Not knowing what to expect regarding law school I decided to create a pre-law school reading list. I chose this route so that I can familiarize myself with law language, concepts and somewhat dry reading ahead of time. I also have a tendency to speed read which I am trying to correct since I don't always read carefully enough which I would think would be important for class. So I scanned the internet for suggested reading lists (found here, here, here, here and here) and compiled my own list. The Janitor had his own suggestions from his own library and helped me organize the reading order. I have tried to keep the list diversified enough to keep me interested and am positive that I will not finish all of these books. (I now call this "Cowenizing" a book since Tyler Cowen often doesn't finish books once he gets bored or sees the overall idea. Time is a precious resource.) Some of the books I've read out of order, because order isn't everything.

Here it is:

  • Letters to a Young Lawyer by Alan Dershowitz
  • No Equal Justice by David Cole
  • The Law by Frederick Bastiat
  • Nature of the Judicial Process by Benjamin Cardozo
  • America Declares Independence by Alan Dershowitz
  • A People's History of the Supreme Court by Peter Irons
  • The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin
  • Property Legalines
  • Barbri First Year Review (for the general idea of concepts covered)
  • Should You Really Be a Lawyer? by Deborah Schneider and Gary Belsky
  • A Woman's Guide to Law School by Linda R. Hirshman
  • Becoming Gentlemen by Lani Guinier
  • Getting to Maybe by Richard Michael Fischl
  • The Brethren by Bob Woodward
  • Bleak House by Charles Dickens (I might just watch the BBC series.)
  • Legal Writing in Plain English by Bryan A. Garner
It's a lot but I already have five knocked out. I think I'll post my thoughts on them as I finish in case anyone else is interested. I kept coming across Getting to Maybe on the reading lists I found. It appears to be more of a guide for how to study for exams. I also remember a roommate having it after she did so poorly on her 1L first semester exams. The other two I kept seeing were The Law and The Nature of the Judicial Process.

Is anyone else out there planning to read anything? Don't worry I also read for pleasure. In fact I just finished How to Make Love Like A Porn Star which is Jenna Jameson's autobiography, a great book for anyone interested.


  1. Anonymous said...
    Nice list. I would like to read your opinion of the books as you go, as I am trying to compile a list of my own.
    Kym said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    K said...
    I just finished Bastiat so I'll start there.
    Anonymous said...
    I just received Garner's book from Amazon today. Not sure when I'll sit down and start it, but it looks interesting!
    Shells said...
    Your list much more ambitious than mine. Right now it consists of a rather large book with the straight-to-the-point title of "First Year Law School Outlines" gifted to me by a departing 3L friend. I second that you'll have to report back... I'd definitely be interested in some of the books on your list.
    Laughing said...
    I just finished a Woman's Guide to Law School and I found it to be pretty insightful, especially considering the fact that most other pre-law advice-type books don't even acknowledge how law school is a gendered experience. I hope you find it helpful as well!

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