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100+ Books About the Law: Law School

Legal Education

Students may be interested in reading about legal education. One place to begin is Scott Turow’s now classic One L (1977), about the ups and downs of the first year of law school.

Another essential text is Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.’s brief but groundbreaking The Path of the Law, 10 Harvard Law Rev. 457 (1908), about the nature of law and legal education.

Lani Guinier’s important Becoming Gentlemen: Women, Law Schools, and Institutional Change (1997) examines the impact of law school on women and calls for reform of legal education. Duncan Kennedy’s Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy: A Polemic Against the System (1983) is a controversial but extraordinarily valuable and thought-provoking critique of legal education. Though dated, some students may still find value in Karl Llewellyn’s classic Bramble Bush (new edition 1981), with its discussion of the purpose and function of the case method.

Students may also want to read some of the important works about life as a practicing lawyer, such as Steven Keeva’s Transforming Practices: Finding Joy and Satisfaction in the Legal Life (10th ed. 2009), or Anthony Kronman’s The Lost Lawyer: Failing Ideals of the Legal Profession (1993).

Another important work, focusing on the particular challenges faced by women lawyers, is Mona Harrington’s Women Lawyers: Rewriting the Rules (1995).