According to an April 26, 2015 front page article in the New York Times, “There’s no business like the business of law school.” In a tanking legal market, law schools have been able to jack up tuition four times faster than the cost of a college education. Yet except for a few elite schools, more law school graduates are unemployed—or under-employed—than ever before. But just don’t take the media’s word for it. Truth may be stranger than fiction, but fiction is funnier.
A hilarious new novel, The Curve is a highly entertaining and deeply ironic satire of the current state of legal education, and reads like a cross of Dangerous Minds and The Paper Chase. It features a colorful cast of eccentrics and law school misfits, a satirical plot that—without too much of a stretch—could be ripped from the headlines, and a proven author duo of Jeremy Blachman and Cameron Stracher, who know the law school world and have six previous books between them.
The Curve tells the story of Adam Wright, a newly minted professor with high hopes and low expectations. But nothing has prepared him for a classroom of digitally distracted students, a rebellion of grade grubbers, a Law Journal staff at the helm of a school-wide scam, and a corrupt administration that runs the school as if it were a personal ATM. Adam regrets leaving his lucrative corporate law firm for the wilds of academia, until he finds an ally in the brilliant and fetching Laura Stapleton, a colleague with her own troubling secrets.
Now the two professors may just have to ssave legal education...or join their students in the unemployment line...or worse.
Jeremy Blachman is the author of Anonymous Lawyer, developed for television by Sony and NBC and currently in development for film, and a frequent writer of humor pieces for a wide variety of publications, including McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and The Barnes and Noble Review. Mr. Blachman is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School.
Cameron Stracher is the author of five books, including Double Billing: A Young Lawyer’s Tale of Greed, Sex, Lies, and the Pursuit of a Swivel Chair. A graduate of Harvard Law School and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, he has taught and practices media law, and written for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, among many other publications.
Praise for The Curve
“The Curve, co-authored by Harvard Law graduates Jeremy Blachman and Cameron Stracher, is a scathing satire of the contemporary law school paradigm. Set in the fictitious Manhattan Law School, aptly located on the borders of Brooklyn's polluted Gowanus Canal, the story exposes the dysfunctional interplay between a disconnected faculty and apathetic student body, for whom teaching and learning are of little or no interest. The most notable exception among the faculty is newbie professor, Adam Wright, a decent fellow who has fled the law firm grind for what he hopes to be a more rewarding career in academia. Wright soon discovers that almost none of his students have the interest or ability to become successful attorneys, and what's worse, that Manhattan Law School is so poorly regarded by employers that even the committed and successful students have no real chance of paying down their student loans. As if things couldn't get any more pathetic, Wright stumbles upon a scheme in which students are encouraged to bribe their way toward better grades and Law Review membership. The stakes rise when Wright is forced to choose between the path he knows is wrong, and a moral high road that runs the risk of his being blackballed by the administration and dumped by his beautiful colleague, Laura Stapleton.
The logistics of the law school's corrupt scheme push the bounds of the believable, but this is a satire after all, and the authors send a strong message about the need for reform in higher education. I especially enjoyed some of the witty observations targeted for a legal audience, the most memorable for me being that teaching a law student constitutional law is every bit as impractical from a career preparation standpoint as teaching a plumber's apprentice quantum physics. This novel is a must read for students considering whether to saddle themselves with law school loans, for those working in higher education, and for lawyers (and lawyer-haters) looking for a good laugh.”
--Kevin Joseph, author of The Champion Maker
Praise for The Curve
Read review of The Curve in Above the Law
Read review on Huffington Post
Read author Q&A in The National Book Review
Read review from the Jewish Book Council
Read review from Readioactive Books