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!
- Bridging the Gap Between College and Law School by Ruta K. Stropus & Charlotte D. Taylor
- 1L of a Ride: A Well-Traveled Professor's Roadmap to Success in the First Year of Law School by Andrew McClurg
- Think Like a Lawyer: Legal Reasoning for Law Students and Business Professionals by E. Scott Fruehwald
- Reading Like a Lawyer by Cynthia McKinney
Getting Ready for Law School
"A classic account of a first year experience." (Archibald)
- Called On by Lisa McElroy
"A new release focusing on the 1L experience." (Henning)
- The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King
"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?
- The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Tobin
"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)
- The Brethren by Woodward and Armstrong
"A compelling read about the Supreme Court in the 1970s." (Harris)
- The Oath: The Obama White House and The Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin
"An exploration of recent Supreme Court decisions." (Langvardt)
Interested in theories of legal interpretation?
- Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts by Antonin Scalia and Bryan Garner
"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."
- The Bramble Bush by Karl Llewellyn
"A timeless classic." (Harris)
- A History of American Law by Lawrence M. Friedman
"A great primer." (Archibald)
Interested in Historical Figures?
- Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America by Gilbert King
"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)
- John Adams by David McCullough
"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)
- A Lawyer's Journey – The Morris Dees Story by Morris Dees
"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)
- Abraham Lincoln by Carl Sandburg
"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?
- The Innocent Man by John Grisham
"An excellent exploration of criminal prosecutions and the criminal justice system. An enthralling read." (Paruch)
- Arc of Justice by Kevin Boyle
"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)
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
"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)
- A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr
"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."