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Summer syllabus: Books to read before starting law school

Quickly-to-be law college students, that is your
summer time reading listing.

Okay, you don’t want to read all these books—with 30+ books, they’re in all probability too many for one summer time anyway! However they are helpful, inspiring, and empowering picks all law students may contemplate.

These books cover every thing from acclimating to your first yr of law school to essential productiveness hacks to common life advice that anyone (everybody?) would profit from studying. Most of them are specifically concerning the law school/lawyer experience however not all. This record additionally consists of some particular suggestions from the law school school at New England Law | Boston. (*—Official New England Law | Boston summer time studying suggestion for admitted college students)

Decide your favorites, seize a bookmark, and
begin reading—so you could have the most effective law school expertise potential.

About law school/getting ready for 1L yr

Your first yr of
law school might be in contrast to something you’ve skilled before. Studying only one
of those books can make you are feeling far more empowered and prepared for what that
courageous new world entails.

1L of a Journey: A Nicely-traveled Professor’s Roadmap to Success in the First Yr of Law School, Andrew McClurg*: “A candid, comprehensive roadmap to both academic and emotional success in law school’s crucial first year…topics in the revised and updated third edition include pre-planning, top student fears, first-year curriculum, the Socratic and case methods of teaching, effective class participation, top habits of successful students, essential study techniques, legal research and writing, exam strategies, maintaining well-being, and much more.” (Amazon)

Discovering Your Voice in Law School: Mastering Classroom Chilly Calls, Job Interviews, and Other Verbal Challenges, Molly Bishop Shadel: “A step-by-step guide to the most difficult tests you will confront as a law student, from making a speech in front of a room full of lawyers to arguing before a judge and jury.” (Amazon)

Law School Confidential: A Full Information to the Law School Experience: By College students, for College students, Robert H. Miller: “Strategies for thriving and surviving in law school, from navigating the admissions process and securing financial aid, choosing classes, studying and exam strategies, and securing a seat on the law review to getting a judicial clerkship and a job, passing the bar exam, and much, much more.” (Amazon)

The Legal Analyst: A Toolkit for Considering Concerning the Law, Ward Farnsworth: “Farnsworth brings together in one place all of the most powerful of those tools for thinking about law, from classic ideas in game theory such as the ‘Prisoner’s Dilemma’ and the ‘Stag Hunt’ to psychological principles such as hindsight bias and framing effects.” (University of Chicago Press)

One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Yr at Harvard Law School, Scott Turow: “Everyone who has decided to attend law school should read this book before and after their first year to see whether it really spoke to their law school experience. These days, hopefully, it does not! I believe the first year of law school has changed more since the publication of Turow’s book in 1997 than in the previous eighty years. The experience is now decidedly more humane. Still, an important part of it is unchanged—the teaching of legal principles and their application in a handful of doctrinal areas through a question-and-answer methodology. When it works well, it pushes students to think about the logical connections between what courts have decided before and what that experience tells us about how they would resolve related issues today. It’s a skill that distinguishes lawyers from everyone else. It remains at the core of the first-year experience.” (Professor Lawrence Friedman)

Swimming Classes for Baby Sharks, Grover E. Cleveland: “This book contains hundreds of tips from attorneys throughout the country with the critical advice new lawyers need to ensure their success. The book is current and comprehensive, providing useful, practical advice that law schools don’t teach.” (Amazon)

The Scholar Mortgage Handbook for Law Students and Attorneys, Adam S. Minsky: “[Author Adam S. Minsky] explores profession-specific repayment strategies unique to the legal field, and provides readers with the information they need to keep their loans in good standing, avoid negative consequences, and achieve debt freedom.” (Google Books)

Considering Like a Lawyer: A New Introduction to Authorized Reasoning, Frederick Schauer: “This primer on legal reasoning is aimed at law students and upper-level undergraduates…. It covers such topics as rules, precedent, authority, analogical reasoning, the common law, statutory interpretation, legal realism, judicial opinions, legal facts, and burden of proof.” (Harvard College Press)

Related: What I Want I Knew Before Law School

About teachers (learning, reading, writing)

Want to write
higher, readbetter, even study
better? Begin with these books.

