UC Berkeley Undergraduate Writes "Learning From Precedent," A Book for Law School Hopefuls; Book Features Interviews with Top Law School Graduates

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"Learning From Precedent," a new book for prospective law school students, is released on July 10; written by undergraduate Michael Bloch, with a Foreword by Sarah C. Zearfoss, Senior Assistant Dean for Admissions, Financial Aid, and Career Planning at the University of Michigan Law School, the book includes interviews with top law school grads like the President of the ACLU, a former Governor, a former SEC Chairman, a billionaire entrepreneur, & more.

"Learning From Precedent" Book Cover

"Learning From Precedent" Book Cover

Before committing to law school, I wanted to speak with a variety of top lawyers," says author Michael Bloch. "I figured other students would also want to hear what the lawyers had to say.

University of California, Berkeley undergraduate student Michael Bloch has written the newly released book “Learning From Precedent” (available on Amazon.com in print paperback for $9.99 or Kindle e-book for $7.99, and in select bookstores). The book, which features one-on-one interviews with prominent law school graduates in diverse professions, aims to help high school and college students decide whether law school is the right move for their goals and interests. 10% of the sales from "Learning From Precedent" will go to charity.

“I knew that before committing to law school, I wanted to speak with a variety of top lawyers in different fields to decide if law school would be right for me,” says "Learning From Precedent" author Michael Bloch. “As I was speaking to these acclaimed individuals from so many industries, I figured other students would also want to hear what the lawyers had to say.”

Bloch, a rising senior at UC Berkeley, majors in Business Administration at the Haas School of Business and Political Science. He is part of UC Berkeley’s law fraternity, Phi Alpha Delta. Since the start of college, he had been debating whether to apply to law school, and decided to talk to lawyers in his junior year.

“I figured that the best way to figure out if a career is right for me is to talk to those who are further down the path,” Bloch shares. “That’s why I titled the book 'Learning From Precedent.' It’s a legal term that conveys learning from previously established principles.”

The Foreword for "Learning From Precedent" is written by Sarah Zearfoss, who is the Senior Assistant Dean for Admissions, Financial Aid, and Career Planning at the University of Michigan Law School.

“After enterprising tackling the talking-to-lawyers project in the most thorough way I can imagine... Michael Bloch’s taken it upon himself to share the information with the world at large,” writes Zearfoss in her Foreword for the book. “There is no question that readers of the results will be exposed to both an incredibly wide range of post-law school careers and personality types.”

Learning From Precedent’s chapters include:

  • The SEC Chairman: David Ruder, former Chairman of the Securities & Exchange Commission
  • The Governor: Jennifer Granholm, 47th Governor of Michigan
  • The Judge: Jeremy Fogel, Director of the Federal Judicial Center
  • The Activist: Susan Herman, President of the ACLU
  • The Sports Agent: Leigh Steinberg, sports agent inspiration for the movie, "Jerry Maguire"
  • The Deputy Secretary: Kenneth Dam, former Deputy Secretary of State & Treasury
  • The Partner: Jonathan Layne, Global M&A Partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
  • The Screenwriter: Roger Wolfson, Screenwriter for "The West Wing"
  • The Rear Admiral: James McPherson, 39th Judge Advocate General of the Navy
  • The Patent Prosecutor: Sean Dean, patent prosecutor at Fish & Richardson
  • The Entrepreneur: Todd Wagner, billionaire founder of Broadcast.com, business partner to Mark Cuban, and founder of The Todd Wagner Foundation

As for whether Bloch will pursue law school, he says he’ll be applying for joint JD/MBA programs after he finishes college. He hopes "Learning From Precedent" helps fellow prospective law school students find clarity on their future careers and decide whether law school is indeed right for their life aspirations.

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