10 Must-Read Books for the Law Student or Lawyer in Your Life

Many books on a bookshelf

Law students and lawyers are always looking for ways to gather more knowledge. For the knowledge-hungry law student or lawyer in your life, here are 10 must-reads.

About Law” by Tony Honoré

About Law can serve as a great introduction for law students. However, it can also serve as a refresher for longtime professionals. Honoré’s ability to condense his broad knowledge into a digestible format makes it easy for both student and pro to retain what they will learn about the English legal system.

In About Law, learn about:

  • Intellectual challenges presented by law in the western, secular tradition;
  • The various branches of law;
  • The difference between civil and common law system;
  • Other topics of western law.

Learning the Law” by Glanville Williams

Learning the Law explains in detail the ins and outs of the legal system. Whether you need advice on legal fundamentals or how best to interpret the legal system, this book will provide a solid foundation.

In Learning the Law, learn about:

  • The basics of the English legal system;
  • Basic legal materials (i.e., statutes and case law);
  • How legal problems are examined and communicated in the examination room.

Letters to a Young Lawyer” by Alan Dershowitz

Alan Dershowitz’s book is both thought-provoking and daring. Letters to a Young Lawyer offers the finest legal advice and criticisms that one can get in a book or resource. Although this book is mainly aimed at novice lawyers, it’s also a great read for experienced lawyers, too. Covering topics in law and life, there is something to be had for all.

Letters to a Young Lawyer is a part of Dershowitz’s Art of Mentoring series, and it teaches readers:

  • Legal tactics;
  • How to work with various clients;
  • Opportunities for young lawyers;
  • Balancing career with success.

America’s Constitution: A Biography” by Akhil Reed Amar

America’s Constitution covers the U.S. Constitution from start to finish. From examining its clauses to exploring the thought processes of the Founding Fathers, this book is a great resource for anyone interested in constitutional law. It covers:

  • The Constitution in its entirety;
  • The history of the Constitution.

“Letters to a Law Student” by Nicholas McBride

Letters to a Law Student consists of a collection of letters to a fictional student, which are full of advice and information about the legal system. The book shows you how to study effectively as a law student, and provides established lawyers great ideas on how to make the next court case count with useful tips and strategies.

Letters to a Law Student covers such topics as:

  • Scoring in law exams;
  • Coping with the challenges of studying law;
  • What you can do with a law degree.

“The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court” by Jeffrey Toobin

The U.S. Supreme Court is a highly complex entity. Luckily, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court offers a thorough examination of the esteemed third branch, it’s importance to U.S. democracy, and how the justices have interpreted the U.S. Constitution.

This book will teach readers:

  • The ins and outs of the U.S. Supreme Court;
  • How some of the Supreme Court justices think;
  • What goes into making a decision in landmark court cases.

QB VII” by Leon Uris

A courtroom drama, QB VII tells the fictional case of a surgeon suing an author for writing a book that accused him of performing disturbing operations on concentration camp prisoners. It is loosely based on a libel action lawsuit against a Polish physician who worked at Auschwitz.

Law School Confidential” by Robert H. Miller

Law School Confidential is an immersive telling of the law school experience. From entering law school to taking the bar exam, it’s a great resource for law students, as well as a good reminder for practicing attorneys who are aspiring mentors.

Law School Confidential covers:

  • Strategies for surviving law school;
  • The admissions process;
  • Funding your stay at law school;
  • Choosing the right classes;
  • Strategies for studying and test taking.

Winning Arguments” by Jay Heinrichs

Jay Heinrichs’ Winning Arguments focuses on forming compelling and believable arguments in court. This book acts as a blueprint for law students and practitioners for turning ideas and rhetoric into effective arguments.

It covers the following topics:

  • The art of persuasion;
  • Outwitting opposing counsel;
  • Effective rhetoric;
  • Tactical argumentation.

One L” by Scott Turow

Having graduated from Harvard Law School in 1978, Turow went on to become a seminal writer of fictional legal dramas. This book recounts his first year of law school, full of his general observations and peppered with moments of suspense. While this may not be the end-all, be-all resource for a legal education, it’s a great page-turner that will provide the lawyer (or lawyer-to-be) in your life a bit of catharsis from their own legal education.