The Parts of Type, William Strunk Jr., E. B. White: “This style manual offers practical advice on improving writing skills. Throughout, the emphasis is on promoting a plain English style. This little book can help you communicate more effectively by showing you how to enliven your sentences.” (Goodreads)

Getting to Perhaps: How to Excel on Law School Exams, Richard Michael Fischl, Jeremy Paul: “The book contains hints on studying and preparation that go well beyond conventional advice. The authors also illustrate how to argue both sides of a legal issue without appearing wishy-washy or indecisive. Above all, the book explains why exam questions may generate feelings of uncertainty or doubt about correct legal outcomes and how the student can turn these feelings to his or her advantage.” (Amazon)

Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Studying, Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, Mark A. McDaniel: “Drawing on cognitive psychology and other fields, Make It Stick offers techniques for becoming more productive learners, and cautions against study habits and practice routines that turn out to be counterproductive.” (Google Books)

Open E-book: Succeeding on Exams from the First Day of Law School, Barry Friedman*: “An insider’s view of what professors look for in exam answers and how exam-taking connects to good lawyering.” (Amazon)

Studying Like a Lawyer: Time Saving Methods for Reading Law Like an Professional, Ruth Ann McKinney*: “The ability to read law well is a critical, indispensable skill that can make or break the academic career of any aspiring lawyer…. Using seven specific reading strategies, reinforced with hands-on exercises at the end of each chapter, this book shows students how they can read law efficiently, effectively, powerfully, and confidently.” (Goodreads)

Storyworthy: Interact, Train, Persuade, and Change Your Life via the Energy of Storytelling, Matthew Dicks: “Straightforward and engaging tips and techniques for constructing, telling, and polishing stories that will hold the attention of your audience, no matter how big or small.” (Amazon)

Associated: The Final Guide to Undergrad vs. Law School: All of the Differences You Want to Know

About productiveness and life expertise

From productiveness
hacks to ways of cultivating extra gratitude, peace, and joy in your self, these
books supply nice advice on what it takes to reside the life you’ve all the time
imagined, in law school and out.

Atomic Habits: An Straightforward & Proven Method to Construct Good Habits & Break Dangerous Ones, James Clear: “Learn how to make time for new habits (even when life gets crazy), overcome a lack of motivation and willpower, design your environment to make success easier, get back on track when you fall off course, and much more.” (Amazon)

Decisive: How to Make Better Decisions in Life and Work, Chip Heath, Dan Heath: “Specific, practical tools that can help us to think more clearly about our options, and get out of our heads, to improve our decision making, at work and at home.” (Goodreads)

Deep Work: Guidelines for Targeted Success in a Distracted World, Cal Newport: “In almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. [The author] presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four ‘rules,’ for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill.” (Amazon)

Getting Issues Achieved: The Artwork of Stress-Free Productivity, David Allen: “From core principles to proven tricks, Getting Things Done can transform the way you work, showing you how to pick up the pace without wearing yourself down.” (Amazon)

A Information to the Good Life: The Historic Artwork of Stoic Pleasure, William B. Irvine: “Irvine plumbs the wisdom of Stoic philosophy, one of the most popular and successful schools of thought in ancient Rome, and shows how its insight and advice are still remarkably applicable to modern lives.” (Amazon)

Hyperfocus: How to Be Extra Productive in a World of Distraction, Chris Bailey: “Our brain has two powerful modes that can be unlocked when we use our attention well: a focused mode (hyperfocus), which is the foundation for being highly productive, and a creative mode (scatterfocus), which enables us to connect ideas in novel ways. Hyperfocus helps readers unlock both, so they can concentrate more deeply, think more clearly, and work and live more deliberately.” (Goodreads)

How to Win Buddies and Affect Individuals, Dale Carnegie: “A timeless bestseller, packed with rock-solid advice that has carried thousands of now famous people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives.” (Goodreads)

Man’s Seek for Which means, Viktor E. Frankl: “Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival.… [he] argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose.” (Amazon)

About being a lawyer and legal careers

These books will
make it easier to discover legal profession paths, hone your understanding of what the law actually is, and even preview the lifetime of
a lawyer (by way of non-fictional and fictional lenses!).

24 Hours with 24 Legal professionals: Profiles of Conventional and Non-Traditional Careers, Jasper Kim: “From the time they wake up in the morning to the time they go to bed, each professional illustrates what their position entails on a day-to-day basis.” (Amazon)

The Artwork of Cross-Examination, Francis Lewis Wellman: “A classic text for trial attorneys and law students on how to cross-examine witnesses.” (Wikipedia)

A Civil Motion, Jonathan Harr*: “This is a personal favorite. I was a practicing environmental lawyer in Boston at the time the book came out, so I knew a lot about the events and even some of the characters. Fortunately, none of my friends were major players in the case—the lawyers do not come off in a very positive light!” (Professor Peter M. Manus)

Referred to as by Tales: Biblical Sagas and Their Challenge for Law, Milner Ball: “Ball explores the ways in which biblical stories (primarily the stories of Moses and Rachel and the Gospel of John) intersect with law, conceptions of justice, and the practice of law. He ties insights from these stories to contemporary issues like Native Hawaiian sovereignty in a thought-provoking and moving way.” (Professor Allison M. Dussias)

The Curmudgeon’s Information to Training Law, Mark Herrmann: “Find out what drives law partners crazy, what will impress them, and the ten mistakes you should avoid.” (American Bar Association)

Dealing with East from Indian Country: A Native Historical past of Early America, Daniel Richter: “This is a great read if you want to understand the development of the law in its historical context. Richter shifts the focus from a fixation on the westward extension of white settlement to the experiences and understanding of tribal members looking eastward from Indian country. It fosters a much broader understanding of the development of American Indian law and policy.” (Professor Allison M. Dussias)

Full Disclosure: The New Lawyer’s Must-Read Career Information, Christen Civiletto Carey: “A mentoring guide for new lawyers at the beginning stages of their careers. It embodies a collective wisdom about the things lawyers wished they knew at the beginning of their careers, rather than the end. Subjects covered include traditional and creative job hunting, writing résumés and cover letters, first and second interviews, and developing relationships with firms as a summer associate.” (Amazon)

Gideon’s Trumpet How One Man, a Poor Prisoner, Took His Case to the Supreme Courtroom-and Modified the Law of america, Anthony Lewis*: “A history of the landmark case of Clarence Earl Gideon’s fight for the right to legal counsel….The classic backlist bestseller.” (Amazon)

Simply Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Bryan Stevenson: “An unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.” (Penguin Random House)

Law 101: Every little thing You Want to Know Concerning the American Authorized System, Jay Feinman: “An exceptionally clear introduction to law, covering the main subjects found in the first year of law school, giving us a basic understanding of how it all works.” (Goodreads)

The Official Guide to Authorized Specialties, Lisa L. Abrams: “An inside look at what it’s like to practice law in thirty major specialty areas, including appellate practice, entertainment, immigration, international, tax, and telecommunications. This book gives you the insights and expertise of top practitioners-the issues they tackle every day, the people and clients they work with, what they find rewarding about their work, and what classes or work experience you need to follow in their footsteps.” (Amazon)

The Sweet Hereafter: A Novel, Russell Banks:* “A small-town morality play that addresses one of life’s most agonizing questions: when the worst thing happens, who do you blame?” (Amazon)

Bonus!
Films to watch before law school

You gained’t discover
these on any 1L syllabus…

The Maltese Falcon: “Convoluted plots, nail-biting suspense, and a world that’s morally adrift—what’s not to love in the old noir mysteries? The Maltese Falcon, Asphalt Jungle, Double Indemnity, and The Big Sleep are favorites on film and in print. Noir presents the justice system as just one element of society, as prone to corruption as any other. It’s an escapist genre, but it’s built on the grittiest elements of reality.” (Professor Peter M. Manus)

Michael Clayton: “This thriller happens to concern the work of lawyers, and the filmmakers did their research. A small army of associates works late into the night to close a deal, and their looks of concentration, distraction, and abject disinterest are just right. Better still is George Clooney’s title character as he slowly pieces together the central puzzle of the plot and the ethical dilemma at its heart. SPOILER ALERT: With his decision at the film’s end, he finds his moral compass—the one that is available to all lawyers in similar circumstances—leading to a sense of justice.” (Professor Lawrence Friedman)

Miracle on 34th Road: “The original 1947 version, with Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, and Edmund Gwenn, has lots of lawyerly action, including that famous scene near the film’s end in which Payne, as lawyer Fred Gailey, demonstrates that Gwenn’s Kris Kringle really is Santa Claus. But the most interesting bit is earlier, when Gene Lockhart’s Judge Harper declines to summarily conclude that Kringle is insane because he is advised that such an unpopular determination could cost him re-election to his judicial post. Right there, in a single marvelous scene, is the entire debate over whether judges should be democratically elected or appointed by the chief executive. And the arguments begin anew over what we should expect from our judges whenever the President has the opportunity to nominate someone to the United States Supreme Court.” (Professor Lawrence Friedman)

Pro tip: in case you have somebody in your life getting ready for law school, these books also make great presents for law students!

Completely satisfied studying this summer time, (future) law
college students!