From Law Practice Management (a journal of the American Bar Association)

It has been documented many times that the first year of law practice is one of the most stressful in the life of a lawyer, replete with new surroundings, experiences, behaviors, and requirements.

This book offers suggestions and survival guidelines on topics from legal research to writing style to appropriate dress to professional relationships inside and outside the firm. The author provides realistic descriptions of the time required of a new associate, the hierarchies that exist within firms, and the mysteries surrounding the annual review. This is the type of information a law student might assume is covered in law school or a CLE course or by the firm itself, but generally is not. Additionally, the book offers advice for the law student on classes, on summer jobs and judicial clerkships, and on the bar exam.

A former law review editor and lawyer with a commercial practice, the author's view of the law firm environment is one more structured and "silk stockinged" than may be true for many firms today, but the background he provides to the new associate is priceless.

Law firms might want to consider purchasing a copy for each associate.

Law Practice Management, March 1997, pp. 60-62.

From the Connecticut Bar Journal

Speaking primarily to new attorneys, law students, and would-be law students, though also to more senior attorneys with management and training responsibilities, the author assesses with dead-pan humor the current legal marketplace and concludes that it is less collegial and more competitive than ever before as more and more lawyers battle for the business of increasingly demanding and sophisticated clients.

The author stresses that new attorneys must work hard to develop the proper attitude about the practice of law. The book not only examines such traditional orientation topics as how to work effectively with your secretary, how to organize and prioritize your work, the need to develop a proper and persuasive writing style, and the need to meet your billable target, but also more subtle, though no less important, topics that are rarely the subject of formal orientation meetings. For example, modesty, responsibly handling money, "fitting in," proper appearance, and learning to be all things to all partners all receive extensive treatment.

It is in these largely subjective and too-often undiscussed areas that this book shines. Frankly confronting the reality and importance of personal and subjective preferences and prejudices in a number of non-performance aspects of firm life, the author tries to guide the young attorney over the fine line between totally compromising one's individuality and being an ego-centric individualist who compromises the firm's interests through inappropriate personal behavior.

This is a thoughtful, candid, and well-written book that is simultaneously humorous, insightful, and disquieting. It honors no sacred cows, but rather attempts to provide new attorneys with honest (sometimes painfully honest) advice to guide them through the initial stage of private practice.

In this the book succeeds, and the new attorney, or even second or third-year law student, would do well to make the investment.

Richard F. Wareing, Esq., Connecticut Bar Journal, vol. 70, no. 4, pp. 308-310.

The Washington State Bar

As a young associate, I was anxious to read The Young Lawyer's Jungle Book. Like most associates starting out, I have quickly realized that three years of law school education did not adequately prepare me for legal practice.

While volumes have been written about law school survival and how to get ahead in law school, books on associate survival are relatively few in number. (Probably due to the lack of time young associates have for outside reading.) Thus, it was refreshing to discover that Messinger's book is primarily addressed to that forgotten class of legal society.

The author offers his own tidbits and advice on everything from "your place in the firm" to dealing with other attorneys, clients, secretaries, and staff in order to avoid the traps and pitfalls that await every young "junior" in a firm.

The author delivers his words of wisdom in a light-hearted and humorous manner, which makes the subject matter a little easier to digest. The book is peppered with anecdotes and humorous stories from the author's own early years as an associate.

The book is loaded with common-sense advice for new associates, presented in a humorous, readable manner.

Joseph Lee, Esq., Washington State Bar News, March 1997, pp. 38-39.

From The Colorado Lawyer (the journal of the Colorado State Bar Association)

I agree with Messinger's thesis that both new attorneys and their new employers are unprepared for this journey.

New associates are often bewildered by the world after law school, with its competing demands on too little time, uncommunicated or confusing expectations by supervisors and clients, and isolation into piecemeal projects having little perceived relevance to the reality of lawyering. Similarly, law firms are notorious for their inability -- through lack of time, attention, expertise, or awareness -- to develop a coherent and meaningful plan to train and develop their new attorneys, which are their greatest resource and their future. Today's green attorney is tomorrow's senior partner, and both parties need to get about the business of this transformation -- it is in the best interest of the firm, the attorneys, and, most importantly, the clients they serve.

After twenty-four years of practicing law...I try to recall the professional, intellectual, and social paralysis (borne largely of fear and intimidation) I suffered as a new associate. I can still conjure those old demons. I just hoped that the profession had moved on, or that collegiality and professionalism had replaced some of the feudal aspects of the practice at its worst. But, if this is the way the world is, then Messinger's book captures its essence and probably rings true to law school graduates thrust into the breach. It may make a great graduation present.

Forewarned is forearmed.

