated it it was amazing
If you're thinking about law school, preparing to enter law school, or even in the middle of law school, I highly recommend this book. I've read a number of books about what to anticipate in law school, and this has been the most informative, practically helpful, and sensible- hands down. It covers everything from how to apply to law school to how to brief cases during your first year to interview tips for your final year.
Claire Rodriguez
Aug 07, 2008 Claire Rodriguez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this as I was getting ready to take the LSAT last fall. This book came highly recommended by several of my friends in law school. I found it very helpful. Has a good timeline set up for the things you should be doing each year while you are in school.

Also makes the reader consider whether or not law school is the right decision for them.
Sep 11, 2009 Kirsten rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009-books
Overall, fairly helpful, and useful in solidifying my decision to go to law school. The only negative is that it seems to concentrate on people going to the Top 20 of law schools, and for people that didn't go to one of about 25 undergraduate institutions, this is nearly impossible. It makes quite a bit of what is said about getting a summer position or a clerkship a bit moot.
Feb 25, 2008 Scott rated it really liked it
The best pre-law school book I've read. Tons of great advice. I actually bought a copy before I finished the library copy because I knew that this was a book that I was going to want to have around to use as a reference.
Alyssa Pratt
Apr 04, 2016 Alyssa Pratt rated it really liked it
I think this book will be / is extremely useful and has great advice for 1L year including study tips and interview prep advice. I am glad that I purchased and read this book and feel a little bit more prepared.
Apr 08, 2008 Rebecca rated it liked it
I admit, I skimmed the last half of the book. I'm not in law school and just in the beginning of the application process. This book was terrifying and full of lots of interesting and no doubt valuable information. We'll see.
Jun 03, 2008 Shayla rated it liked it
Recommends it for: If your thinking of Going to Law School
Good so far, I like it but still getting into it. I like the fact that it is giving you reviews from students who attended law school and are not working either in the filed or not....more review to come
goes through the law school experience including second and third year. Some interesting material on case briefing and outlining. This is by a UPenn grad rather than Harvard but he has an advisory panel from other schools.
Feb 23, 2007 Bryan rated it liked it
Shelves: law-school
Reading this book, one would think the only successful lawyers are ones who graduated from a top 20 school and practice at a large multi-national firm. Geared toward students who have been gunning for the Ivy League since pre-school.
Feb 16, 2009 Sumi rated it really liked it
I always recommend this book (along with Getting to Maybe) for any friends who are thinking about applying/have applied to law school. Is all of it the best advice? Not really. But it gives you a good overview and a game plan, and it's not out to scare you like 1L or other law school books.
Dec 18, 2007 Kate rated it did not like it
Shelves: law
DO NOT read this book before going to law school. It is alarmist and recommends ineffective study methods (at least for me). It had me thoroughly freaked out by my first day of law school. There will be enough freaking out, you don't need to add to it.
Apr 07, 2011 Ke rated it really liked it
The day I started this book, I thought I couldn't get any sleep. The author doesn't try to sugarcoat how life in law school can bring pain, but I was glad I read him and know what I am trying to get myself into.
Sean H.
Aug 01, 2010 Sean H. rated it it was amazing
A wealth of information for the prospective law school student. Admissions information, study tips, outlining systems, interviewing tricks--it's all here. Read the first part of this book before you apply to law school. Save the rest for the summer before you start.
Aug 28, 2008 Sra rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Law students and prospective students
Recommended to Sra by:
This book delves into everything you need to know about getting into law school, and how to survive while you're there. It seems like an excellent guide with great advice. I'll be referencing it throughout my law school career.
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