13 Books Every Law Student Should Read
Guest Post by Toby Dean
Law school, a time for learning, for preparing for the real world, and for a job that is one of the most demanding jobs there are. Law students don’t have it easy, the volume of work is one of the highest out of all colleges, and you need to be on top on your game at all times, otherwise there will always be someone ready to take your place.
But they say college is the best time of your life, and they’re right. You’re young, you have your whole life ahead of you and know that you, and you alone, will mold the person you will be for the rest of your life. We’ve got 13 books that every law student needs to read by the time they finish school. They range from fiction, personal development, to law writing, so here are our 13 recommendations, in no particular order. Read on and take notes!
13. 1000 Days to the Bar But the Practice of Law Begins Now
Author: Dennis J. Tonsing
Highly recommended by many law school professors, this book will offer a guide, as to what to expect during your law school years. It will give you a foundation and even a leg up on your colleagues and guide through what it really means to be in law school.
12. Women Lawyers: Rewriting the Rules
Author: Mona Harrington
If you’re a woman who’s thinking about going to law school, or you’re already in law school, this is a must-read. Women Lawyers is a well-written book, with plenty of insights on what it is like to have a career in law, along with interviews with women who are practicing law.
11. The Finz Multistate Method
Author: Steven R. Finz
This book is a fantastic source of multistate bar exam practice questions. It’s one of those books that every single law student needs for their bar exam. It includes a whopping 1,167 multiple questions and answers, a complete MBE-style practice exam, supplemental question for your bar review, among other useful bits. You just can’t go wrong with Finz!
10. The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style
Author: Bryan Garner
This book is one of the most authoritative and easy to use manuals of legal style. It’s comprehensive and helpful, and if you’re struggling with writing in the legal style, it’s definitely for you! Even if you don’t, it’s still a gem in your collection!
9. 1L of a Ride: A Well-Traveled Professor's Roadmap to Success in the First Year of Law School
Author: Andrew J. McClurg
The first year of law school is crucial! And this book will help you navigate that first year, so that you are as prepared as possible, and almost nothing can take you by surprise. Some of the topics includes types of professors and students, exam strategies, legal research and writing, stress management, and even details about your first-year curriculum.
8. The Buffalo Creek Disaster: How the Survivors of One of the Worst Disasters in Coal-Mining History Brought Suit Against the Coal Company—and Won
Author: Gerald M. Stern
The Buffalo Creek disaster was one of the deadliest floods in the history of the U.S. 125 people were killed, 1,000 were injured, and over 4,000 were left homeless. Instead of settling for a derisory amount of money, survivors gathered their forces and sued the insurance company. And they won, which at the time was an incredible triumph, and Stern was the young lawyer who won the case. The book is fascinating and incredibly useful!
7. Reading Like a Lawyer: Time-Saving Strategies for Reading Law Like an Expert
Author: Ruth Ann McKinney
Your academic career depends on how well you can read law and this book is a requirement if you want to do well in law school. It includes critical reasoning and reading strategies, practice exercises, and so much more. Do yourself a favor and get this book!
6. Grammar For Grownups: A Guide to Grammar and Usage for Everyone Who Has to Put Words on Paper Effectively
Author: Val Dumond
Everyone needs a little help with their grammar, and this book is just that help. Whether you plan on being a family law solicitor or a divorce attorney, your written word needs to flawless for you have any authority in front of your clients. Start with it as early as possible, and you’ll be a grammar fiend by the time to finish school.
5. To Kill a Mockingbird
Author: Harper Lee
It’s an all-time classic! One that has inspired generations of lawyer, and one that should be a mandatory read for any student of law. It’s inspiring, and at times, challenging, but it is a literary treasure. If you haven’t read it already, go ahead and do it now!
4. Getting To Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams
Author: Richard Michael Fischl
Exams are no fun, no matter what school you’re attending. This book is meant as a way of helping the law student through their law school exams. It’s insightful and fun, clear and balanced. It will help you improve your performance and ace your exams!
3. Looking at Law School: A Student Guide from the Society of American Law Teachers
Author: Stephen Gillers
If you’re interested in something more than tips and tricks for doing well in school, this is the book for you. It offers comprehensive background on the course of study, and gives you that much-needed bigger picture that all freshmen need. It’s a great resource for any law student!
2. One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School
Author: Scott Turow
This is the book for anyone who has ever thought about going to law school. It recounts the author’s first year at Harvard Law School, with the ups and down, tips and tricks, and everything in between. It’s as if an older friend, who finished law school, is telling you’re their story. It’s amazing and a must-read!
1. The End of Lawyers?: Rethinking the nature of legal services Revised Edition
Author: Richard Susskind
It’s a book that makes you challenge everything you know about lawyers and being a lawyer. The legal profession is transforming, and you need to constantly reassess so many aspects of the profession and your role in it. It’s a great book any law student should read!
Need help getting your law career off on the right foot?
Whether you’ve just started law school, just finished, or are a junior lawyer, our Career Services for Junior Attorneys & Law Students can help ensure you put your best foot forward when it comes to attracting and landing your dream job. We can help with concrete tasks such as writing your résumé & cover letters, or preparing for interviews, or even help with more abstract concepts such as what to do with your law degree or identifying your best fit roles and employers.
About the Author: Guest Post by Toby Dean
Toby Dean works on behalf of mhhplaw.com in outreach and content creation. He creates engaging content that help businesses connect with their audience and stand out from the crowd.