Life Hacks: Free Tax Filing

The IRS allows tax returns to be e-filed for free. Depending on the taxpayer’s income, free help in filling out the forms (whether through software, in person, or both) may also be available.

Free Fillable Forms

Everyone can file their individual federal income tax return free electronically, no matter what their income, with free fillable forms. However, these are only the forms, without guidance on how to fill them out.

Free Software

Those with incomes below $66,000 can opt for free brand-name software that guides the user in how to fill out tax forms. Some free software options also provide free state tax return filing. The information is here:

Free In-Person Help

Those with incomes below $55,000 can also get free in-person help doing their taxes. Hours and addresses of VITA sites local to University of South Carolina School of Law—including the law school itself through the Pro Bono program—are here.

Source: Internal Revenue Service

Forms Books and Practice Aids

Over the summer, we moved some useful sets of books to the first floor of the law library so they’ll be easy to grab for quick reference.

How to Use Forms Books and Practice Aids

Here is an example of how you might use one of these sets, American Jurisprudence Pleading and Practice Forms.

Suppose you are a law clerk in a wills, trusts, and estates practice. Your firm is working with a family to probate a will. A complaint has just been filed, opposing the admission of that will to probate. The lawyer you work for says, “Draft an answer to this complaint. There’s no good reason not to probate this will.” You’ve never drafted an answer before. How do you start?

You could look for a form to base your work on. First, you’d go to the Wills volume of American Jurisprudence Pleading and Practice Forms.

Then you’d browse the table of contents looking for a form that fits your situation. The table of contents is in outline form:

  • There is opposition to the probate of this will (VIII. Opposition and Contest).
  • The will has not yet been probated (B. Prior to Probate).
  • You need to draft an answer that states there is no good reason not to probate the will (§284 Answer—To Opposition to Probate—Failure to State Valid Objection).

Now you can turn to Section 284 and see a form answer. The form provides a framework or starting point. The brackets and italics indicate that you need to fill in the blank. For example, [Caption, see § 5] means you need to create a caption or heading at the top of your answer, and the instructions for doing that are in Section 5 of the Wills volume. There is still a lot of legal analysis necessary to fill in all the blanks properly. Unfortunately, the book doesn’t provide all the answers.

Only a small portion of the form answer is shown here. Notice there are also references to topics and key numbers as well as to particular entries in the legal encyclopedia American Jurisprudence 2d. These references can help you do further research as needed.
Forms Books and Practice Aids on the First Floor

All the titles we moved are listed below, along with quotes from the publishers’ descriptions of each one. If you don’t find the type of form you need in one of these sets, you might try a different set. Ask a librarian to help you select which sets to try first.

American Jurisprudence Legal Forms 2d

“Practice-oriented forms for legal and business transactions, exhaustively annotated, keyed to the substantive law, integrating legal and form-drafting principles with statutes, tax notes, tables, checklists, and checkpoints.”

American Jurisprudence Pleading and Practice Forms

“A comprehensive, carefully compiled and edited collection of pleading and practice forms, including jury instructions, keyed to the substantive law in American Jurisprudence 2d and designed to provide dependable forms for all types of pleading and procedural steps in judicial and administrative proceedings.”

American Jurisprudence Proof of Facts

“Explains how to determine quickly and confidently the facts essential to winning a case, and how to prove them for a wide range of civil litigation and selected criminal defense topics, including: personal injury/torts, employment litigation (discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination), real estate litigation, business torts, and commercial litigation. Also highlights which cases to avoid due to difficulties or failures in proof. Includes strategies and aids that cover every stage of trial preparation.”

American Jurisprudence Trials

“An encyclopedic guide to the modern practices, techniques, and tactics used in preparing and trying cases, with model programs for the handling of all types of litigation.”

Shepard’s Causes of Action

“Provides articles and case studies focusing on different types of actions, including personal injury, products liability, employment, insurance, business, and many others. Each article or case study identifies the various elements of each case, educating you on the litigation issues by offering a substantive law overview. To aid in research, the publication lists each article’s coverage and includes an index of key terms and phrases. Readers will also benefit from detailed research and procedure guidelines, as well as a damages awards survey, helping you value cases from various jurisdictions. It also covers legal interpretations of courts through extensive sample cases, and offers practice checklists to ensure all litigation procedures are properly addressed, sample litigation forms to save time in document preparation, a detailed table of cases, and more.”

