The appeal of this approach is understandable. Law school is stressful and difficult. Many students, for the first time in their academic careers, find themselves somewhere other than at the top of their classes. Life makes more sense to these students if they accept the view that there is some inherent flaw in the system or that the game is rigged. Unfortunately, the law-school phenomenon is not that simple. There are good reasons for the law school pedagogy. As I will explain, the study of law is the way it is because it imitates the practice of law.
There are other books written by law professors who, at least on the surface, should be able to give you an inside view into law school. These books appeal to Type-A law students who just know that there is inside information out there that will help them graduate at the top of their classes. And they believe that these professor/ authors will give it to them. However, these unwitting students have fallen for the second trap in the labyrinth (and in the interest of full disclosure, I fell for it myself). This trap is that there is inside information, short cuts, and “holy grail” outlines that will teach students how to succeed. These students waste a great deal of time and energy searching for the holy grail, which distracts them from doing the real work involved in learning to think, reason and write like a lawyer.
The truth is that there are no shortcuts and most of these books were written primarily to provide templates and checklists for the various tasks typically associated with law school and the study of law. Further, in my opinion, many law professors are so removed from the law student’s struggle that they really can’t offer solid practical advice. Simply, most law professors attended law school a long time ago. And although most professors were very likely successful in law school, most cannot articulate why they were successful.
Law school is all about the journey itself. You learn to practice law by the lessons imparted along the journey, and you develop your legal skills as a result of that journey. You will learn to think like a lawyer through your intellectual bumps and bruises, a veritable trial and error cornucopia.