Sunday, January 2, 2011

Book Proposal

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”( 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,, 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.

The Competition

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.

Citadel Press

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.


  1. Teddy Roosevelt didn't “flunk out” of Columbia Law. He passed bar and left early to start historic political career. In fact, he received a posthumous law degree from Columbia.

  2. Hi Gina,

    Congratulations on your pursuit of a book career! We wish you the best of luck. Thanks for mentioning Kaplan in your post. We’d like to contextualize the quote you used from Jeff here at Kaplan, which you and your readers may find helpful.

    I’m sure we can all agree that law school is one of the most significant investments one can make, in terms of time and money. Thus, prospective law students must take the time to do their research. Understanding what one can do with a law school education, how much it will cost, what it will mean in the current economic climate are among the things students should know.

    The LSAT is the most significant component of law school applicants’ files. It affects students’ options for law school matriculation and financial aid tremendously. And in 2006, the LSAC stopped requiring schools to report (to the LSAC and the ABA) the average LSAT score for matriculated students. Since schools can now report the highest LSAT score of each of their matriculated students, the number of people retaking the exam is increasingly dramatically each year. This is not the same as the number of people applying to law school. The actual number of applicants in 2009, for example, was roughly 13,000 LESS than 2003 and 2004. (

    The bottom line is, the importance of the LSAT in law school admissions is great. For those who want to attend law school but are nervous about loans, they should be sure to take the LSAT seriously. Most all law schools base scholarship offerings on LSAT and GPA performance.

    While the scope of your book seems to be on those who enroll law school and decide to leave, this advice remains the same. Students should take the time to understand the implications of applying and attending law school before they go. And should they decide to leave or pursue a career outside of law afterwards, it would be extremely helpful if they attended law school on a scholarship obtained from a high LSAT score.

    Good luck with the book proposal. Let us know how things turn out!


  3. Hi Josh,

    Thank you for your post! It was very educational! I agree--the LSAT is incredibly important, especially if a student is trying to gain admission to a law school with prestige (tier 1, 2, and 3 schools, etc).

    Although I ultimately decided not to continue law school, I learned valuable lessons in law school. Dropping out simply means I chose not to continue; it should not be equated with failing. In fact, I withdrew with A's in everything I completed during law school.
    I was even the curve breaker in my legal writing class!

    I learned about the structure of a logical argument just by studying for the LSAT. For example, assumptions often lead to illogical conclusions. There are also a number of common logical fallacies the LSAT teaches test-takers to identify. For example, fallacious arguments often rely on personal character attacks, distract from the issue at hand by bringing up irrelevant facts, and offer up illogical assumptions, etc.

    The LSAT may not directly correspond to the success of an attorney's career overall, but it is critical to any serious attempt a person makes to gain admission to a law school. Even when I was studying for the LSAT, I underestimated just how important this test is.

    Knowing what I know now, I would recommend to anyone interested in applying to law school--study for the LSAT! Just keep in mind that if you score well on the test, that doesn't mean the LSAT is some kind of magic 8 ball commanding you to go to law school and that law is your long lost calling. On the other hand, if you don't score well, that doesn't mean you are stupid. It just means you need test-taking skills. Kaplan, Princeton Review, and Testmasters offer classes, tutoring, and a variety of other services. Like anything else, if you are truly determined to go to law school and succeed, you can find the tools available to make it happen.

    Thank you, Josh, for your comments! Very insightful.