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February 09, 2014


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please explain

"I had even spend the past summer at sea as a lowly deckhand on a treasure salvor ship."

It could apparently use some betting editing, however...

Lisa McElroy

I was fortunate enough to read an ARC of this book a few weeks ago. I thought it was extremely well done. While the drama of the tenure process was even more terrifying than in real life, the legal portions seemed pretty accurate. And it's an easy, fun read.

Highly recommend for spring break.


“With a Big Law partner, an ‘odd-duck solo practitioner,’ and a tenure-track law prof at an elite school as the novel’s leads, the allegorical interpretations practically write themselves.”
What are the “allegorical interpretations”?

Michelle Meyer

anon, that's the beauty of some works of art -- they lend themselves to all sorts of interpretations; some of them even operate as a sort of Rorschach test. For instance, this Fox News guy ( seems pretty upset by the Lego Movie, which he sees as having a clear -- and "threatening" -- anti-business message. I myself saw it as an anti-conformity/pro-independent thinking message. Not surprisingly: given the respective niches we operate in the world, Fox News is probably primed to see anti-business messages from Hollywood and I'm probably primed to see a paean to critical, unorthodox thinking.

My only point (more of a throw away joke) here is that, given how much dialogue has occurred on this site and others about the crisis in legal education (and higher education in general) -- much of it focused around the relative roles and skills (or lack thereof) of faculty, big law partners and associates, and solo and other non-big law practitioners, and of law schools in training (or failing to train) the latter two -- a novel that features that trio seems ripe for allegorical interpretations of various sorts from a variety of stakeholder perspectives.

For instance, the novel begins with the death of a law student. A symbol of students' suffocating debt? The law prof is in trouble: What are we to make of the (apparent) fact that it is "real" lawyers (one from big law, one from solo practice) to the rescue? Or, on the other hand, perhaps it will turn out that she doesn't need rescuing after all -- a reflection that this law prof, unlike so many, had some real practice experience? Parts of the excerpt I didn't quote above make clear that the dean is somehow involved in the murder-for-treasure of which the law prof stands accused: A symbol of increasingly tense faculty-administrator relations, the death of academic freedom, and the hazing ritual that is the tenure process? Or how bloated administrations are killing students with debt and contributing to the increase in adjuncts paid less than minimum wage? And so on.

Michelle Meyer

@ please explain: since I typed the excerpt from Amazon's preview, rather than cut and paste the same, all typos should be attributed to me rather than to the author or publisher. Now fixed. (I trust your "betting editing" was deliberate irony.)

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