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What to Read Before Law School

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. | Last updated on

So you want to go to law school. Congrats! Studying to be a lawyer takes courage, commitment, and, of course, plenty of preparation. That's where we come in.

Once you're in law school, you'll be drowning in reading -- and not always the most thrilling reading. Right now, though, you should have plenty of time to dive into some useful, even pleasurable, books. Here's a list of what to read, adapted from FindLaw's great Law Students section and with a few of our own recommendations thrown in.

1. The Paper Chase

This novel tells to story of a first-year law student at Harvard and his struggles with his contracts professor, who both inspires and intimidates him. (And whose daughter he falls for.) Written by John Jay Osborn Jr., an actual HLS student in his third year of law school, it's a classic law school story. Of course, you could skip the book and watch the 1973 film version, or the 1978 television series, but the book is better.

2. Law School Confidential

If you want to know what law school is really like (and we're not talking about 1970s Harvard here), "Law School Confidential" is a good place to start. Written by Robert H. Miller, it pulls together the advice and observations of actual law grads, along with helpful tips about everything from getting in to law school to studying for your first exams.

3. The Nine

"The Nine" is a great look behind the scenes of the Supreme Court, chronicling not just the justices, but the inner workings of the Court and the battles behind some of the Court's most famous recent cases. Written by Jeffrey Toobin, a writer for the New Yorker and legal analyst at CNN, "The Nine" presents a truly fascinating view of the Supreme Court.

4. Getting to Maybe

"Getting to Maybe" describes itself as a guide to excelling on law school exams, but it's really a guide to thinking like a lawyer. And thinking like a lawyer doesn't mean being able to pull the right answer off the top of your head; it means being able to find the right questions and address them with nuance. It's great prep for anyone thinking about law school.

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