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Ivy Briefs: True Tales of a Neurotic Law Student

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3.47  ·  Rating details ·  339 ratings  ·  48 reviews
From first-day nerves to first-year grades, from bizarre job interviews to bar exam insanity, "Ivy Briefs" pulls back the curtain on the marbled halls of law school, revealing the absurdity often bubbling beneath the surface.Meet Martha Kimes: a naive small-town girl with strong neurotic tendencies who has (due to an inexplicable stroke of luck) been admitted to Columbia L ...more
Hardcover, 276 pages
Published May 15th 2007 by Atria Books
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Average rating 3.47  · 
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 ·  339 ratings  ·  48 reviews


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Maureen
Jun 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
I am a law student, and I laughed out loud throughout this book. It captures a lot of the characters of law school, a lot of the elitism at Ivy League law schools in particular, and some of the real experiences you may endure which help you realize how different professional school (and law school friends) are from your undergraduate friends. I notice many of the reviews seem to be from non-law-students. This is absolutely a book that you will enjoy more if you are in law school. Consider it a g ...more
Kichi
Aug 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I absolutely love how Martha mocks the lofty 'legal profession' personae that some people feel so vainglorious about. She makes them look incredibly cheap. An accomplished Ivy League litigator herself, she casually brings home the point that you don't have to be a high rolling a-hole or a self-absorbed bish to actually be a lawyer. Seriously, you don't have to. ...more
Dina
Aug 20, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People wanting to attend law school
Law School would not be for me. :(
Michael
Apr 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book...set from the perspective of a young law student, Ivy Briefs provides a humorous yet gritty account of the trials and tribulations of a modern day law student. If you're interested in Law or the legal process, buy this book. Now. ...more
Sara
Apr 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
I am about to begin my law school journey in August and thouroughly enjoyed this book. I cannot review the book based on accuracy but it is similar to OneL. I enjoyed that it depicted her entire law school career rather than just the first year.
Sarah Brannon
Jul 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Meh. Definitely makes me happy that I never went the law school route. Although, I will say, after having spoken to lawyer friends I know who have experienced life in a mega law firm in cities like NYC and Chicago, apparently Kimes's own experience/depiction is very accurate. ...more
Michael
Aug 18, 2008 rated it it was ok
Entertaining, but overall pretty shallow. I read it in a night, but was never too caught up in the story- the insider stuff is interesting, but it reads like one long blog entry.
The other Sandy
When she says she's neurotic, she's not kidding. Her narrative voice gets tiresome after awhile. ...more
Scott
Oct 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
The "best book of its kind since One L"? Give me a break. I'd rather just re-read One L. ...more
Heather
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A fun, easy read for the aspiring law student.
Erin Frost
Clever and I learned a bit, though it was sometimes hard to identify with the protagonist
Stephanie Cianci
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a recently Law School grad, I found this book to be 100000% accurate and anyone who wants to go to LS should read it. It doesn't matter, seemingly, if you go to Columbia or to XYZ Local Law School, there are some timeless parts of law school that never change. The writing was accurate, witty and easy to read. ...more
Whitney
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Every 1L student should be required to read this book during winter break. The relief that comes from hearing the self-depriciating humor of a former student of law, for a student right in the midsts of it all, is an absolute necessity for any self-worth left after surviving the first semester.
Grace
Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick, witty read. I found the author/main character infinitely more relatable than that of One L. Would definitely recommend Ivy Briefs over One L for any incoming or prospective law students, though both are well-written and worthwhile.
Jan
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Totally enjoyed!
Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)
Mar 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Excellent memoir about a woman's experience in law school. It would have been even better had she provided an epilogue with "the rest of the story" about her life.

Ivy Briefs is a fascinating and insightful look into law school and beyond. Author Martha Kimes takes the reader on a journey with her through admittance to law school, three years of schooling, and all of the ups and downs in between. In this funny yet very true to life and entertaining memoir, Kimes shows readers the good, the bad, a
...more
Robert
Dec 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
A number of people have written about this book as a portrait of law school and its depiction of the unique experiences of law students. It would be a mistake, however, for the potential reader to consign this entertaining and irresistible work to the niche of legal anecdotes.

Martha Kimes has written a memoir of her days in the high pressure world of Columbia Law School that transcends its specific setting. You don't have to be a law student to identify with her persistent feeling that she is i
...more
Topher
Jan 11, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Not a bad read, light entertainment about what it would be like to be in Law School. I took the LSATs my senior year of college and did well. I really thought about it at the time, but, I was pretty sure I was going to be getting married (and I did) and wouldn't be able to support a family (which, thankfully, was a non-issue) if I was in law school. From time to time, I ponder this decision. Its one of many that I can't decide if I made the right choice or not.

