Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

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californiabeauar
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Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby californiabeauar » Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:26 pm

Are there any books you guys are familiar with that may help an incoming 1L 'think' like a lawyer or anything of the like? Thanks.

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eandy
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Re: Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby eandy » Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:32 pm

The Bramble Bush. End of thread.

kaiser
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Re: Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby kaiser » Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:37 pm

"Learning Legal Reasoning" by John Delaney might be relatively helpful. It shows a comprehensive approach to briefing and how one approaches cases. Just FYI, none of this stuff is actually going to create a tangible difference during 1L year, but if it eases your mind, then it might be worthwhile.

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ahduth
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Re: Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby ahduth » Sat Jun 18, 2011 4:00 pm

I just finished the Game of Thrones books.

I'm just really... kinda pissed off at George RR Martin right now. Not sure if that will help or hurt me.

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The Gentleman
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Re: Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby The Gentleman » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:37 am

Someone in the Michigan c/o 2014 thread was kind enough to copy this from Michigan's admitted students site. I'd also recommend Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and The Nine by Jeffrey Toobin.

A Little Light Reading

Every year, several admitted students will asked what they should read in the weeks before Law School. Our initial, strong impulse is to say: "Don't read anything -- just relax!" Many are dissatisfied with that response, though, so we've relented and done some informal polling of faculty, students, and alumni.

The answers varied widely, and were often completely contradictory. A significant number -– faculty as well as students, mind you! -– echoed the admonition to read nothing more taxing than contemporary fiction and every other book you've been putting off reading and won't get the chance to pick up while in law school. And people had lots of advice, in addition to specific suggestions. At least one student was concerned that people would feel compelled by the mere existence of a list to spend hundreds of dollars, and suggested an explicit reminder of the merits of the public library. And one wise student pointed out that while nothing on this list is likely to raise your GPA, it will improve the inside of your head (where you have to live for the rest of your life).

Although many people suggested works by those on the Michigan faculty (and no, the authors themselves were not the ones making the suggestion), we have not included any of those because it seemed just a tad too self-promoting, and definitely very un-Michigan.

So -- bearing in mind that this is not an Official List, and that there is no clear consensus on the issue -- here is a list, just for fun, in completely random order, of items you might want to consider.

Tony Honore, About Law: An Introduction

Lon L. Fuller, The Morality of Law

Jefferson Powell, A Community Built on Words: The Constitution in History and Politics

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

George Orwell, 1984

John Hart Ely, Democracy and Distrust

Benjamin Cardozo, The Nature of the Judicial Process

Karl Llewellyn, The Bramble Bush (multiple votes, countered by a few strong recommendations NOT to read it)

Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War

D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterly's Lover

Richard Kluger, Simple Justice

Thomas Schelling, The Strategy of Conflict

Catherine Drinker Bowen, Miracle at Philadelphia

Eric Foner, Reconstruction

Leo Katz, Bad Acts and Guilty Minds

Stephen Ambrose, Nothing Like it in the World

Anthony Trollope, anything at all

Shakespeare, anything at all

The Bible, especially the first five books

Louis Auchincloss, Powers of Attorney

A.M. Polinsky, An Introduction to Law and Economics

Charles Dickens, Bleak House

Ntozake Shange, Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo

Elizabeth Vrato, The Counselors

Confucius, The Analects

Jonathan Harr, A Civil Action

Steven Landsburg, Armchair Economist: Economics and Everyday Experience

Peter H. Irons, A People's History of the Supreme Court

Ed Lazarus, Closed Chambers

David Friedman, Law's Order

Duncan Kennedy, Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy: A Polemic Against the System

Elizabeth Becker, When the War was Over: Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge Revolution

Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game

Taylor Branch, Parting the Waters

Anthony Lewis, Gideon's Trumpet

Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Random Family

Fauziya Kassindja, Do They Hear You When You Cry

Mark Salzman, True Notebooks

Other:

The Wall Street Journal

The Economist Magazine

Alan Ginsburg, Howl

Verdi, Requiem (yep, music)

Your application essay(s)

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fatduck
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Re: Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby fatduck » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:42 am

The Gentleman wrote:Your application essay(s)

oh god

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby JusticeHarlan » Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:11 am

Getting to Maybe is the closest thing to a must read, IMHO, but some will disagree. It's more about taking law school exams than about "thinking like a lawyer," but I think there is a good bit of overlap between the two.

flcath
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Re: Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby flcath » Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:46 am

The Gentleman wrote:Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

A truly awful book. Do not read this.

WayBryson
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Re: Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby WayBryson » Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:59 am

flcath wrote:
The Gentleman wrote:Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

A truly awful book. Do not read this.
:roll:

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itsirtou
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Re: Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby itsirtou » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:38 am

The Gentleman wrote:I'd also recommend Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand


Image

i'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you there

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FantasticMrFox
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Re: Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby FantasticMrFox » Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:14 pm

I dislike some on "The Gentleman"'s list...like The Nine; I read that for summer reading in high school and it was rather boring, especially if you are not interested in being part of the judicial system. I used to use it to kill roaches and other books like Brave New World and 1984? Nice books but you should've also read those during or before high school and not really difficult in terms of reading level and definitely won't be making you "think" like a lawyer...most of those books won't

flcath
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Re: Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby flcath » Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:32 am

WayBryson wrote:
flcath wrote:
The Gentleman wrote:Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

A truly awful book. Do not read this.
:roll:

Not lib-trolling.

