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Publisher's Summary

A noble profession is facing its defining moment. From law schools to the prestigious firms that represent the pinnacle of a legal career, a crisis is unfolding. News headlines tell part of the story - the growing oversupply of new lawyers, widespread career dissatisfaction, and spectacular implosions of preeminent law firms. Yet eager hordes of bright young people continue to step over each other as they seek jobs with high rates of depression, life-consuming hours, and little assurance of financial stability. The Great Recession has only worsened these trends, but correction is possible and, now, imperative.

In The Lawyer Bubble, Steven J. Harper reveals how a culture of short-term thinking has blinded some of the nation’s finest minds to the long-run implications of their actions. Law school deans have ceded independent judgment to flawed U.S. News & World Report rankings criteria in the quest to maximize immediate results. Senior partners in the nation’s large law firms have focused on current profits to enhance American Lawyer rankings and individual wealth at great cost to their institutions. Yet, wiser decisions - being honest about the legal job market, revisiting the financial incentives currently driving bad behavior, eliminating the billable hour model, and more - can take the profession to a better place.

A devastating indictment of the greed, shortsightedness, and dishonesty that now permeate the legal profession, this insider account is essential reading for anyone who wants to know how things went so wrong and how the profession can right itself once again.

©2013 Steven J. Harper (P)2013 Gildan Media LLC

Critic Reviews

"[Harper] burns his bridges in this scathing indictment of law schools and big law firms….His insights and admonitions are consistently on point." (Publishers Weekly)
"The Lawyer Bubble is an important book, carefully researched, cogently argued and compellingly written. It demonstrates how two honorable callings - legal education and the practice of law - have become, far too often, unscrupulous rackets.” (Scott Turow, author of Presumed Innocent and other novels)

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A Sadly Familiar Lamentation

Disclaimers:
First, it should be said that this is a book of limited universal interest, notwithstanding the importance of its messages. Really, it is for lawyers (more particularly, senior lawyers, judges and academics). It is something to be mourned of my profession that it is no longer a profession at all, but a business. However, the general populace is unlikely to be interested in this moan, more's the pity.
Secondly, I was not surprised to hear the author's sentiments, because I have been bemoaning the same thing for many years now, albeit without the generous helping of statistics to back up my morose melancholia. Although it is the statistics that drive the problem, there is no doubting that they can paint a very damning picture of the justice business. I am sure that proposing a statistic (Working Culture Index) to combat the race to feature in the statistics that are the AmLaw and related league tables as an irony that is not lost on the author.
Thirdly, perhaps I (and the author) simply suffer from the usual incidence of old age in looking back on a golden time. The truth is that the time I seek to remember was almost gone by the time I commenced to practice in 1986. Still, it's nice to think of it as a purer time (although it was more probably a more naive time).
Fourthly, because I am a convert to the messages I am very likely biased in my assessment of its content.
With those matters stated, it remains to endorse the performance of Dixon, who held one's interest without being preachy.
All lawyers should read this. Some lawyers should memorise it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • CG
  • 12-06-17

Very useful information. Equally dull presentation

This audiobook sounds like it is being delivered by someone bored out of their mind and almost completely void of any enthusiasm it deserves. Some of these statistics and trends are extremely important to any prospective lawyer/legal enthusiast - but because of the delivery, you may loose a good chunk of the intended audience. On a personal note - I really appreciate it when an author reads his or her own book; actually articulating the enthusiasm and nuances behind the words themselves (and actually makes me more likely to support future work) - obviously this is NOT one of those instances.. One of the biggest disappointments - simply because the information is so valuable. This addresses a growing concern in our society that deserves more light then its currently getting. Law schools are selling culinary degrees, and I think more hopefuls need to know the reality behind they're 150,000.00+ none-dischargeable loans

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Too focused on big law

Interesting overview, with some decent recommendations. Spends an inordinate amount of time on big law firms and only a few references to private practice, small firms, public interest, and in-house counsel.

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  • Gene Jones
  • Houston, Texas, United States
  • 11-25-13

Don't Enroll in Law School Without this Book

Would you listen to The Lawyer Bubble again? Why?

Yes, I would listen again to pick up the subtle things I missed the first time.

Any additional comments?

Exceptionally written and insightful.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful