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Here’s Why We Didn’t Apply to Med School

Before I went to law school, I did a short stint at the University of Chicago, in a graduate program. How much did we read?  A book a week, per class. That’s three books—about 1200 pages—a week. I repeat: 1200 pages a week.

Pause and take that in: there are whole graduate schools full of students as smart as you are who will end up—most of ‘em —teaching half-wits in some community college in backwoods USA making about a third of what you are going to make if you survive the One L year. These headstuffers are reading 1200 pages a week, trying to remember pages and pages of complicated postmodern theory of this or that, evaluate paradigm shifts, consume piles of data in studies and surveys, and blah blah blah. I know from experience: If you want to be ground like a piece of sausage, grad school is the real deal.

And what do you have to get mastery over? 40 lousy pages a day. 200 pages a week, maybe. And really, when you read about 40 cases a week, that actually ends up in 25 or 30 sentences of real stuff you really have to know for exams. Do you hear that? 25 or 30 sentences a week. That is what it boils down to.

If you devote eight hours a day to law school—four hours for class and four real hours for reading and other things you need to do—reading 40 pages in four hours is a snap. You won’t believe this for a while, but if you do what I tell you in the rest of this chapter, in a month or less you will get to the point where reading 10 or even 15 cases a day ought to take you about an hour. That’s right: an hour.

You ever start thinking that is too much for you, or you’re something special for pulling it off, just remember those people in med school end up memorizing about a hundred technically difficult theories, formulas and facts, every day.

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