Law School and LSAT Stuff
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[From Thane Messinger, added July 31, 1997:] Okayyy...I wasn't going to touch the billions of LSAT and law school books, but I suppose I should...especially given my odd background. Many of the current prep books were not available before I went to law school, and I was soooooo poor (How poor were you....?! ) ... I couldn't even afford to buy the test prep guides, much less spring for a billion-dollar prep course. Though I did okay, I wouldn't recommend that method. If you're serious about law school, you must be serious about getting in. You should focus very, very carefully on the law school application process, and you should devote at least several months to preparation for the LSAT. (I orignally typed six months, which I think is a reasonable estimate.) At a minimum, you should buy a series of test booklets--one at a time--for a constant flow of study material. Don't buy them all at once; you'll be overwhelmed. If you can afford a course, way ta' go. (But you should still prepare extra, on the side.)
So...here's a list of books. (I am not commenting on their relative quality, in part because most are available more for the mental exercise than for any lasting memories. I thus didn't go through each in any detail. I left out only one book, mostly because its copyright date was a bit stale. Start with the general reference books (along with your application materials) -- then work as many LSAT books 'til you're sick of 'em...then work a few more.
A quick note, while I'm at it: have a positive attitude about the LSAT. Perhaps I'm just wierd, but I really enjoyed it. I thought it a good test, both technically and philosophically. This is your chance to show 'em what you're made of. Take it seriously. Don't resent it. And give it your all. It's very, very important. (But perhaps I repeat myself.)
On the other books, buy one to get a feel for it (or check them out from a library), then buy additional books as you get further along (if you feel the need). As to the relative quality of the other books, I'll plead the Fifth. I've read some (years ago); I have not read others. Again, we're not dealing with brain surgery, and it's difficult to compare the relative worth of books that explain the basics. I wish I could point to one or two with certainty, but I can't. The point is to go into the law with your eyes open...and your brain prepared.
[Feb. 15, 1998: An exception to the above notation: I've just read a manuscript for Planet Law School, and I understand it's now being published (by the same publisher as for my book). Planet Law School is by far the best guidebook for law students or for future law students. If you can't afford it, get it from your local library. (Gee...I hope the publisher doesn't see this.) I wish I had had a book like Planet Law School, way back when.]
1.51 About All the Law Schools:
- The Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools: From the Producers of the LSAT.
- Peterson's Law Schools: A Comprehensive Guide to All Accredited U.S. Law Schools.
- ABA Approved Law Schools, by The American Bar Association.
- Barron's Guide to Law Schools.
- REA's Authoritative Guide to Law Schools.
- Kaplan Insider's Book of Law School Lists. Not well reviewed.
1.515 Is that too much?!? Go to Park Place...
- Best Law Schools, by Ian Van Tuyl. Also not too well reviewed.
- Inside the Law Schools: A Guide for Students by Students, by S.F. Goldfarb (Editor). Apparently not changed since earlier editions. Thus, if you can get the older edition in a used bookstore (or a library), that might be a better bet.
1.52 All About Law School:
- Planet Law School, by "Atticus Falcon," Esq. Please see the notation, above, by the author of The Young Lawyer's Jungle Book. [Note: This title is published by The Fine Print Press, which sponsors this page.] The above link is to Amazon. If you'd like additional information on this title first, click here.
- Law School Survival: A Crash Course for Students by Students, by Greg Gottesman and Shannon Gottesman. Interesting, although the object is not to survive -- most law students manage to go that -- it is instead to thrive.
- Law School: A Survivor's Guide, by James D. Gordon. Funny, and on-point. [Unfortunately, it's also out-of-print.]
- Law School Companion : The Ultimate Guide to Excelling in Law School and Launching Your Career, by Paul Michael Lisnek, Chris M. Salamone, Paul Lisnek, and Steven Friedland. (The Princeton Review)
- From Here to Attorney: The Ultimate Guide to Excelling in Law School and Launching Your Legal Career, by J. Robert Arnett, Arthur Coon, and Michael Digeronimo. [Out-of-print.]
- Law School Basics: A Preview of Law School and Legal Reasoning, by David Hricik.
- Learning the Law: Success in Law School and Beyond, by Steven J. Frank.
- Slaying the Law School Dragon: How to Survive--And Thrive--In First-Year Law School, by George Roth.
- Looking at Law School, by Stephen Gillers. (A guide from the Society of American Law School Teachers.)
- Going to Law School: Everything You Need to Know to Choose and Pursue a Degree in Law, by Harry Castleman and Christopher Niewoehner. Scheduled for publication in September.
- The Complete Law School Companion: How to Excel at America's Most Demanding Post-Graduate Curriculum, by Jeff Deaver.
1.53 All About the LSAT:
- Everything You Need to Score High on the LSAT (7th edition), by Thomas H. Martinson. Available as a Book. He also does an LSAT Supercourse and a Supercourse with Tests on Disk.
- Kaplan has two LSAT guide sets: Book + CD-ROM and "All-in-One" (Test prep + Law School Admissions disk). Either should be fine, depending upon whether you like floppies or shineys. [Kaplan's "All-in-One" is out-of-print.] Also, Kaplan: Two Real LSATs Explained.
- LSAT Law School Admission Test.
- Cracking the LSAT, by Adam Robinson. Also available as Book + CD-ROM and "Book & Disk."
- Peterson's LSAT Success, by Thomas O. White. Available as a Book + CD.
- LSAT Power, by Cambridge Review (Arco).Also available as Book + CD-ROM
- Complete Preparation and Training for the LSAT, by Jeff Kolby.
- How to Prepare for the LSAT, by Jerry Bobrow & William A. Covino.
- Pass Key to the LSAT, by Jerry Bobrow, William A. Covino, Daniel C. Spencer, and David Kay. (Barron's)
- LSAT-GRE Analytic Workout, by Karen Lurie.
- GRE MAT LSAT MCAT Reading Comprehension Workbook, by Mark Alan Stewart
- GRE-LSAT Logic Workbook, by Mark Alan Stewart.
- Cliffs: Law School Admission Test Preparation Guide, by Peter Z. Orton. Dated.
- How to Prepare for the LSAT, by Karl Weber. Dated.
1.54 Getting In!
- Kaplan Getting into Law School: Selection, Admissions, and Financial Aid, by Ruth Lammert-Reeves, who has also written The Road to Law School: Selection, Admissions, and Financial Aid. There might be some duplication with the Kaplan book, above. The Kaplan book looks like the better buy. ["Road to Law School" is out-of-print.]
- How to Get into the Right Law School, by Paul Lermack.
- Getting into Law School Today, by Thomas H. Martinson and David P. Waldherr.
- How to Write a Winning Personal Statement for Graduate and Professional School, by Richard J. Stelzer.
- Essays That Worked for Law Schools: 35 Essays from Successful Applications to the Nation's Top Law Schools, edited by Boykin Curry.
- How to Get into Harvard Law School: Invaluable Advice on Applying and a Look at Successful Application Essays from Current Students and Recent Grads, by Willie J. Epps.
1.55 Before your Summer or Judicial "Clerkship"
- The Young Lawyer's Jungle Book: A Survival Guide, by Thane J. Messinger. (The original contributor to this list, an attorney in Honolulu, and adjunct professor of business law at the University of Hawaii.) The above link is to Amazon. If you'd like additional information on this title from this site first, click here.
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Last revised: Feb. 1999.