West’s Legal Forms 

“For drafting forms related to business organizations, divorce, retirement plans, bankruptcy, employment, estate planning, commercial transactions, real estate financing, numerous other general practice areas & specialties. Where appropriate, coverage includes the tax consequences to be considered when drafting specific forms.”

True Crime Podcasts

Now that summer’s here, there’s time to catch up on some true crime podcasts. There are plenty to choose from, and who knows? You might learn something relevant to your Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, or Evidence classes… painlessly.

Undisclosed podcast

Undisclosed may not be first alphabetically, but it’s first on our list because USC School of Law’s own Colin Miller is part of the team. Undisclosed investigates and analyzes the Adnan Syed case as well as other cases in which convictions are troubling due to additional evidence that did not make it to court. As law librarians, we love that the case files are available on the Undisclosed website, so listeners can take a deeper dive into the legal research.

Criminal podcast

Criminal’s appeal is that it looks at different types of crime—not always the grisliest or most shocking—and examines the broader impact of those crimes on society. The creators interview perpetrators, victims, and families. One episode touches on the First Amendment implications of writing a book on how to commit murder for hire. The federal court case it references is Rice v. Paladin Enters., Inc., 128 F.3d 233 (4th Cir. 1997), cert. denied, 118 S. Ct. 1515 (1998).

Going beyond

Still need more true crime podcasts? DiscoverPods offers a list of the 20 best true crime podcasts and CrimeReads suggests 12 essential crime podcasts of spring 2018.

If you want more information about something you hear on a true crime podcast, or if you need help doing the research to support a law-related podcast of your own, your law library is here for you.

Guide to Study Aids

Just in time for the pre-exam crunch, library staff member Amy Persons has created a browse-able guide to the study aids in the law library:

Our current guide only has the required 1L courses listed so far, as well as bar exam study aids. We’ll be going back to fill in 2L and 3L course topics soon!

Browse by Series

Are you a fan of a particular series of study aids? For example, if Glannon’s Torts study aid was helpful last semester, would you want to check and see if Glannon also offers a study aid for Property? If you learned a lot from the Examples & Explanations for Contracts, how about checking out the Examples & Explanations for Civil Procedure? Click the tab for a series to see all the 1L-course study aids offered in that series.

Browse by Topic

If you want all the study aids you can find for a particular class, click the tab for that course topic to see all the study aids we offer, from whatever series they may be, including standalone guides not part of any series.

What If It’s Checked Out?

The current versions of the study aid books are on the 1st floor, in the low shelves under the windows facing the student commons. If the current study aid you want is checked out, you may be able to find an older version on the shelf on the 2nd or 3rd floor of the library. Use the call number you find in our guide.

2nd floor: call numbers beginning with KF1 to KF2940
3rd floor: call numbers beginning with KF2972 to KF9817

Other Formats

Study aids aren’t limited to books. Our guide also helps you find flashcards, audio CDs, CALI lessons, and Kanopy streaming video.

Good luck on exams!

Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition

A $500 prize is available in an essay competition open to current law students.

Essays may be on any topic related to legal history, rare law books, or legal archives.

The winner and the runner-up will have the opportunity to publish their essays in the scholarly journal Unbound: A Review of Legal History and Rare Books. Past issues of this journal are available on HeinOnline.

Essay Competition Details:

Please see the flyer below for more information, and see the website of the Legal History and Rare Books Section of the American Association of Law Libraries for full details and an application.

How to access Unbound: A Review of Legal History and Rare Books on HeinOnline:
  • Go to, and click on Quick Links.
  • From the dropdown, click HeinOnline.
  • You may be prompted to enter your USC Network ID and password.
  • Under Browse Databases by Name, click on Law Journal Library.
  • Finally, click on U, scroll down, and click on Unbound: A Review of Legal History and Rare Books.