Personally, I think it sounds a hec
...more
DJ
Jul 17, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: autobio-bio
on the one hand, it's a relief there's something out there other than One L (or The Paper Chase... or Legally Blonde), and written by a married woman & U Wisconsin alumna. at some points her sense of humor really brings to light the loss of perspective that I've been told grips most law school students - at least at Ivy League schools. (I haven't been to law school myself though)

on the other hand... her values differ so vastly from mine that it was hard to maintain interest and finish the book.
...more
Debby
Nov 21, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir-bio
Read this if you're going or have been to some law affiliated educational institution. It's funny but I think it'd be boring or lost on anyone without knowledge of law and how it is taught/studied.

"As it turned out, I hadn't really left Wisconsin for the Big City. I had left Wisconsin for what turned out to be a place just like my small town all over again." Reduction of the new to the old.

"...those people from the 'lesser schools' had been learning actual, practical, useful, bar-exam relevant
...more
Lesley
Feb 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
When they say neurotic, they're not kidding around. What they don't tell you is that it's a little insightful but also quite humourous. Was an enjoyable read but I'm not sure if I was wanting to go to Law School (especially Columbia) that it would do anything but make me a little neurotic. At the end when she's sitting around in the LSAT prep course with others from Tier 4 schools, I had a huge grin on my face. Read it and find out why. It just goes to show that all colleges and universities ARE ...more
Brian Hofmeister
Apr 03, 2008 rated it liked it
This book gives real insight into not only law school, but the culture of ivy-league law school. My feelings are that there's probably a top-down effect and what's true for the ivy-league level is probably also true for the lower echelons, so I think this would be a good book to read for those in pre-law or people deciding if they want to go into law.

Also, it was just written well and kinda cute and funny and I laughed aloud a couple times. I also read it very quickly, probably over a week (for
...more
Jeanna
Aug 01, 2009 rated it liked it
We got this as a dollar book at Borders. And that was about right. It was definitely a dollar's worth of entertainment, but it wasn't anything particularly fantastic. It was definitely fun to see this woman go through all the craziness of law school--obnoxious professors, other psychotic students, and all. And it sure made me glad that I decided early not to go into law. No matter how cool I think it would be to be some bigwig lawyer.

It was a while ago, but I seem to recall some swearing and not
...more
Ashley
May 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
I'm not a law student, and after reading this book I never want to be a law student. However, it was a highly entertaining book, and I could relate to Kime's in my work and graduate school experience. She divulges her insecurites in a real and hilarious way that made me laugh while thinking "Yes! I know exactly what you mean!"

I would not recommend this book to anyone who takes offense at language, however.
...more
Joseph King
Jun 07, 2009 rated it liked it
The title is very accurate. Neurotic completely describes the author. The read is very entertaining, and very quick. I consumed the entire story in one sitting, and enjoyed every page. From my perspective of a prospective law student, I wish it had focused on a few things more than others, and I wish that it had extended further than it did into her career. However, it is a very entertaining read.
Scottsdale Public Library
A lighthearted companion piece to Scott Turow's One L, this look at a first year law student's emotional roller coaster ride ranges from the first notification of acceptance by the Columbia University law school to the satisfying conclusion of the year. The self-doubts, the mind games, the hierarchies of power, and the casualties experienced and examined by Kimes lead her to a stronger belief in herself and her abilities.
--Chris H.
...more
Beth Sacks
Jun 14, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: pre-law or law students
I hate to be cynical, but I was kind of dissapointed with this book. After having read Jen Lancaster's Bitter is the New Black, this book pretty much pales in comparison. (Which is interesting...because apparently Jen reviews and works with Martha on her book...perhaps they're friends?!) There are parts that are amusing, and it did offer decent insight on what law school is really like. ...more
Maureen
Mar 24, 2010 rated it liked it
A fun and quick read that I suspect may be lost on those not familiar with the legal profession (much like the exact level of outrage and shock that Legally Blond truly deserved). It was definitely entertaining enough, but not something I would particularly re-read or give to some random person on the street.
Beth
Jun 25, 2007 rated it really liked it
I hve been reading Martha Kimes' blog for a while now. When she said she had a book coming out, I knew I would be buying it.

A humorous look at life in law school. I'm pretty sure her husband is a saint! Great read.
...more
Sara
Sep 24, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
This book was above average. Often I got lost in the law vocab, but that was expected (given the title). I would really like to see a second book come from this author to talk about how Columbia affected her life after she was out for good.
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