Friday, October 31, 2008
Law School Getting In Getting Good Getting The Gold by Thane Messinger (Fine Press 2008)($16.95 list price)(order information available here), is not your ordinary law school guide book. Yeah, it has all the typical guide book information; tips about getting into law school, How to "Get Good" (doing well) and "Getting the Gold" (a good job).
Significantly, however this book is a bit different from other guide books and contains something more. That something is practical real world advice. For example, Mr. Messinger starts off his book by explaining what it means to "think like a lawyer." That is a critically important concept that is often missing from these types of books.
He also appears to know what is going on in legal education in most American Law Schools. However, some of the information which he exposes may go over the head of many of the books intended readers (college seniors applying to law school and first year law students). For example, he states that most professors know that the job market is so tight for full time professors today that most would not be hired today by their schools.
Mr. Messinger closes his book with a chapter he calls "Obiter Dicta." That chapter is basically a criticism of legal education today. For example, he calls for the rejection of what he calls "legal apartheid" which places the teaching of the law distinct from and superior to the practice of law. He believes that new faculty should have at least 10 years of practice experience, that the curricula should be redesigned and their should more clinical and legal research and writing classes. These are all interesting to someone like me who is an adjunct in academicia, but I do not believe that it belongs in this type of book geared towards students.
With that said, overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone considering law school or in their first year of law school.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein