Foreword Reviews

Life after Law School

Volume 1

Clarion Rating: 2 out of 5

In the musing novel Life after Law School, a Sudanese immigrant overcomes adversity to become a lawyer while confronting racial bias in an unequal society.

In Peter Gaisiance’s novel Life after Law School, an immigrant pursues a career as a barrister, facing discrimination in England and its court system.

Narrated in the manner of a memoir, this story follows an aspiring lawyer from his time at boarding school to his flight from the Sudanese civil war. Exiled in the United Kingdom, he takes up the practice of law. In the course of forging this new life, though, he faces struggles, many of them rooted in inequality. He’s subjected to racial prejudice while working on public referendums, as a fundraising consultant for the African Children’s Society, and in the Royal Courts of Justice.

The whole of the story is filtered through the narrator’s lens. He jumps from detailing court cases into general observations about life and politics in Sudan; many other topics are considered along the way. The book’s chapter titles are topical peeks, but even they do not encompass the full breadth of their leaping sections. The book delivers background information on subjects like London and British culture in a drifting manner; many are too generic to hold interest. Because the narrator is committed to these lengthy tangents, the book runs too long.

As the lawyer’s ruminations move from Groundhog Day to costume shops to Sudanese liberation, the story comes to seem more like an extended internal monologue than anything else. He reflects on how society allows poverty, fearing that he himself might end up in the reduced circumstances; some such thoughts are compelling. Still, the novel’s tendencies toward repetition and indulgence cause it to drag between its more individualized moments.

Further, the narrator is an abstract guide; despite his unusual circumstances, he’s too detached to latch on to. His broad, off-handed manner of speaking about his travels through the boroughs of London result in vagueness, rather than an empathetic sense of characterization; though he reads all that he can get his hands on to combat loneliness, and devotes his spare time to absorbing UK culture, his experiences rarely feel concrete. Flashes of striking imagery arise, as when he describes Sudan as “tall as a giraffe can be among the leafy trees,” but these are rare. The book’s periodic errors in spelling, punctuation, and capitalization are distracting.

In the musing novel Life after Law School, a Sudanese immigrant overcomes adversity to become a lawyer while confronting racial bias in an unequal society.

Reviewed by Joseph S. Pete

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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