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Broken Contract

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  48 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
In 1986, 70 percent of the first-year class of Harvard Law School wanted to pursue careers in public-interest law. Ten years later, the same percentage of this class was pursuing careers in private corporate firms. How is it that these students began their careers interested in using law as a vehicle for social change, but ended up in those very law firms most resistant to ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published November 16th 1999 by University of Massachusetts Press (first published 1992)
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Jun 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Adam by: Jayper via a young-Kahlenberg
What an enjoyable and timely read!

My brother suggested this book to me after meeting Kahlenberg's daughter at school. He was telling her about the need to convince his older brother, me, to avoid the corporate law path and stick to both his and my ideals of using a legal education for the public interest. She suggested to him that I take a look at 'Broken Contracts,' her father's memoir about his battle with the seemingly inextricable pull of big salaries, prestigious positions and corporate com
Jun 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
I learned that very little has changed at HLS in terms of the pull of corporate law. OPIA has great people doing great work, but it is insufficient for HLS. I learned about the pull of corporate law: 1) the money; 2) the simplicity of doing OCI instead of something else; 3) the security of definitely having a job, of following the flow because that path is set up to be followed.

I learned a lot about what I am currently experiencing and seeing, both in me and in other law students. I learned abou
Jeff Doucette
Nov 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Broken Contract discusses a young liberal's experiences at Harvard Law. He explains that while the vast majority of entering students intend to practice public interest law--as he intends to do--the vast majority of graduates move either immediately to corporate law or do so after a one year clerkship. He discusses internship experiences at a non-profit and at a private firm. He includes many frank discussions with corporate attorneys in which he asks about their commitment to the public interes ...more
This book is something of a successor to One-L, written about ten years later (1989). It is also about Harvard Law School. It covers all three years. As one of the reviewers commented, it spends a lot of time discussing his job search his second and third years. At this time apparently he got a lot of attention from private firms and not as much from public interest, which is what he wanted. He finally settled for a position paying $35,000 from Senator Robb. He makes it sound like there are a lo ...more
John Bruning
Sep 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: law
This is a really nice complement to Scott Turow's "One L", and a must-read for anyone considering law school or interested in the legal profession/system. "Broken Contract" chronicles legal education where Turow leaves off, looking at how the law students who enter law school intending to practice in public interest law end up in corporate law. Kahlenberg, incidentally, is one of the few who (just barely) escapes the corporate pull, to chart another course--which, admittedly, isn't public servic ...more
Pete Davis
Jun 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Some interesting insights into why students drift from public interest work during their time at law school, written by someone who experienced it themselves. Read it in concert with One L and High Citadel.
Jan 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
read it in college before going to law school. believe all good-hearted law students should read it.
Oct 14, 2010 rated it liked it
I never read One L, but this was pretty eye-opening
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“Republicans don't want to 'save the world'; they want to save the country from those who would 'save the world.” 23 likes
“My larger point is that since each of us struggles daily with good and bad impulses, we might want to restructure our social institutions in order to make it a little easier to be good.” 2 likes
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