The Woman’s Guide to Law School

By in Law School Guides on February 26, 2013

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Which law schools help their students succeed? What makes someone a successful law student? What determines a law school graduate’s future success? A Woman’s Guide to Law School provides the answers, while addressing, specifically, the needs and interests of the female student. Linda Hirshman‘s fresh approach gives women the advice they need–information the law schools often won’t tell them. Why do admissions tests seem so scary? Which law schools are good for women–and which are not? How do successful students study in the all-important first year? How do successful students make law review? How do they prepare for their first professional job interviews? In addition to these fundamentals, women will learn about the culture of their law schools, including which law faculties make women squirm and which have politics and policies women can embrace. A Woman’s Guide to Law School identifies the schools at which women can do their best at every level of status or selectivity, so no matter where you get in, you can pick the best place for you. With statistics and data–as well as stories of successful women law students–A Woman’s Guide to Law School will empower women so they can make wise choices and seize control over their own education and careers.

2 thoughts on “The Woman’s Guide to Law School

  1. 1
    26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A Breath of Fresh Air for Women, December 14, 1999
    By 
    Keri Moss (US) –

    This review is from: The Woman’s Guide to Law School (Paperback)

    This book’s value far exceeds its cost. Hirshman leads the reader from the “considering law school” stages, through the application process, up to post-law school interviews meanwhile focusing her advice specifically to the interests of women. Based on her own research, Hirshman gives women their own Law School Rankings that compares the schools in terms of their female-friendly learning environments. While searching for schools to apply to, I never would have considered the % of writers who are women in the school’s Law Review as a factor, but Hirschman explains why that factor and several others are so important for a productive and successful learning environment for women in Law Schools. By introducing women to ways in which their learning style typically differs from men, Hirshman’s book brings a truly valuable awareness to any woman who intends to pursue the competitive study of law. I think every woman considering law school should read this. It is academic and insightful, not full of common sense as most books of this type tend to be.

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  2. 2
    20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Interesting ideas for critical reading, August 12, 2003
    By A Customer
    This review is from: The Woman’s Guide to Law School (Paperback)

    I got this book as a gift from a friend after I had started at a top law school that, according to this author, is not particularly female-friendly. I would never have bought this book on my own because I’ve never really thought I needed “special” advice as a woman, and I did fine in school. But I am very, very glad my friend gave it to me, and I wish I had read it before starting school.

    I found that the book offered a lot of interesting insights. You may agree or disagree with Hirshman’s ideas and arguments, but the fact remains that the law school experience for many women (NOT all women) is different because they are women. And Hirshman does give some good, down-to-earth advice about the true nature of the competitive dynamics in law schools, and frankly, a lot of women have more difficulty understanding and thriving in that context. (But don’t worry, I realize it’s not all women!)

    As for those people who rated this book poorly because they disagree with Hirshman — I myself disagree with some of her assessments. BUT no one says you have to agree with everything an author says, or that a book is only valuable if you agree with it. You’re considering law school, after all, and you want to evaluate things critically and think for yourself. Moreover, just because Hirshman is right about some of the more “women-unfriendly” aspects of law school (and she is) doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t change things. But to change them, you have to understand how things are to begin with. And there are few books that tackle head-on the very real gender dynamics in law schools. Most people ignore them, but they’re there. (For instance, in a faculty survey done by the women’s organization at my law school, a number of male law professors admitted that they were much more hesitant to develop mentoring relationships with young female students to avoid any awkwardness or suggestion of impropriety. Other professors, male and female, talked about how women did not speak up enough in class.)

    So I’d strongly recommend reading this book for women who are considering going or are about to attend law school. Read it before you go because first year is really important, usually the most important year in terms of success in law school.

    But DON’T take Hirshman’s ideas as a prediction of how your law school experience will be. (For instance, even if I’d read her book before school, I would have chosen to attend the law school I did — even though it’s not a women-friendly place, that wouldn’t have stopped me from going to a strong law school and having a good experience there.) Rather, take the book as a series of insights into how a law school experience can be, and incorporate that information into making your experience a positive and successful one.

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