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Summer Law School Reading List for 1Ls


If you enjoy reading and would like suggestions for legal-themed books before you begin your first year, you’ll find a summer law school reading list for 1Ls below.

To be clear, you definitely don’t need to read any law school books before you begin classes; in fact, try to stay away from anything heavily legal in nature over the summer. By that I mean, drop that Torts casebook! You’ll do plenty of legal reading over the next three years so do your best this summer to relax and enjoy yourself.

But if you like to read, you’ll be looking for summer reading anyway, and while I suggest you read what you normally enjoy, here are some of the most widely read legal-themed books out there:

Summer Law School Reading List for 1Ls


  • "Billy Budd" by Herman Melville
  • "Bleak House" by Charles Dickens
  • "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
  • "The Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison
  • Various John Grisham books
  • Various Lisa Scottoline books
  • Various Scott Turow books


  • "A Civil Action" by Jonathan Harr
  • "A Defiant Life: Thurgood Marshall and the Persistence of Racism in America" by Howard Ball
  • "Brush with the Law" by Robert Byrnes and Jaime Marquart
  • "Dear Sisters, Dear Daughters: Words of Wisdom from Multicultural Women Attorneys Who've Been There and Done That" by Karen Clanton
  • "Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams" by Richard Michael Fischl
  • "Gideon’s Trumpet" by Anthony Lewis
  • "Law School Confidential: A Complete Guide to the Law School Experienc: By Students, For Students" by Robert H. Miller
  • "The Law School Labyrinth: A Guide to Making the Most of Your Legal Education" by Steven R. Sedberry
  • "The Law School Rules: 115 Survival Strategies to Make the Challenges of Law School Seem Like 'Small Stuff'" by Mario T.D. Lewis
  • "Law School Without Fear by Strategies for Success" by Marshall Shapo & Helene S. Shapo
  • "The Moral Compass of the American Lawyer & Truth, Justice, Power, and Greed" by Richard A. Zitrin & Carol A. Langford
  • "One L" by Scott Turow
  • "Plain English for Lawyers" by Richard C. Wydick
  • "Reading Like a Lawyer: Time-Saving Strategies for Reading Law Like an Expert" by Ruth Ann McKinney
  • "Starting Off Right in Law School" by Carolyn J. Nygren
  • "Succeeding in Law School" by Herbert N. Ramy

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