A Message from the Dean
A 1L Odyssey
Alumni Fill Halls of Academe
New LAS President Hopes to Increase Outreach to Alumni
Levy Scholars Program Provides 'Mark of Distinction' for Top Students
Tanenbaum Hall Turns 10
Judge Rosenn Inspires A Following Among Former Clerks
The Brief
The Board of Overseers
Faculty News & Publications
Philanthropy
Alumni Briefs
In Memoriam
 
Q&A With Robert H. Miller 1 - 2 - 3

THE WORK OF ROBERT H. MILLER L’98 is probably familiar to many of our readers, and many more doubtless wish he had written his book, Law School Confidential: The Complete Guide to the Law School Experience, by the time they were anxious first-year law students. Now the bestselling law school preparatory book, Law School Confidential offers a step-by-step guide to tackling law school – from deciding whether to apply in the first place to seeking summer internships – with advice from law school graduates.

The revised Second Edition of the book, featuring extensive, information-packed interviews with the Dean of Admissions at Cornell Law School and with the hiring partners at prominent law firms including Ropes & Gray, came out in January. Miller is now the senior litigation associate at the Manchester, NH office of Sheehan, Phinney, Bass & Green, and has just been named one of New Hampshire’s “Forty under 40” people to watch.

Q: It seems that one of the main themes of Law School Confidential is unraveling myths that applicants and current students hold about what law school is going to be like. What are the most dangerous misconceptions surrounding law school?

A: Well, the obvious one, I think, is that some people still cling to the misperception that law school is going to be like [the 1973 movie] The Paper Chase, in which law school is depicted as a war of attrition and a battle to the death. The fact is, most law schools aren’t like that anymore. The message I try to give to law students today is to do everything you can to own your experience. Don’t be intimidated by the mystique surrounding law school. Learn about the process and then make it your own. You’re paying for it – both financially, and in the opportunity cost in your life – so you ought to do everything you can to make the most of it.

Q: Are there other fears that you would like to dispel?

A: The other thing is this irrational fear that students have of the Socratic Method. Students worry that their entire persona for the next three years will depend on how well they respond to their first question in their first class. That’s garbage! The reality is, the student is the consumer, and the professors are working for you - to help you become the most capable lawyer you can be. Speaking from the point of view of a practitioner, I’ve come to realize that the Socratic Method is actually very applicable in “the real world”, so it’s a good teaching tool. The mistake is being paralyzed by it. If you don’t know the answer to the question, you don’t know it. Five years removed from law school, you’ll laugh about those moments. Prepare for class every day to the best of your ability, and then relax.

 
Previous Page Next Page