0L Book Suggestions

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0L Book Suggestions

Postby gsat » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:54 pm

With just a little over a month before classes begin, I want to read at least one book this summer oriented towards law students preparing for their first year. Any suggestions? I've been out of school for a few years so please keep that in mind if the case may be that the lit. is geared more towards students going straight out of UG to law school.

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Re: 0L Book Suggestions

Postby NZA » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:58 pm

This questions has definitely been asked 1000x in the past. :P

Getting to Maybe

Law School Confidential

Those are the two I've been reading. And of course:

University of Michigan Admitted Students wrote: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


The Wall Street Journal

The Economist Magazine

Alan Ginsburg, Howl

Verdi, Requiem (yep, music)

Your application essay(s)

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Re: 0L Book Suggestions

Postby Halie » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:44 pm

I've read One L by Scott Turow, which is based on the author's experience of going to HLS in the 70s. Don't know how up to date any of it is, but it's interesting, and short.

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Re: 0L Book Suggestions

Postby dailygrind » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:49 pm

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Re: 0L Book Suggestions

Postby gsat » Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:23 pm

Thanks to all who contributed!

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Re: 0L Book Suggestions

Postby die Zauberflote » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:12 am

Even though this has been answered too many times, I'll bite.

1. What law school will be like:

Should read: Law School Confidential (take it with a grain of salt)

Should read: How to Get Into Law School by Susan Estrich (just the second half...it's on law school, not admissions)

And maybe read: 1L of a Ride by Andrew J. McClurg

2. How to take exams

Should read: Every article on TLS on how to succeed in law school and on law school exams

Should read: Getting to Maybe

And maybe read: LEEWS

And maybe read: How to Do Your Best on Law School Exams by John Delaney

And maybe read: Learning Legal Reasoning: Briefing, Analysis and Theory by John Delaney

3. Substantive materials

Shouldn't read anything: I started the E&E torts books and determined it was a complete waste of time, just like everyone said it would be.

It's all about discovering what methods and habits work best for you. These recommendations should cover your bases.

If you want more to do read Montaigne's Essays, Plutarch's Lives, and the works of Seneca.

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