Title: The Rooster Bar
Author: John Grisham
Book Length (Audiobook): 10 hours 17 mins
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Read Start Date: October 9, 2018
Read Finish Date: October 15, 2018
Brief Summary of the Plot from Goodreads: Mark, Todd, and Zola came to law school to change the world, to make it a better place. But now, as third-year students, these close friends realize they have been duped. They all borrowed heavily to attend a third-tier, for-profit law school so mediocre that its graduates rarely pass the bar exam, let alone get good jobs. And when they learn that their school is one of a chain owned by a shady New York hedge-fund operator who also happens to own a bank specializing in student loans, the three know they have been caught up in The Great Law School Scam.
But maybe there’s a way out. Maybe there’s a way to escape their crushing debt, expose the bank and the scam, and make a few bucks in the process. But to do so, they would first have to quit school. And leaving law school a few short months before graduation would be completely crazy, right? Well, yes and no . . .
Pull up a stool, grab a cold one, and get ready to spend some time at The Rooster Bar.
My Review: When their friend commits suicide, a trio of friends from law school, smothering under the weight of large student loans, decide to quit law school in their last semester and go into practice without a license. In the process, they take on the machine behind the law school loan racquet, fraudulently joining a class action (more than 1,000 times under fake names) against the bank backing the predatory lending, to exact revenge against the unfair practice of enticing impressionable young people to enroll in a low tier law school.
This book really resonated with me, as I was once myself a law school student in at a law school that was definitely not an ivy league school. Upon leaving law school, I was crushed under a debt of around $150,000, and was expected, without a job, to pay back nearly $1,700 a month in principal + interest, at varying interest rates, some as high as 8%. I suffered under this debt for nearly 10 years and paid well over $150,000, only to move to Austria, where students go to school (even University and law school) virtually for free — paying only nominal expenses.
This book not only gets it right about the predatory lending scheme of law school, and university in general in the United States, but tells a fun story of 3 students who weren’t going to take it anymore and who decided to do something about it. While reading this book, I couldn’t help but to relate to the characters and their plight.
I have read other books by John Grisham, but this one is by far my favorite.