Highlights: 2017 ABA Journal Web 100

Click the image to access the 2017 Web 100 at

As recently as last year, ABA Journal used to list the top 100 law-related blogs (also known as blawgs). Now they list 50 blogs, 25 podcasts, and 25 Twitter accounts in the ABA Journal Web 100.

We’ve selected a few of this year’s Web 100 that may be of particular interest to USC School of Law students. We include a brief note as to why students might be interested, and links to recent posts. Check out our picks from 2016, too.


Education Law Prof Blog

Professor Derek Black is an editor.

Evidence Prof Blog

Dean Colin Miller is an editor.

Financial Panther

A millennial lawyer shares his techniques, including side hustles, for paying off significant law school loans in less than 3 years.

The Last Gen-X American

A lawyer and data scientist (Matt Leichter) analyzes data on law student debt, in a blog formerly known as the Law School Tuition Bubble.


Digital Edge

Sharon Nelson (a recent speaker in the Legal IT Seminar series) and Jim Calloway talk about how lawyers can best use new technology.

Law School Toolbox

This podcast and its accompanying blog provide advice on law school, bar exams, and starting out in the legal profession. The team is Lee Burgess and Alison Monaghan.


Dean Colin Miller is one of three team members. First, Undisclosed looked into State v. Adnan Syed, going beyond what was covered in the Serial podcast. Later episodes delve into details of other cases.

Thanks to ABA Journal for spotlighting so much great material. Browse the complete Web 100 here.

Finding a Reported Kardashian Case

Trivia or Treat – Question

Who was the plaintiff in the most recent reported case in which one or more of the Kardashians was/were defendant(s)? (The question refers to the Kardashian family on the TV show, not just anyone with that name.)


Professor Glenn and the prize tote bag

This question was posted on our Facebook page Monday, October 16, and a winner was selected on Friday, October 20. Congratulations to Alicia Moss, winner of the lightweight navy blue canvas and faux-leather tote modeled by Professor Glenn.

Trivia or Treat – Answer

The answer is Kroma Makeup EU, LLC was the plaintiff in the most recent reported case (2017) in which one or more of the Kardashians were defendants. Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe were all named as defendants.

Part of the Trivia or Treat challenge had to do with the meaning of a reported case. A reported case appears in a printed reporter series. For example, if a case appears in any of South Carolina Reports (S.C.), West’s South Eastern Reporter, Second Series (S.E.2d), or United States Reports (U.S.), just to name a few reporters, it is a reported case.

Not every case decided by a court is included in the relevant reporter; the court may dictate excluding certain cases, or it may be a decision by the editors at a publishing company such as West. If you’re looking through the hard copy of a reporter on the library’s bookshelves, every case you’ll find in it is, by definition, a reported case. However, online services do their best to provide access to as many cases as they can, whether those cases were reported or not. Therefore, when looking for reported cases only, there is a need to filter online search results by reported status.

Finding the “Trivia or Treat” Answer in Westlaw
  • From the homepage, click Cases, ensure that All State & Federal is selected as the jurisdiction (in the right portion of the search bar), then click Advanced (to the right of the search bar).
  • In the Party Name field, type Kardashian, then click the orange magnifying glass to Search.
  • Change the Sort by dropdown just above the search results from Relevance to Date so the most recent cases are listed first.
  • To the left of the search results, under Reported Status, click the checkbox for Reported cases only.
  • In both of the 2017 cases listed, Kroma Makeup EU, LLC is the plaintiff.
Finding the “Trivia or Treat” Answer in Lexis Advance
  • From the homepage, click Cases, then click Advanced Search (just above the search bar, on the right side).
  • In the Party Name field, type Kardashian, then click the red magnifying glass to Search.
  • Change the Sort by dropdown on the right from Relevance to Date (newest-oldest) so the most recent cases are listed first.
  • To the left of the search results, under Publication Status, click on Reported cases only.
  • In the only 2017 case listed, Kroma Makeup EU, LLC is the plaintiff.

Look for more Trivia or Treat opportunities in the future, to test your legal research skills and win prizes!

