My take on One L The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School by Scott Turlow
One L is a popular book among entering law school students about the experiences of a One L (a first year law student) at Harvard University. Scott Turlow is an excellent writer and the book is certainly a page turner. This book DOES NOT read like a “how to” guide to law school. Instead, it is written as a memoir as Turlow looks back at his journal entries from his first year, which was many years ago. Although the law school experience has certainly changed (for example, Turlow had the choice of writing his exams on paper or using a typewriter, whereas now most law school students take their exams on computers) but the general spirit of competition, the anxiety felt by the students, the stress, and the rigor are still the same today. Any entering law school student who wants to understand the law school “experience” will greatly enjoy this book, but do not assume that law school is just as Turlow describes them. The main drawback is that the book is melodramatic, so do not take every word too seriously. Also, Turlow was married during law school, so he did not have to struggle financially and his dating life and social life only suffered slightly, which is not typical.
If you are looking for a law school “how to” try Insider’s Guide to Your First Year of Law School A Student-to-Student Handbook from a Law School Survivorby Justin Spiezman. It also read like a novel, but it is packed with lots of information about how to study, network, and look for a job.