The Turbulent True Story Of A First Year At Harvard Law School
Like the hero of the book-then-film, The Paper Chase, Turow got all frazzled--smoking, drinking, making and breaking psychiatric appointments--by his first year at Harvard Law School (1975-76), the year with all the tough courses, heavy pressures, competitive snarls, and think-like-a-lawyer angst. So it's a wonder he was able to find time to keep this stupefyingly detailed journal, what with taking notes in technicolor (different pens for case-briefs, lectures, etc.), joining a study group, plunging into "moot court" arguments, fretting about future employment, and brooding over the motives of a brilliant, sadistic prof, the failings of an incompetent one, and the viability of the Socratic question-and answer law-teaching approach. Written too soon after the event to stifle self-dramatization--or to touch on the tenuous relationship between actual law practice and classroom drilling--this will be of interest only to masochistic, prospective law students but may mislead them, since Harvard's enormous classes, hothouse ambiance, and rock-rigid first-year requirements are less than representative of current options in legal education.