Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Michael Conklin (Angelo State University), Can You Truly Be Happy in Law School? An Analysis of Law School Advice, 53 U. Rich. L. Rev. Online 63 (2019):
There are many books available to help students navigate the more concrete aspects of law school, such as studying, exam strategies, how to brief a case, making law review, and on campus interviews. Kathryne M. Young, in her 2018 book, How to Be Sort of Happy in Law School [Stanford University Press, 2018] primarily focuses on the more intangible side. The 300-page book dedicates only forty-three pages to the topics of studying and exam strategies. Young’s format frees up space to cover the more amorphous aspects of law school. This review will analyze the book’s coverage of critiques of the law school structure, indoctrination attempts, and how to maintain a healthy perspective. ...
The tone of the book is refreshingly pleasant given the heavy subject matter it covers. Young utilizes a very conversational approach, and there is humor throughout (such as comically pointing out that if you stole the money to pay for law school you would likely be let out of prison before your classmates paid off their loans). Overall, Young does an excellent job preparing the reader to navigate the unique emotional challenges law school presents.
The coverage of this topic is unmatched in any other law school advice book. While the book’s advice on exam strategy is helpful, it is also very limited. Therefore, a reader concerned with improving his or her grades would be well advised to supplement this book with Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams. This book is an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to be “sort of” happy in law school.