Summer Reading Recommendations

As an incoming first year law student, you might be wondering what you can do to help you prepare for law school this fall. While we hope you will take some time for rest, relaxation and spending quality time with your family and friends, our faculty members have provided the following reading recommendations to help you prepare for your exciting new endeavor as a 1L. Happy Reading!

The Classics

Getting Ready for Law School

"A classic account of a first year experience." (Archibald)

"A new release focusing on the 1L experience." (Henning)

"This book picks up after the Doyle series has concluded. Sherlock meets his match: An American/English girl who can reason as sharply as he and is equally obstreperous." (Belian)

Interested in the Supreme Court?

"This book follows the Justices for 10 years of decision-making, which is timely given Justice Scalia's unexpected passing and the controversy regarding how and when to fill the vacancy." (Warren)

"A compelling read about the Supreme Court in the 1970s." (Harris)

"An exploration of recent Supreme Court decisions." (Langvardt)

Interested in theories of legal interpretation?

"This book offers readers an important perspective on how to understand the language of the law, and the kinds of arguments that advocates can and should make when asking courts to engage in textual interpretation."

 "A timeless classic." (Harris)

"A great primer." (Archibald)

Interested in Historical Figures?

"This book follows Justice Marshall's career with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and his criminal defense work on behalf of young African American men accused of raping white women in the South in the 1940s and 1950s." (Henning)

"An excellent biography of the second President of the United States by one of the world's best historical writers, this book introduces readers to some of the main players in the founding of our country, many of them lawyers by training, like Adams." (Archerd)

"This book tells is the autobiographical account of the efforts of an attorney, Morris Dees, to support the cause of civil rights and to fight hate groups in our country." (Dubin)

"It is challenging but provides a good practical model of how a lawyer should relate to his clients and the world." (Hand)

Interested in Legal Cases?

"An excellent exploration of criminal prosecutions and the criminal justice system. An enthralling read." (Paruch)

"An exploration of race relations in Detroit in the 1920s. Remains relevant today. The book culminates in the murder trial of Dr. Ossian Sweet who was represented by Clarence Darrow." (Costello)

"Tells the story of a wrongly convicted death row inmate in Alabama. The author, Bryan Stevenson, is one of the finest lawyers of his generation and is also, in the view of some, the moral conscience of the legal profession." (Wilkins)

"The book follows the efforts of a plaintiff attorney to hold two large corporations liable for the consequences of their actions. The book exposes students to how civil litigation and discovery work in our country." (Goldman)

Other Words of Advice:

  • Professor Belian recommends reading quality fiction such as The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King for following two reasons: 1) You probably once enjoyed reading books, and it's helpful to remember that before you start law school; 2) reading fiction every day (half an hour is enough) serves as a perfect "tonic" to balance the effects of reading legal materials, and now is the time to reinvigorate your reading habits."