Prelaw - Resources
The following are relevant websites, books and movies.
The web provides a wealth of information about the law school application process, law schools and legal employers. Below are some sites we think are particularly helpful.
- Law School Admissions Council (LSAC): Registration for the LSAT and the LSDAS, practice tests, and answers to general questions about the LSAT.
- Office of Career Services (OCS) - Law: Information on law schools and legal jobs compiled by Harvard.
- For a directory of law schools and legal employers, see:
For information on careers in public service and financing a legal education, see
- Equal Justice Works - Financing. For a list of law schools which offer loan assistance repayment programs and public interest scholarships
- Office of Public Interest Advising at Harvard Law School. For free on-line guides about specific types of jobs in the public interest sector, see OPIA. OPIA also produces a very detailed public interest job resource guide which can be purchased for a fee. These guides are written for law students but provide useful background information for college students.
- LSAC Financial Aid for Law School: For basic information about securing financial aid.
- Law School Debt Among New Lawyers is a recent, comprehensive report on laweyers who were admitted into the bar in 2000. For additional information on the study, see http://ajd.abfn.org/.
- For LSAT preparation services, see:
Reading studies about law school and the legal profession, anecdotes written by practicing attorneys, and even some novels can provide you important insights as you contemplate law school. Here are several books that might interest you:
- Bellow, Gary and Martha Minow. Law Stories: The Law As Seen from the Outside. A compilation of stories and anecdotes written by public interest attorneys and their clients. Stories address problems from parental rights in a Head Start program, to the consequence of a large scale bankruptcy for the company's retirees, to defending juvenile delinquents.
- Fischl, Richard and Jeremy Paul. Getting to Maybe. An overview of the best ways to approach taking law school exams. Can be a little bit overwhelming to read in one sitting, but offers good tips.
- Gottesman, Greg, et al. Law School Survival: A Crash Course for Students by Students. Anecdotes from law students about their experiences. Book provides some useful suggestions and ideas.
- Grisham, John. The Street Lawyer. Although fiction, Grisham realistically depicts the working conditions of legal services attorneys. Grisham tells the story of an attorney who, after an incident with a homeless man, leaves his job at a corporate law firm to represent low-income clients in a housing eviction case.
- Guiner, Lani. Becoming Gentlemen. Report on women's experiences at top law schools, with a particular focus on the University of Pennsylvania.
- Hope, Judith Richards. Pinstripes and Pearls: The Women of Harvard Law School Class of '64 Who Forged an Old Girl Network and Paved the Way for Future Generations. History of the experience of the first women to attend Harvard Law School by one of the women who lived it.
- Lewis, Anthony. Gideon's Trumpet. Arguably one of the most inspiring and influential books on American constitutional law: former New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis tells the true story of how a Florida inmate took his own case to the Supreme Court and earned the right to counsel for all Americans.
- Lewis, Anthony. Make No Law: The Sullivan Case and the First Amendment. Lewis' account of the landmark First Amendment case New York Times v. Sullivan tracks the development of libel law and the right to a free press.
- Miller, Robert. Law School Confidential: A Complete Guide to the Law School Experience. Tips and advice for law school, from the application process though the final year of law school.
- Osborn, John J. Jr. Paper Chase. Classic legal novel and movie about a first year law student who attempts to balance adjusting to the difficult first year with a romance (with the daughter of one of his stern law school professors).
- Kahlenburg, Richard and Robert Coles. Broken Contract. A compelling account about the transformation of students who enter Harvard Law School committed to the ideals of social justice and public interest lawyering and leave the school assuming jobs in the corporate sector.
- Stracher, Cameron. Double Billing: A Young Lawyer's Tale of Greed, Sex, Lies, & the Pursuit of a Swivel Chair. Cautionary tale of life as a first-year associate at a New York law firm.
- Turrow, Scott. One-L. A true account by novelist Scott Turrow (Presumed Innocent) about his first year at Harvard Law School. Similar in tone to The Paper Chase but with a bit more cynicism.