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Books to read over the summer if you’re a future law student

Books to read over the summer if you’re a future law student



Reading time: three minutes

If you’re planning to read law at university and want book recommendations, look no further. Here are the books I read before starting my university degree.

  1. Letters to a Law Student: A Guide to Studying Law at University – Nicholas J McBride 

I can’t recommend this book enough – it’s the holy grail if you’re preparing to start the LLB or Graduate Diploma in Law. In a series of letters, McBride walks you through the process of reading law and offers unparalleled advice. Read this book from beginning to end before starting the course and refer back to it during your time as a law student – you won’t regret it.

  1. What About the Law? Studying Law at University – Catherine Barnard, Janet O’Sullivan and Graham Virgo

If you’re on the fence about whether you should study law or whether you’d enjoy it, this is the perfect book to resolve your doubts. In this book, the authors offer an introduction to each core module you’ll study on the course and explains how one case can determine the law for all future cases. 

  1. Stories of the Law and How it’s Broken – The Secret Barrister

If you’re considering going into criminal law, this is a must-read for you. The Secret Barrister gained popularity as an anonymous blogger who posted about problems within criminal law. This book tells the stories of people the law has failed. Victims whose cases were dropped without justice and innocent defendants who’ve had their lives ruined or are bankrupt paying for legal fees they never got back. This book outlines everything wrong with the law; it’s a thought-provoking read.

  1. The Rule of Law – Tom Bingham

As a law student, you’ll constantly hear the phrase ‘rule of law’ thrown around, but it’ll never be defined. As a future law student, you’re going to need to define it for yourself. Bingham, a former Senior Law Lord, explains that the ‘rule of law’ is a principle of the UK’s unwritten constitution. His work is written in simple and accessible language, so you can read this before starting law school. By outlining eight principles, he explains that this phrase means that the law should be applied equally to all and understood by all. This book is incredibly interesting and is vital to read if you’re considering law as a career.

  1. Winning Arguments – Jay Heinrichs

This book requires very little explanation – it’s all about how to structure your ideas and use clever techniques to win arguments. One of the most vital aspects of life as a lawyer is advocacy, so this one is well worth a read. 

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

This book needs little to no introduction. The main character, Atticus Finch, is a lawyer tasked with defending a man shunned by 1930s US society. The book is an inspiring piece of literature that outlines why the law is important and why rights must be protected. If you haven’t read it, you must add it to your list.