Spotlight on Continuing Legal Education

To law students in the throes of legal education, the idea of continuing legal education (CLE) throughout the rest of their legal career might sound daunting. Or maybe it sounds like fun to be a lifelong legal learner. We hope it’s the latter.

South Carolina CLE

CLE requirements vary from state to state. In South Carolina, lawyers must have 14 hours of CLE per year (actual 60-minute hours, not academic course hours) to maintain their licenses. The requirements are more intricate than this, so lawyers should refer to the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules and the South Carolina Commission on CLE and Specialization Regulations for details.

Why Start Now, as a Law Student?

Has anyone ever selected a law school course partly because their friends were taking it? Has anyone ever noticed that they don’t see some of their law school classmates in person much over breaks, but when classes start up again, you’re glad to see each other and catch up?

By the same token, oftentimes networking figures into why lawyers select the CLE courses they attend. Many lawyers find that the main time they can be sure to catch up with some of their colleagues in the field is at CLE courses. Being at those CLE courses yourself as a student gives you the chance to start becoming part of that professional network.

Another reason to start now is that some CLE covers topics too narrow or too new to be covered by a law school course. By attending these courses, you can highlight an interest in emerging legal issues that won’t fit in your class schedule.

In addition, CLE tends to be much more practical than academic, so it’s likely to convey a strong sense of what it’s like to be a practicing lawyer in that particular area. A one-hour CLE is a low commitment to gauge of your level of interest in a given practice area.

What CLE Courses are Available?
IT seminars 

The law school IT department’s Legal IT Seminar series at 8 am on selected Thursdays is free. These are valuable courses because you learn the tech skills you’ll need as a lawyer, and you get the chance to mingle with local lawyers on your own turf, the Karen J. Williams moot courtroom.

Journal symposia

The South Carolina Law Review and South Carolina Journal of International Law and Business each host symposia that typically offer CLE credit, and are free for law students. By attending, you can support your fellow law students who put a lot of work into organizing these, and delve into some interesting current topics.

SC Bar seminars

SC Bar hosts a lot of CLE. To highlight one offering in particular, the LPM-TECH (Law Practice Management TECHnology) conference is only $50 for law students. LPM-TECH takes place every September, and is especially great for those interested in solo and small firm practice, where you won’t be able to hand off tech issues to an in-house IT department.

Free to Above the Law readers

Readers of the legal blog Above the Law can get one free hour of online CLE via Lawline every month. September 2017’s topic is timely, considering hurricanes Harvey and Irma: Utilizing Government Contracts For Disaster Relief and Hazard Mitigation 2017 Update. South Carolina lawyers should be aware of South Carolina’s limitations on online CLE.

Complete, searchable list

The South Carolina Commission on CLE and Specialization provides a list of all seminars they have approved for CLE credit. Search for obscure topics or remote locations, and get a sense of the wide variety of CLE available.

Federal Rules of Evidence online

Taking a deep dive into the Federal Rules of Evidence? Here’s how to find searchable, annotated versions of the FRE on Westlaw and Lexis Advance, as well as how to find the official pdf version from the US Government Publishing Office.

Westlaw version (searchable, annotated)
  1. Log in to Westlaw.
  2. Click “Federal Materials,” then “United States Code Annotated (USCA).”
  3. Scroll down, just below Title 28, then click on “Federal Rules of Evidence.”
  4. At this point, any terms you enter in the search box will be searched throughout the FRE, or you can click the checkboxes next to particular rules first, in order to narrow the search to just those rules.
  5. Clicking the link to a particular rule will provide the text of the rule, Notes of Decisions (case law interpreting the rule), and Citing References (all primary and secondary materials available on Westlaw that cite to that rule; use filters to narrow this down).
Lexis Advance version (searchable, annotated)
  1. Log in to Lexis Advance.
  2. Click “Browse,” then “Sources,” then type USCS and click on “USCS – Federal Rules Annotated” in the list of suggestions, then click the magnifying glass to search.
  3. Click the link to “Table of Contents – USCS – Federal Rules Annotated.”
  4. To the right of “Federal Rules of Evidence,” there is a magnifying glass with a plus sign. Clicking this will narrow your search to just the Federal Rules of Evidence.
  5. To the left of “Federal Rules of Evidence” is a triangle. Clicking this triangle will expand the rules you can choose from. Clicking the link to a particular rule will provide the text of the rule, Interpretive Notes and Decisions (case law interpreting the rule), and a link to Shepardize the rule (this reveals all primary and secondary materials available on Lexis Advance that cite to the rule; options to narrow these results are on the left side of the screen).
US Government Publishing Office version (official)

