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The American Legal Profession
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The American Legal Profession
The Myths and Realities of Practicing Law



July 2017 | 144 pages | CQ Press
While emphasizing that lawyers fulfill a vital but often misunderstood public function in society, The American Legal Profession: The Myths and Realities of Practicing Law dispels some of the common misconceptions about the legal profession to show that the reality of being a lawyer is much different from what many students believe it to be. Many students know little about what law school is like or how it differs from undergraduate study, and this book corrects common myths about graduating law school and life after passing the bar. This brief primer is a nuts-and-bolts analysis of what it is really like to go into the legal profession, from start to finish, giving students considering a career in law a realistic overview of their potential legal careers.

 
List of Tables and Figures
 
Preface
Acknowledgments

 
 
About the Author
 
1 The Myths and Realities of Being a Lawyer
The Trial Lawyer Myth

 
The “Law School Is a Good Investment” Myth

 
The Diversity and Egalitarian Myth

 
The Plan of the Book

 
Selected Readings

 
Web Links

 
Endnotes

 
 
2 Applying to Law School
A Brief Introduction to the American Legal Profession

 
Preparing for Law School: “Prelaw” Undergraduate Studies

 
Applying to Law School

 
Conclusion

 
Selected Readings

 
Web Links

 
Endnotes

 
 
3 Law School
The Casebook Method: “Learning to Think Like a Lawyer”

 
The Law School Curriculum

 
Licensing Requirements and Bar Admissions

 
Conclusion

 
Selected Readings

 
Web Links

 
Endnotes

 
 
4 The Practice of Law
The Business of Legal Practice

 
Big Law and Its Impact on the Legal Profession

 
Private Practice and Other Legal Employment Settings

 
Alternative Careers: Nonlegal Jobs

 
Conclusion

 
Selected Readings

 
Web Links

 
Endnotes

 
 
5 Future Trends and Reform Issues in the Legal Profession
The Legal Profession’s Insularity

 
The Difficulties of Traditional Law School Instruction

 
The Competitive Delivery of Legal Services in the Future

 
Conclusion

 
Selected Readings

 
Web Links

 
Endnotes

 
 
Index
Key features
KEY FEATURES:
  • Introduces students to the myths and realities of the legal profession in order to dispel the misconceptions about what it is like to go to law school and engage in legal practice.
  • Provides a simple yet comprehensive overview of the timing and logistics of preparing law school applications
  • Offers guidance for evaluating law school rankings in order to select the most appropriate law school when making decisions about where to apply. 
  • Explores the journey from law school to legal practice, illuminating what students can expect upon matriculating into law school and what kind of employment they can secure after they graduate. 

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