Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Waiting for Letters of Recommendation

I'll make a few posts later on how I definitely did not follow the best practices for applying to law school. Although I have a very clear idea of what I want to do--intellectual property--I missed the boat for the correct timeline.

So, while anxiously waiting for my letters of recommendation to be processed by LSAC, I read an excellent book on another facet of the law.


John Kroger, a former AUSA, now law professor, talks about his experience working in east New York City. Among his 99% conviction rate: the largest remaining mafia boss in NYC, a Columbian drug ring, and the executives from Enron's telecommunications division, Enron Broadband Services.

I was especially interested in the final portion of the book on Enron's white collar criminals, and Mr. Kroger doesn't disappoint in describing the specifics of the case (where allowed). I'm sure that any aspiring law student could find something interesting, and could at least learn from the soul searching and moral questioning Kroger seems to relish.

After each section of the book, Kroger dons his professor spectacles and offers a dissection of the causes or recommendations for changes to policy. This hearkens back to his days as a policy junkie for the (Bill) Clinton presidential campaign, and I was surprisingly fine with his lapses from his lifestory.

Ultimately, though, the book seems to have a few issues with editing. Several sections bounce around chronologically with little storytelling benefit; although I always followed him and enjoyed the ride, Kroger could probably have used a little bit of polishing in terms of structure. But that could also be my film background nitpicking.

The bottom line is: a storyteller that only briefly mentions his 9/11 experience and still makes me tear up... this is an accomplished writer. There were several moments where I was caught up in Kroger's philosophical quandaries, and I hope that I go into law school more respectful of the power, complexity, and contradiction held within the role of federal prosecutor.