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Book recomendations for students entering law school in Fall, 2021

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Does anybody have any books that they could reccomend to somebody that is starting law school in Fall 2021? I mean books that could be read in our spare time over the summer, not the books that would be bought for law school itself.

 

The recommendations could come from anywhere, including

-Books written by lawyers

-Books about the law

-Novels of any kind

-Cases, introductory books, other documents etc.

 

Any recommendations would be appreciated. Thank you!

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I've read a couple of law school / law specific books (The Legal Analyst by Ward Farnsworth, 1L of a Ride by Andrew McClurg), both of which were quite good. 

I'm planning on spending more time reading novels over before starting school though. 

What sort of fiction to you like to read? Happy to hit you with some suggestions depending on your tastes.

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Breakdown: The Inside Story of the Rise and Fall of Heenan Blaikie. It's a great story of the rise and downfall of a now-defunct national firm, the largest to have ever shut its doors. I have only just started it, but apparently you can skip the chapter on tax law.

I'm a bit of a history nerd so getting this taste of the history of a law firm and an analysis of why this happened, rather than the consideration of various doctrines or laws, is a nice change of pace.

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Its a popular one and based on American school (neverthless helpful) but How to Get to Maybe is great for law school exams. I knew nothing about law school exams and how different they really were from undergrad and the different skills required - you will learn these in your 1L but the book is a fantastic intro. 

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16 minutes ago, PlayALawyerOnTV said:

I've read a couple of law school / law specific books (The Legal Analyst by Ward Farnsworth, 1L of a Ride by Andrew McClurg), both of which were quite good. 

I'm planning on spending more time reading novels over before starting school though. 

What sort of fiction to you like to read? Happy to hit you with some suggestions depending on your tastes.

I like Russian writers. Although I have only started on them, I really enjoy Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, and Tolstoy. If there are any 'classics' that might be good for a pre-law student, I would love your recommendations. I also used to enjoy reading fantasy (Song of Ice and Fire, Lord of the Rings, etc). I am very open minded to anything though

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Posted (edited)

Not a law student, but I found Crime and Punishment very enjoyable. Like most classic Russian literature it will take a bit of effort on the part of the reader but it was worth it IMO.

 

ETA: I also recently read a book on the Canadian constitution by Adam Dodek, which was also interesting (but maybe only because I'm a bit of a nerd). I picked up a few things about how the government works that I didn't know before.

Edited by undertheletter
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5 minutes ago, gregorio1296 said:

I like Russian writers. Although I have only started on them, I really enjoy Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, and Tolstoy. If there are any 'classics' that might be good for a pre-law student, I would love your recommendations. I also used to enjoy reading fantasy (Song of Ice and Fire, Lord of the Rings, etc). I am very open minded to anything though

If you like Russian authors, and are open to sci fi, you should give Roadside Picnic by Arkady Strugatsky a go.

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I've thoroughly enjoyed My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it's a collection of her writings through the years. She's always been a legal icon to me, so would recommend. 

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3 minutes ago, RUIQ said:

I've thoroughly enjoyed My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it's a collection of her writings through the years. She's always been a legal icon to me, so would recommend. 

I can second this....its amazing to hear her story all the while being exposed to her writing style and opinions on things. Very cool...am currently in the middle of reading this. 

Also - Guns, Germs and Steel is amazing. Historical account but if you're into that then you'll love it. 

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Heart of a Dog, and Master & Margarita by Bulgakov are both great. I'm reading the latter right now and it's such an absurd yet interesting read.

If you like dystopian fiction (Brave New World, 1984) We by Zamyatin is a good read. 

If you want to be thoroughly disturbed, Lolita by Nabokov. (still a great book) 

 

These are all probably considered classics but aren't 'law' related. They definitely include political/social topics though. 

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22 minutes ago, samii said:

Heart of a Dog, and Master & Margarita by Bulgakov are both great. I'm reading the latter right now and it's such an absurd yet interesting read.

If you like dystopian fiction (Brave New World, 1984) We by Zamyatin is a good read. 

If you want to be thoroughly disturbed, Lolita by Nabokov. (still a great book) 

 

These are all probably considered classics but aren't 'law' related. They definitely include political/social topics though. 

I've read Brave New World and I thoroughly enjoyed I believe that your first suggestion sounds very interesting too!

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Are there any recommendations for future law students who aren't really avid readers. I haven't read a single book since high school, and I want to starting reading again. It's not that I hate reading or anything I just haven't done it in so long since I've always opted to a Netflix show or YouTube video instead. Any recommendations to get non-readers back into books again? 

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6 minutes ago, pshmbnz said:

Any recommendations to get non-readers back into books again? 

one hundred years of solitude. this book got me back into books. 

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Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. One of the best books I've ever read. Here's a write-up from The Guardian: "Stevenson is now one of America’s leading voices on poverty, inequality and racial injustice, but in the early 1980s, he was a law student with no vision for his future. A rallying cry for justice advocates, Just Mercy tells the story of Stevenson’s moral and legal awakening, which happened to parallel the move towards mass incarceration in the US. Stevenson focuses on the harrowing stories of the people he represents – the poor, the condemned, the wrongfully accused – but his perspective is ultimately hopeful: we can change things, and we are obligated to try."

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2 hours ago, gregorio1296 said:

I like Russian writers. Although I have only started on them, I really enjoy Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, and Tolstoy. If there are any 'classics' that might be good for a pre-law student, I would love your recommendations. I also used to enjoy reading fantasy (Song of Ice and Fire, Lord of the Rings, etc). I am very open minded to anything though

Bleak House by Dickens!! A classic about a never-ending trial and the best Dickens IMO. 

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18 minutes ago, Smithton said:

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. One of the best books I've ever read. Here's a write-up from The Guardian: "Stevenson is now one of America’s leading voices on poverty, inequality and racial injustice, but in the early 1980s, he was a law student with no vision for his future. A rallying cry for justice advocates, Just Mercy tells the story of Stevenson’s moral and legal awakening, which happened to parallel the move towards mass incarceration in the US. Stevenson focuses on the harrowing stories of the people he represents – the poor, the condemned, the wrongfully accused – but his perspective is ultimately hopeful: we can change things, and we are obligated to try."

This was one of the best books I've read so far. Really changed my perspective on capital punishment, mass incarceration and the justice system. 10/10 would recommend. 

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17 hours ago, Smithton said:

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. One of the best books I've ever read. Here's a write-up from The Guardian: "Stevenson is now one of America’s leading voices on poverty, inequality and racial injustice, but in the early 1980s, he was a law student with no vision for his future. A rallying cry for justice advocates, Just Mercy tells the story of Stevenson’s moral and legal awakening, which happened to parallel the move towards mass incarceration in the US. Stevenson focuses on the harrowing stories of the people he represents – the poor, the condemned, the wrongfully accused – but his perspective is ultimately hopeful: we can change things, and we are obligated to try."

This seems like a great suggestion! Thank you, I will definetly check it out

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, pshmbnz said:

Are there any recommendations for future law students who aren't really avid readers. I haven't read a single book since high school, and I want to starting reading again. It's not that I hate reading or anything I just haven't done it in so long since I've always opted to a Netflix show or YouTube video instead. Any recommendations to get non-readers back into books again? 

Not law related but anything by Kurt Vonnegut, he's so entertaining.

Edited by legallybrunette3
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Bad Judgement and Bad Law by John Reilly. It's a good take on the issues with our criminal justice system, specifically with regards to how we treat Indigenous peoples. 

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