The website is free; no login is needed. The pdfs available on the site have wide margins that are great for marking up with your own notes. Most importantly, these pdfs are official sources of law provided by the federal government.

PDF version of Federal Rules of Evidence on (93 pages; may load slowly)

Summer Reading

Do you have time to read a little for pleasure before school starts?

Check out the bestsellers in our popular collection, on the first floor between the public computers and the stairwell. These six are just a sample of the light reading we have to offer.

We’ve included the publishers’ synopses below.

Paradise Valley by C.J. Box

She almost caught him once. Now, he’s back.

For three years, Investigator Cassie Dewell has been on a hunt for a serial killer known as the Lizard King whose hunting grounds are the highways and truck stops where runaways and prostitutes are most likely to vanish. Cassie almost caught him…once.

Working for the Bakken County, North Dakota sheriff’s department, Cassie has set what she believes is the perfect trap and she has lured him and his truck to a depot. But the plan goes horribly wrong, and the blame falls on Cassie. Disgraced, she loses her job and investigation into her role is put into motion.

At the same time, Kyle Westergaard, a troubled kid whom Cassie has taken under her wing, has disappeared after telling people that he’s going off on a long-planned adventure. Kyle’s grandmother begs Cassie to find him and, with nothing else to do, Cassie agrees—all the while hunting the truck driver.

Now Cassie is a lone wolf. And in the same way that two streams converge into a river, Kyle’s disappearance may have a more sinister meaning than anyone realizes. With no allies, no support, and only her own wits to rely on, Cassie must take down a killer who is as ruthless as he is cunning. But can she do it alone, without losing her own humanity or her own life?

The Power of Broke by Daymond John

The instant New York Times bestseller from Shark Tank star and Fubu Founder Daymond John on why starting a business on a limited budget can be an entrepreneur’s greatest competitive advantage.

Daymond John has been practicing the power of broke ever since he started selling his home-sewn t-shirts on the streets of Queens. With a $40 budget, Daymond had to strategize out-of-the-box ways to promote his products. Luckily, desperation breeds innovation, and so he hatched an idea for a creative campaign that eventually launched the FUBU brand into a $6 billion dollar global phenomenon.  But it might not have happened if he hadn’t started out broke – with nothing but hope and a ferocious drive to succeed by any means possible.

Here, the FUBU founder and star of ABC’s Shark Tank shows that, far from being a liability, broke can actually be your greatest competitive advantage as an entrepreneur. Why?  Because starting a business from broke forces you to think more creatively.  It forces you to use your resources more efficiently. It forces you to connect with your customers more authentically, and market your ideas more imaginatively. It forces you to be true to yourself, stay laser focused on your goals, and come up with those innovative solutions required to make a meaningful mark.

Drawing his own experiences as an entrepreneur and branding consultant, peeks behind-the scenes from the set of Shark Tank, and stories of dozens of other entrepreneurs who have hustled their way to wealth, John shows how we can all leverage the power of broke to phenomenal success. You’ll meet:

· Steve Aoki, the electronic dance music (EDM) deejay who managed to parlay a series of $100 gigs into becoming a global superstar who has redefined the music industry
· Gigi Butler, a cleaning lady from Nashville who built cupcake empire on the back of a family  recipe, her maxed out credit cards, and a heaping dose of faith
· 11-year old Shark Tank guest Mo Bridges who stitched together a winning clothing line with just his grandma’s sewing machine, a stash of loose fabric, and his unique sartorial flair

When your back is up against the wall, your bank account is empty, and creativity and passion are the only resources you can afford, success is your only option. Here you’ll learn how to tap into that Power of Broke to scrape, hustle, and dream your way to the top.

