August 04, 2010
Summer reading list before the 1L Year
Posted by Erik Gerding

While we are on the topic of books, Slate has recycled the question of what should entering students read the summer before their freshman year in college.

What should entering 1Ls be reading before entering law school?  An Atticus Finch type book that inspires them to see the law as a noble calling?  A work exploring a famous litigation (like Agent Orange on Trial or A Civil Action)?

I would not recommend that pre-1Ls try to get a jump on their class readings, or parse through a tome on legal thought (although I like Gordon's idea of an entire law faculty reading something like The Canon of American Legal Thought).  That might give law students a false sense of security that they will already be reading in the same way that the first year (hopefully) will teach them to do.

My own pre-1L summer reading choices were conventional but helpful in an unconventional way.  After reading One L and Broken Contract, I was relieved to find that Harvard Law wasn't that horrible in reality.  There is nothing like setting your expectations incredibly low to make you happy.  Or at least to mitigate your misery.

Comments on your recommended summer reading list for soon to be 1Ls are welcome below.

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