TU College of Law Graduates Know “What The L” Is Up With Law School

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Kelsey May, Samantha Roberts and Elizabeth Shelton are – like most recent law school graduates – preparing for the bar exam and anxious to begin their legal careers. Unlike most of their peers, though, these three are also about to become published authors.

Kelsey May, Elizabeth Shelton, Samantha RobertsKelsey May, Samantha Roberts and Elizabeth Shelton, who graduated from the TU College of Law on May 8, 2010, coauthored “What The L,” a guide to the law school experience. Carolina Academic Press will publish the book, which is scheduled to go on sale this fall.

The three classmates said the book’s inspiration, and most of its content, is rooted in their own law school experiences. They originally planned to develop their idea as a blog and perhaps turn that into a book, depending on public reaction. Those plans changed in January due to a simple online form.

“One Saturday night, we were discussing possible topics for blog entries, and on a whim, started looking at book publishers online,” May said. “We found a publisher with an online submission form and put together a proposal on the spot, never thinking anyone would see it. And apparently someone did.”

In just a few days, the publisher e-mailed back asking the aspiring authors for more information, and two days later the book’s first chapter was in the mail. Less than two weeks after the trio made the original submission, they had a contract to publish their book.

During the next few months, they developed 25 chapters detailing how to navigate the journey choosing a law school, surviving the first year, thriving during the second and third years, and succeeding post graduation.

“The early chapters cover questions like whether to take time off before law school, and they are a little more serious,” May said. “Then it gets more ridiculous as we move on to certain social interactions and law school etiquette.”

While the majority of the content is anecdotal, the authors did survey classmates and interview faculty to ensure their guidance applies to a broader audience.

“We wanted to make sure that the challenges and situations we address were in line with what most people face,” Shelton said. “The book is very informal and entertaining, but we wanted to make sure that it was factual.”

The first 1,000 copies of “What The L” will be available on Amazon.com in fall 2010. According to Roberts, the book’s appeal will extend beyond potential law students to anyone who has their own stories about higher education.

“We didn’t make up anything in the book,” Roberts said. “Some of the stories might make you think ‘that can’t be true,’ but, believe me, we could couldn’t make up this stuff.”

Jimmy Hart