Eyes Wide Open by Isaac Lidsky

In this New York Times bestseller, Isaac Lidsky draws on his experience of achieving immense success, joy, and fulfillment while losing his sight to a blinding disease to show us that it isn’t external circumstances, but how we perceive and respond to them, that governs our reality.

Fear has a tendency to give us tunnel vision—we fill the unknown with our worst imaginings and cling to what’s familiar. But when confronted with new challenges, we need to think more broadly and adapt. When Isaac Lidsky learned that he was beginning to go blind at age thirteen, eventually losing his sight entirely by the time he was twenty-five, he initially thought that blindness would mean an end to his early success and his hopes for the future. Paradoxically, losing his sight gave him the vision to take responsibility for his reality and thrive. Lidsky graduated from Harvard College at age nineteen, served as a Supreme Court law clerk, fathered four children, and turned a failing construction subcontractor into a highly profitable business.

Whether we’re blind or not, our vision is limited by our past experiences, biases, and emotions. Lidsky shows us how we can overcome paralyzing fears, avoid falling prey to our own assumptions and faulty leaps of logic, silence our inner critic, harness our strength, and live with open hearts and minds. In sharing his hard-won insights, Lidsky shows us how we too can confront life’s trials with initiative, humor, and grace.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.

Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

From Facebook’s COO and Wharton’s top-rated professor, the #1 New York Times best-selling authors of Lean In and Originals: a powerful, inspiring, and practical book about building resilience and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks.

After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. “I was in ‘the void,’” she writes, “a vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe.” Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, told her there are concrete steps people can take to recover and rebound from life-shattering experiences. We are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. It is a muscle that everyone can build.

Option B combines Sheryl’s personal insights with Adam’s eye-opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity. Beginning with the gut-wrenching moment when she finds her husband, Dave Goldberg, collapsed on a gym floor, Sheryl opens up her heart—and her journal—to describe the acute grief and isolation she felt in the wake of his death. But Option B goes beyond Sheryl’s loss to explore how a broad range of people have overcome hardships including illness, job loss, sexual assault, natural disasters, and the violence of war. Their stories reveal the capacity of the human spirit to persevere . . . and to rediscover joy.

Resilience comes from deep within us and from support outside us. Even after the most devastating events, it is possible to grow by finding deeper meaning and gaining greater appreciation in our lives. Option B illuminates how to help others in crisis, develop compassion for ourselves, raise strong children, and create resilient families, communities, and workplaces. Many of these lessons can be applied to everyday struggles, allowing us to brave whatever lies ahead. Two weeks after losing her husband, Sheryl was preparing for a father-child activity. “I want Dave,” she cried. Her friend replied, “Option A is not available,” and then promised to help her make the most of Option B.

We all live some form of Option B. This book will help us all make the most of it.

All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister

The New York Times bestselling investigation into the sexual, economic, and emotional lives of women is “an informative and thought-provoking book for anyone—not just the single ladies—who want to gain a greater understanding of this pivotal moment in the history of the United States” (The New York Times Book Review).

In 2009, award-winning journalist Rebecca Traister started All the Single Ladies about the twenty-first century phenomenon of the American single woman. It was the year the proportion of American women who were married dropped below fifty percent; and the median age of first marriages, which had remained between twenty and twenty-two years old for nearly a century (1890–1980), had risen dramatically to twenty-seven.

But over the course of her vast research and more than a hundred interviews with academics and social scientists and prominent single women, Traister discovered a startling truth: the phenomenon of the single woman in America is not a new one. And historically, when women were given options beyond early heterosexual marriage, the results were massive social change—temperance, abolition, secondary education, and more. Today, only twenty percent of Americans are married by age twenty-nine, compared to nearly sixty percent in 1960.

All the Single Ladies is a remarkable portrait of contemporary American life and how we got here, covering class, race, sexual orientation, and filled with vivid anecdotes from fascinating contemporary and historical figures through the lens of the unmarried American woman.