It is an abominable piece of literature.

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mths
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Re: Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby mths » Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:39 am

Image

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tyro
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Re: Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby tyro » Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:40 am

Someone gave me this book as a gift but not sure if worth reading.

--ImageRemoved--

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ahduth
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Re: Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby ahduth » Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:38 pm

tyro wrote:Someone gave me this book as a gift but not sure if worth reading.

--ImageRemoved--


You've got the wrong volume: http://www.amazon.com/Oxford-Companion- ... 0198609906

Indispensable.

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Verity
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Re: Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby Verity » Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:48 pm

flcath wrote:
WayBryson wrote:
flcath wrote:
The Gentleman wrote:Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

A truly awful book. Do not read this.
:roll:

Not lib-trolling.

It is an abominable piece of literature.


+1000. People who read Ayn Rand and like it are...I can't find the word, but it's bad. Who has time for 1000+ pages of bullshyt?

deltasigbn
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Re: Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby deltasigbn » Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:29 pm

.
Last edited by deltasigbn on Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bartleby
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Re: Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby bartleby » Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:30 pm

i have the new version and skimmed through it. i think the stuff on tls is better and more detailed.

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swinger
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Re: Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby swinger » Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:36 pm

The Gentleman wrote:Every year, several admitted students will asked what they should read in the weeks before Law School. Our initial, strong impulse is to say: "Don't read anything -- just relax!" Many are dissatisfied with that response, though, so we've relented and done some informal polling of faculty, students, and alumni.



really, dont read anything. relax. you will read enough when you get to school.

i do know a few people who read 'getting to maybe'- some said it was a bit helpful others said it was a waste of time.

if you feel like you MUST read something, PLEASE read something you WANT to read. it will be VERY hard for you to find time to read for pleasure after you start class.

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TheFutureLawyer
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Re: Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby TheFutureLawyer » Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:40 pm

Verity wrote:+1000. People who read Ayn Rand and like it are...I can't find the word, but it's bad. Who has time for 1000+ pages of bullshyt?


Clarence Thomas and Paul Ryan. They both make their clerks/interns read this book (or maybe it was The Fountainhead (I saw the movie of that one, and the basic idea is that the masses hold back the elite and keep them from realizing their potential)).

edit: if you wanna read something long, I just started Anna Karenina (Maude translation) and it's pretty good. I think I'll try War and Peace soon enough (definitely going to get the Maude translation)

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Verity
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Re: Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby Verity » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:12 pm

TheFutureLawyer wrote:
Verity wrote:+1000. People who read Ayn Rand and like it are...I can't find the word, but it's bad. Who has time for 1000+ pages of bullshyt?


Clarence Thomas and Paul Ryan. They both make their clerks/interns read this book (or maybe it was The Fountainhead (I saw the movie of that one, and the basic idea is that the masses hold back the elite and keep them from realizing their potential)).

edit: if you wanna read something long, I just started Anna Karenina (Maude translation) and it's pretty good. I think I'll try War and Peace soon enough (definitely going to get the Maude translation)



Where the hell did you hear this? Besides, CT is a major pervert, and don't even get me started on Paul Ryan. It makes perfect sense.
Last edited by Verity on Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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UnitarySpace
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Re: Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby UnitarySpace » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:17 pm

you need to read Constitutional Law: Principles and Policies by my man Chemerinsky.

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TheFutureLawyer
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Re: Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby TheFutureLawyer » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:28 pm

Verity wrote:
TheFutureLawyer wrote:
Verity wrote:+1000. People who read Ayn Rand and like it are...I can't find the word, but it's bad. Who has time for 1000+ pages of bullshyt?


Clarence Thomas and Paul Ryan. They both make their clerks/interns read this book (or maybe it was The Fountainhead (I saw the movie of that one, and the basic idea is that the masses hold back the elite and keep them from realizing their potential)).

edit: if you wanna read something long, I just started Anna Karenina (Maude translation) and it's pretty good. I think I'll try War and Peace soon enough (definitely going to get the Maude translation)



Where the hell did you hear this? Beside, CT is a major pervert, and don't even get me started on Paul Ryan.


Doing some intense research, I found I made a mistake. CT makes his clerks watch The Fountainhead. And while it was reported that Ryan required his staffers to read Atlas Shrugged, I was just reading that his staffers say that the book was only suggested (though when your boss suggests something, aren't you going to take it as a sign that it would be better for you if you did it?).

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Flips88
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Re: Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby Flips88 » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:32 pm

Jumping in to hop on the Ayn Rand sucks bandwagon.

My summer reading so far has included:

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria
and I started reading Getting to Maybe and might get around to it again soon

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Verity
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Re: Great Books to Read Before Heading to Law School

Postby Verity » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:38 pm

I suggest avoiding Ayn Rand like the plague 4life, and here are author suggestions:

Chekhov
Pushkin
Joyce
Flaubert
Nabokov
Shakespeare
Milton




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