Catherine A.G. Sparkman, Esq., The Colorado Lawyer, vol. 26, no. 12, pp. 26-28.

From the Research Advisor

Most junior associates are set on their way with neither map nor compass...although expected to arrive on time at the secret destination.

In The Young Lawyer's Jungle Book, Thane Josef Messinger provides the map; his book is packed with frank and encouraging advice for beginning attorneys. He paints an honest picture of what is in store for a first-year associate, covering who the players are, how to behave with clients, time-billing, annual reviews, guidelines on how to act professionally as well as dress appropriately, and much, much more.

The book is filled with insightful nuggets of advice that would be valuable to anyone setting off in the first years as an attorney. Messinger's advice leans toward life in the private law firm environment, but the topics discussed are relevant and general enough to interest those starting careers in other areas of legal service.

This book should be suggested reading for pre-law and law students, as well as junior attorneys beginning their first years of practice. Advice is offered on which courses to take in law school, what to look for in a law firm, why a judicial clerkship can be a plus, and even tips on preparing for the bar exam. This book would also be of interest to legal recruiters, law firm administrators, personnel support, and law librarians.

For those going through the transformation from law school to law practice, the demands and expectations can be overwhelming to say the least. Messinger is encouraging and supportive throughout. He genuinely wants to steer you in the right direction and to save you some agony in the long run.

The Young Lawyer's Jungle Book is highly recommended for all types of law libraries. I will definitely be adding my copy to our law firm library.

When one of our new fall associates saw it on my desk, he wanted to read it then and there. I wish I had enough copies for each of them.

Enjoy the book! I did.

Ms. Michelle Schmidt, Research Advisor: Information Solutions for Today's Legal Professionals, issue 13, Jan/Feb 1998, pp. 5­6.

(Ms. Schmidt is librarian for Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps, a law firm based in San Diego, California.)

The Compleat Lawyer (another of the journals of the American Bar Association)

Usually, when I'm asked to review a book, it's real hard to drum up enthusiasm. Not so with this one. I really, really like it, and I'm excited to review it. (Believe me, I rarely say that.)

Jungle hits home...I wish I'd had it 20 years ago. This book should be required reading for all law students; by the time it reached my hands, two decades after law school, it was still relevant.

An upfront, no-holds-barred primer on becoming a lawyer, this book could be the most worthwhile investment you make in your legal career.

Jennifer Rose, Esq., Editor-in-Chief of The Compleat Lawyer, July 6, 1997.

From the Midwest Book Review

New lawyers receive relatively little in the way of practical guidelines to the real world of practice: enter this title, which examines law practice operations and the young new lawyer's entry-level experience. From getting research and work done to handing projects, problems, and mistakes, this book covers all the basics.

Midwest Book Review, vol. 3, no. 12, p. 1.

From Career Opportunity News

A very helpful book for those planning legal careers.

Each year 45,000 young lawyers graduate from one of the most grueling of all graduate programs only to enter one of the most hostile employment environments.

If you did well in law school, and go with a top firm, its expectations will blow your mind. If you were only average, then you have a real job search on you hand. In either event, this book is filled with sound advice with a helpful optimistic tone.

Every career field would benefit from a great book like this one on law.

Career Opportunity News, Jan./Feb. 1997, p. 12.

From the Bench and Bar of Minnesota (the journal of the Minnesota State Bar Association)

Law school's over; now comes the hard part. The Young Lawyer's Jungle Book attempts to provide new lawyers facing the terror of that first year with the tools and tips they will need to keep their heads above water.

Topics include the expectations placed on new associates, politics and hierarchies within firms, and other realities that often don't find their way into law school curricula. Check the bookstores.

Bench and Bar of Minnesota, vol. LIV, no. VIII.

< From Current Publications in Legal and Related Fields (the journal of the American Association of Law Libraries)

An absolutely hilarious book...respectful of the difficulties faced by the new lawyer -- and the expectations of his or her new employer.

Current Publications in Legal and Related Fields, vol. 45, no. 3, p. 123.

A letter from another librarian

None of the books in our collection provide quite this type of career guidance for new attorneys. Congratulations on a unique, useful, and hilarious book!

Letter from Ms. Sephanie Langenkamp, Library Director of the San Marcos Public Library, Texas, to the author, November 22, 1996.

A letter from a new lawyer

Many of the insights apply to those working as law clerks during school, as well as junior associates.

I would have loved to have had such insights when I started my first job.

Letter from Ms. Kelly Mego to the publisher, December 1996.

Email from a law student

Dear Mr. Messinger,

I can't tell you how much "The Young Lawyer's Jungle Book" has come to mean to me. Even as a second-year law school student, I can appreciate the insights and invaluable advice throughout the book.

Email to the author, February 24, 1997.

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