Hello everyone and Happy New Year! What better way to ring in the New Year than to post to my blog? The following is a draft of my book proposal. Feel free to comment!
Imagine searching for the perfect career. You’ve tried other jobs in the past. They weren’t right. Now you’re looking for something better: prestigious, intellectually challenging, and most of all, a job that pays well.
Become a lawyer. Problem solved. All you need to do is take the LSAT, pay your application fee, gain admission, sign up for a loan or maybe earn a scholarship, study for three to four years, and pass the bar. Now you’re well on your way to an amazing future. Right? Wrong.
There are countless publications on how to succeed in law school. There are books about how to master the LSAT, transcend the difficulties of the first year, navigate the politics of becoming a partner with a corner office, and many more. None of these books talk about why people withdraw from law school. Tales of a Law School Dropout offers a candid, personal case study about the reality of law school retention. For example, what happens when law school multiplies your greatest weakness tenfold? What happens when the case briefing and group outlining sessions don’t work? What happens when counselors fail to help? What happens when black and white blur to gray?
Several intelligent, ambitious students have attended law school, dropped out, and became amazingly successful. Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, attended UCLA Law School for one semester before dropping out. Teddy Roosevelt dropped out of Columbia Law School after only a year because it was too dull. Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird, attended University of Alabama’s law school, but never completed her degree. Out of all of these people, nobody has talked about the reason for quitting.
Now more than ever, with the current economic downturn, undergraduate students are turning to law to save them from a dismal job climate. Interest in law school is booming. “Kaplan's director of prelaw programs, Jeff Thomas, told the Collegian that there were 151,000 LSATs administered by the Law School Admission Council in the current admissions cycle [in 2009], a 6.4 percent increase over the previous year”(http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/40_of_law_school_applicants_riding_out_recession/). Tales of a Law School Dropout targets the pre-law student, as well as anyone who has ever pursued a career path that just didn’t fit.
The pre-law demographic, primarily 23-30 years old, will buy Tales of a Law School Dropout to learn what mistakes to avoid. This memoir will appeal to a broader audience as well. Readers of all ages can relate to life lessons about creating balance and coping with stress when challenges arise. When it comes to the end of the day, what really matters to you? Law school dropouts know the answer, and are better off for it. But many of them stay mum about the issue. Maybe it is too embarrassing. Maybe they think telling the truth would hurt their careers and future successes. We learn the hardest lessons in life from failure. Tales of a Law School Dropout delves into those truths.
Gina is a masters student in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Higher Educational Administration at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). She earned a scholarship to attend the Boyd School of Law, Nevada’s sole law school, in the fall of 2006. She endured four months of law school, and became the curve-breaker in her legal writing class, before deciding to apply her talents to her real passion: education.
In 2004, she was awarded the honor of Senior Scholar for the College of Liberal Arts, given to the top graduating senior with the highest GPA in each of the colleges at UNR. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and English-Composition at UNR and works as the Registrar at Morrison University, the oldest private, proprietary business school in Nevada. Her current research focuses on the difference between the accreditation of nonprofit and for-profit colleges.
Gina is a five-year veteran Toastmaster and has earned her Competent Communicator, Advanced Communicator Bronze and Silver, and Competent Leader. She has given over thirty formal speeches and attends meetings, trainings, and leadership events. She won second place in the 2009 Area 24 Humorous Speech Contest and has served as Washoe Zephyrs’ club President, VP of Education, Treasurer, and Secretary.
She is the author of the blog, http://talesofalawschooldropout.com, and actively hones her writing. Gina is a member of the Unnamed Writers’ Group (over 100-strong in membership) and attends the Monday-Monday critique group, which she has participated in since 2007. She performs freelance writing and editing, and offers consulting services to pre-law students who need help preparing applications and writing personal statements.
She plays classical piano and has instructed both group and private piano lessons for eight years.
One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School
By Scott Turow
Warner Books, Inc.
This perennial best-seller about Turow’s first year at Harvard Law School captures the trials and tribulations of the Socratic Method in the 1970s. Turow is now a practicing attorney and author of several legal thrillers, including The Burden of Proof, Presumed Innocent, Pleading Guilty, and Personal Injuries, which Time Magazine named as the Best Fiction Novel of 1999. Although an excellent resource for pre-law students, One L does not offer commentary on modern second-tier law schools, nor does it touch on retention issues.
New Girl on the Job: Advice from the Trenches
By Hannah Seligson, age 24.
This book offers the perspective of a law school graduate wanting to succeed in the legal job climate. It does not touch on why students drop out.
Should You Really Be a Lawyer? The Guide to Smart Career Choices Before, During and After Law School.
By Doborah Schneider, JD and Gary Belsky
Decision Books, published by Niche Press LLC
This book contains helpful exercises, quizzes, and advice for students who are having trouble deciding to go to law school. Although it touches briefly on why students leave law school, it does not offer a personal perspective or go into detail on the subject in a qualitative way.