Summer Reading Recommendations

RBroughton, J. Richardichard Broughton
Assistant Professor of Law

Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts by Antonin Scalia and Bryan Garner. 

Because it’s a major part of what we do.  Whether you agree or disagree with the analyses and methodologies that Scalia and Garner employ, their insights will prove invaluable in learning how to grapple with the language of the law.


Karen HenHenning, Karen McDonaldning
Assistant Professor of Law

The Nine by Toobin -- a fascinating glimpse of 10 years at the Supreme Court when the Justices remained the same. The book gives the "inside scoop" on many of the major constitutional cases from 1995 until 2005 and is a page turner.

Arc of Justice by Boyle -- a gripping story set in Detroit in the 1920s involving an african-american family who bought a house and subjected to mob violence. The book provides an insiders' look at the Detroit social, political and legal scheme.

An Innocent Man by Grisham -- a true story about the conviction of an innocent
man in Oklahoma. Even though you know that the individual is innocent, Grisham
keeps you glued to the book.

The New Yorker and Atlantic magazines. Both cover many current legal issues.


maveal
Professor of Law
 
Karl Llewellyn's The Bramble Bush: On our Law and its Study, the classic introduction to your lilfe in law.   
 
The Bramble Bush is a sublime primer on the study of law and the vital role of lawyers in our courts and society.  I recommend this book for its insights on the lawyer's craft and how the rigor of law school empowers a person to be the change they want to see in the world.  While much has changed in law schools since this book was first published in 1930, its lessons are still true today.

mminer

Markeisha Miner
Assistant Dean
Career Services and Outreach

Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights and Murder in the Jazz Age by Kevin Boyle.  

Boyle provides a fascinating account of a murder trial involving some of the most famous names in Detroit’s and the legal profession’s history: Judge Frank Murphy, former University of Detroit law professor who went on to become a United States Supreme Court Justice; renowned defense attorney Clarence Darrow; and Ossian Sweet, a doctor whose family fought to live in the neighborhood of their choice.  Lawyers and non-lawyers alike will have a hard time putting this book down.


bryceC. Michael Bryce
Associate Professor

Whether you are taking classes or working this summer, a good chance exists for you to build upon your "context" of knowledge for becoming a good lawyer.  You can do so through reading certain books and actually playing certain games. 
 
Many students believe that learning to be a lawyer is only done through reading numerous law books, law review articles, legal outlines and treatises in law school; but that is hardly the gamut that fully develops your judgment to be an effective attorney! 
 
The following list is offered as one view of what is essential reading for developing to be a lawyer, outside of law books and the classroom.  I recognize that many of you may have read a number of these books, but I still offer them as important in developing to be a Renaissance person! 

My reading list would include:

  1. "Rumpole of the Bailey" by John Mortimer.
  2. "Babette's Feast" by Isak Dinesen.
  3. "1984" by George Orwell.
  4. "How Life Imitates Chess" by Gary Kasparov
  5. "The Prince" by Machiavelli.

paruchDeborah Paruch
Associate Professor of Law

The Innocent Man by John Grisham

Supplementary Reading Materials:

Questions to Consider

Opinion in the Federal District Habeas Corpus Case William v. Reynolds

Opinion in the libel action filed by the prosecutor in the case against Grisham and Dennis Fritz (the other man accused of the murder)


nancyNancy M. Omichinski
Director of Academic Support

Law 101: Everything You Need to Know About the American Legal System by Jay M. Feinman.

This book provides a nice overview of many of the basic subjects studied in law school. It is written for non-lawyers and is very easy to read and comprehend. Law school applicants should find this book interesting and helpful, because it will give them a start in thinking about the subjects in which they will immerse themselves beginning in the first semester. Law school applicants also might recommend this book to their non- lawyer family members and friends who wish to learn something about the subjects that law students typically study.