Synopses & Reviews
From first-day nerves to first-year grades, from bizarre job interviews to bar exam insanity, Ivy Briefs pulls back the curtain on the marbled halls of law school, revealing the absurdity often bubbling beneath the surface.
Meet Martha Kimes: a naïve small-town girl with strong neurotic tendencies who has (due to an inexplicable stroke of luck) been admitted to Columbia Law School. She's a Midwesterner in the middle of Manhattan, a student on the verge of a nervous breakdown. In her candid memoir -- the best of its kind since One L and the only one written by a woman -- Kimes makes her way through law school, doing battle with a memorable cast of characters:
The Sadistic Professor: Every law student's nemesis, the Sadistic Professor takes pity on no one. The Socratic Method is his favorite torture device, and he's got staying power that rivals that of the Energizer Bunny.
The Gunner: So enamored with the sound of his own voice, he finds it physically impossible to keep his hand from gunning up into the air every time a professor asks a question. Ten minutes into the start of the school year, everyone is already sick of the Gunner.
The Do-gooder: Lurking behind a kind exterior is a pit bull ready to pounce on those who don't plan to devote their legal careers to public service. But would she be so quick to categorize all those who dare go into corporate law as loathsome, soulless warriors for the devil if she, too, had student loans to repay?
The Boarding School Bastard: He wears a firmly pressed pin-striped oxford shirt and has a condescending attitude bigger than most European countries. By definition he is better than you because he went to Exeter. And he'll never let you forget it.
With sharp wit, dead-on aim, and a healthy dose of self-deprecation, Kimes proves that it is possible to survive law school with both your sense of humor and your sanity intact.
"First time author Kimes is entertaining and funny in recounting her three years at one of the country's premier law schools. A smart young woman with a good, but not always engaged, sense of perspective, Kimes jumps from the University of Wisconsin to Columbia Law School on the wings of a spectacular showing on the LSATs. Once there, she faces the predictable sadistic professor, hypercompetitive fellow students and, of course, rampant elitism. Kimes is happy to treat with an equal measure of humor the highly stylized courting dance between summer law clerks and mega law firms, as well as the foreboding horrors of the bar exam. Though some stories seem hyperbolic and re-created conversations can be suspiciously pat, Kimes captures with accuracy the gestalt of the law school experience. Kimes did get a job at what she calls 'Lavish Law Firm.' But she eventually left to join the Make-a-Wish Foundation, which may be her final comment on the world of big-time law. The self-deprecating wit, catty observations and healthy sense of the absurd with which Kimes describes her approach-avoidance reactions to the world of law school raise the book above the ordinary." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Martha Kimes is a graduate of Columbia Law School. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband, Joe, and their two sons.
Table of Contents
Prologue: The Thick and the Thin
One: Welcome to the Dollhouse
Two: Gunning for Glory
Three: The Letter of the Law
Four: Fear and Loathing
Five: The Agony and the Ecstasy
Six: The Point Is Moot
Eight: Will Work for Food
Ten: Turning of the Tides
Eleven: Slacker Savant
Twelve: Belly Up to the Bar
Epilogue: The End of the Innocence