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gregorio1296

Book recomendations for students entering law school in Fall, 2021

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I remember asking law grads the same thing when I was entering 1L.

They told me, "Spend your summer before 1L reading things you like because you won't have time to read for leisure when the term begins." A coupe years later and that remains partially true.

I'd recommend the following: 

If you're into Criminal law: 

1984 by Orwell. This is a classic book that always helps remind me why we have a Charter and why the police need to follow it during criminal investigations. I love the way the Supreme Courts cites it in R v Fearon.

If you like Aboriginal law: 

Unsettling the Settler Within by Regan. This is an academic text. But even if you read only a handful of chapters, you'll have a good understanding of s. 35 of the Charter and a variety of Indigenous, TRC, and State issues. 

Porcupines and China Dolls by Alexie. This is another literary piece of fiction. It's all about residential schools and the problem of intergenerational trauma... it helped me understand the historical importance of residential schools and how they have caused so many contemporary issues for Inidigenous peoples: inadequate housing, suicide rates, mental health crisis, economic disparity, addiction, sixties scoop, Gladue courts, racism, etc. 

For corporate law:

Investing for Canadians for Dummies - I read this in my last year of undergrad because I knew nothing about finance or investing. Fast-forward several years later and I still find the knowledge from this book of great value. Not only did it allow me to get my own investments in order, but I found that prior knowledge really useful while studying business law. 

Films - Must Watch for any law student

Paper Chase + Whiplash - Both films explore the costs of being "great" in one's career. 

 

 

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For french speakers out there, there is Royal, which follows a very competitive/obsessed law student for the first two years of law school (through admission, grade pressure, the curve, and particularly the OCI process). I read it in undergrad and found it gave me a lot of perspective before getting into law.

* It does however have some dark themes; it could be potentially triggering to someone dealing with mental health issues. 

 

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0l here. I'm reading One L by Scott Turow, great book about his 1st year experience at Harvard Law. Will likely read To Kill a Mocking Bird as well.

On 3/11/2021 at 7:22 PM, 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? 

I'm in a similar boat as you. Aside from the textbooks, articles, and online forums/news, I haven't finished a novel in years. I would suggest getting into the habit of reading and writing everyday. Look for books laying around, rent books from the library, read magazines like the Economist. Start writing in a journal and/or take a writing class online for fun.

Law school is going to be pretty much all reading and writing. We are talking 6 to 10 hours of reading a day. And the exams are essay format. So I'd suggest getting into the habit now!

Edited by LSATGRIND69
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On 3/13/2021 at 3:21 PM, lawfullyhopeful3 said:

For french speakers out there, there is Royal, which follows a very competitive/obsessed law student for the first two years of law school (through admission, grade pressure, the curve, and particularly the OCI process). I read it in undergrad and found it gave me a lot of perspective before getting into law.

* It does however have some dark themes; it could be potentially triggering to someone dealing with mental health issues. 

 

author?

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Clarence Darrow's autobiography "The Story of my Life" is only $1 on Kindle.  

It can be rambling at times, but it is a fantastic autobiography which provides insight on a lot of historical events from post-Civil War to pre-World War 2 that tend to be forgotten.  

 

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Posted (edited)

The Supremes’ Greatest Hits, 2nd Revised & Updated Edition: The 44 Supreme Court Cases That Most Directly Affect Your Life – by Michael G. Trachtman

While it's based in American laws/decisions from the Supreme Court of the United States, if you enjoy history/social changes throughout history, this book is very cool as it explores cases from way back to the time of the writing the constitution, all the way to recent cases since 2010.

It's a pretty easy read, not too dense, divided up on topics including: civil rights, limits of government, division of church and state, free speech, new matters on privacy and technology, etc. Personally, I found it was so interesting to see how American laws differ from Canadian ones on topics that are so relevant and in the media nowadays!

Some would say the author's commentary has a liberal bias (which I can see); however, I still found the ways the cases were explained with the facts to be easy to understand and enjoyable overall, regardless of the author's own judgement of the court decisions.

Edited by woahnelly
Added note on bias

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If you haven't already, read books on personal finance and money/debt management. You'll learn the law in law school. If you're paying for school yourself via financing, learning about money management is important. 

Book recommendations:

The Wealthy Barber Returns - David Chilton 

Debt Free Forever - Gail Vaz-Oxlade 

More Money for Beer and Text Books - Kyle Prevost and Justin Bouchard 

All Your Worth - Elizabeth Warren (previously a law professor) 

Millionaire Teacher - Andrew Hallam

The Value of Simple - John Robertson

Edited by burr0wn
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On 3/11/2021 at 6:54 PM, gregorio1296 said:

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!

This will sound weird. If you like history or biography, a couple of years ago I discovered the Waterfield translation of 12 of Plutarch’s Lives, collected by Oxford UP into a book called Roman Lives. (I told you it would sound weird). This translation really brings the text to life and the book ended up being my bedtime reading for a while.  But be sure to get the right translation! I would say you have to be into this kind of thing, but I didn’t know I was till I discovered it. I found it less challenging than I expected, and a lot more fun. 

or... 

You could also read Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela’s Autobiography.  Actually, maybe just go with that.😁

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On 3/11/2021 at 9:22 PM, 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? 

Books for non-readers! All 3 of these are fairly short page-turners that still manage to make an impact. I loved all of them, and would actually recommend listening to the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peele Pie Society as an audiobook- it’s written in the epistolary style, and seems to lend itself well to the audiobook format. My recommendations are as follows:

The Thursday Murder Club 

Anxious People

The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Home (Bill Bryson, non-fiction)

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On 3/18/2021 at 10:48 AM, CreativeTimbre said:

Books for non-readers! All 3 of these are fairly short page-turners that still manage to make an impact. I loved all of them, and would actually recommend listening to the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peele Pie Society as an audiobook- it’s written in the epistolary style, and seems to lend itself well to the audiobook format. My recommendations are as follows:

The Thursday Murder Club 

Anxious People

The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Home (Bill Bryson, non-fiction)

I second the book Anxious People for those who haven't read for leisure in a long while. This book helped spark my love for reading again.

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Kinda late to the party but Truth Be Told by Beverly McLachlin (former Chief Justice) is a great autobiography of her life, if you're interested in that kind of thing.

I feel compelled as a student of philosophy to also add:

Apology and Crito by Plato (former is Socrates' trial as he is sentenced to death and latter is a discussion of when (if) injustice is permissible)

Politics by Aristotle (for interesting insights in law and leaders)

On 3/11/2021 at 7:28 PM, 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

Also, for Russian authors: The Gulag Archipelago (I read the abridged version) by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is a harrowing, brutal account of Russian communism - and important insight into why democracy and a fair justice system is so important.

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Since I haven't seen it mentioned, All Quiet on the Western Front is a good book in general that is appropriate in any era.  Especially with cold war tensions being so high right now, it's a good reminder of the true cost of war and how it is borne by actual normal folk who get inevitably caught up in it.

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6 hours ago, meandtheboys said:

Since I haven't seen it mentioned, All Quiet on the Western Front is a good book in general that is appropriate in any era.  Especially with cold war tensions being so high right now, it's a good reminder of the true cost of war and how it is borne by actual normal folk who get inevitably caught up in it.

I love this book!

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If you're interested in historical fiction, Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth and sequels are really quite gripping. Though they're quite long, I couldn't put them down. Same with Bernard Cornwell's Azincourt. 

Though it isn't necessarily related to law, I think a non-fiction book that is a good read is Our Kids by Robert Putnam. Though primarily focused on the United States, I think the book illustrates how generational inequities are passed down through education, housing, law, etc. 

 

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