Cover of How to Be Sort of Happy in Law School by Kathryne M. Young
How to Be Sort of Happy in Law School
Kathryne M. Young

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August 2018
280 pages.
$19.95

Paper ISBN: 9780804799768

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Each year, over 40,000 new students enter America's law schools. Each new crop experiences startlingly high rates of depression, anxiety, fatigue, and dissatisfaction. Kathryne M. Young was one of those disgruntled law students. After finishing law school (and a PhD), she set out to learn more about the law school experience and how to improve it for future students. Young conducted one of the most ambitious studies of law students ever undertaken, charting the experiences of over 1000 law students from over 100 different law schools, along with hundreds of alumni, dropouts, law professors, and more.

How to Be Sort of Happy in Law School is smart, compelling, and highly readable. Combining her own observations and experiences with the results of her study and the latest sociological research on law schools, Young offers a very different take from previous books about law school survival. Instead of assuming her readers should all aspire to law-review-and-big-firm notions of success, Young teaches students how to approach law school on their own terms: how to tune out the drumbeat of oppressive expectations and conventional wisdom to create a new breed of law school experience altogether.

Young provides readers with practical tools for finding focus, happiness, and a sense of purpose while facing the seemingly endless onslaught of problems law school presents daily. This book is an indispensable companion for today's law students, prospective law students, and anyone who cares about making law students' lives better. Bursting with warmth, realism, and a touch of firebrand wit, How to Be Sort of Happy in Law School equips law students with much-needed wisdom for thriving during those three crucial years.

About the authors

Kathryne M. Young is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she teaches courses on social psychology, criminal procedure, and sociology of law. Young holds a JD from Stanford Law School, a PhD from Stanford University, and an MFA from Oregon State University. She and her wife live in Northampton, MA.

"Calm, wise, funny, compassionate, creative, enlightened...law students??? Okay, so perhaps these aren't the first words that most lawyers would use to describe themselves at law school, but this eloquent and absorbing book puts such virtues within reach, even for the most harried lawyer-to-be. I'm using it as a guide to a sort-of-happier life, myself, and I'm not even a law student!"

—Ruth Ozeki, bestselling author of A Tale for the Time Being