Are you thinking about studying law? One of the best ways to learn about a subject, especially a complicated one, is to read about it. Every law student should read these fiction and nonfiction books.
1. The Trial by Franz Kafka
“The Trial is a novel written by Franz Kafka from 1914 to 1915 and published in 1925. One of his best-known works, it tells the story of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime revealed neither to him nor to the reader. Heavily influenced by Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, Kafka even went so far as to call Dostoyevsky a blood relative. Like Kafka’s other novels, The Trial was never completed, although it does include a chapter which brings the story to an end.”
2. One L by Scott Turow
“It was a year of terrors and triumphs, of depressions and elations, of compulsive work, pitiless competition, and, finally, mass hysteria. It was Scott Turow’s first year at the oldest, biggest, most esteemed center of legal education in the United States. Turow’s experiences at Harvard Law School, where freshmen are dubbed One Ls, parallel those of first-year law students everywhere. His gripping account of this critical, formative year in the life of a lawyer is as suspenseful, said The New York Times, as ‘the most absorbing of thrillers.'”
3. The Chameleon Shuffle by Jere Krakoff
“Is he Liberal? Or is he Conservative? The highest judge in the land can’t make up his mind.
“After languishing in The Depository for Foundlings and other Discarded Children, Leonard Zweig is adopted by staunch Conservative lawyer Milton and pious Liberal lawyer Miriam Zweig.
“When the Zweigs launch a secret program to indoctrinate Leonard in the dogma of their respective sects, his impressionable adolescent’s mind bifurcates, causing him to involuntarily oscillate between Liberalism and Conservatism every few days—an affliction he can’t shake even through law school and eventually municipal judgeship.
“Meanwhile, the Republic is mired in a judicial crisis. To stave off a leftward shift, Benito Ionesco, Leader of the Conservative-controlled legislature, searches for a viable way to end the crisis. Fortuitously, his secretary has recently read about Leonard’s ideological switching in a tawdry tabloid.
“Will the Liberal Chancellor be willing to nominate a part-time Conservative to the highest Bench in the land? And if Leonard is confirmed, will he be treated as a pariah by his colleagues? Or will an aversion conditioning program leave him with a single ideological bias? This satirical novel hilariously exposes our current political climate, judicial system, and leaders.”
4. A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr
“This true story of an epic courtroom showdown, where two of the nation’s largest corporations were accused of causing the deaths of children from water contamination, was a #1 national bestseller and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award.”
5. Gideon’s Trumpet by Anthony Lewis
“A history of the landmark case of Clarence Earl Gideon’s fight for the right to legal counsel. Notes, table of cases, index. The classic backlist bestseller. More than 800,000 sold since its first pub date of 1964.”
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