Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Summer Before Law School?

Posted by Alan Childress

I think hard work (preferably non-law) and/or travel are the best preparation for starting law school, for opposite reasons. Hard work so that being back in school will be fun, will feel like a reminder that it's not the real world (sometimes for the better). Or travel because it may be the last time for a while. 292198_41647079 Either way, come to law school fresh and grateful for the opportunity.

Elsewhere, and with more substance and literary value, there is advice from several good sources:

--student A and student B posting on the great-titled law student advice blog, Wish I Would Have Known.

--suggested summer reading lists from law schools at Appalachian and Hofstra, as well as U Conn's Anne Dailey.  Tulane's own Susan Krinsky has an extensive and thoughtful reading list that she has put together for admitted and prospective students to choose from:  Download List2008.pdf.

--a few tips posted on, now that it is working again.

--advice from the student-editors of Three Years of Hell and the Legally Numb blogs, surprisingly useful despite their names.

--serious advice from The J.D. Project, Inc. in this post.

--a student at Widener gives this advice on its admissions site.

--an "older guy" offers advice at nontradlaw blog.

--Eugene Volokh and lots of commenters here spoke to the reading list issue in 2007, and even more VC commenters added their book ideas here. (Our recent post related to To Kill A Mockingbird is here.)

--a response to Volokh, from the feminist perspective, by Ms. JD and her commenters.  It includes doing nothing or getting a tan.

Me, I worked in a movie theater selling tickets, and for a papermill company counting beavers.  The latter involved some travel.  And I got tanned.

UPDATE in 2010:  To the extent some of the lists have Holmes, The Common Law, on the list -- or even more so if they leave it off because it is somewhat inaccessible despite its clarity on criminal intent, torts, and contracts -- there is my new ANNOTATED version of it that makes it accessible to anyone, even non1Ls.  It is at Amazon for Kindle and apps for Apple, PC, BlackBerry, Ipad etc.  And at Smashwords for simple downloads and online viewing, including a very nice linked and active PDF for those who do not have reader apps in epub or Kindle formats.  Smashwords also has it in epub for Nook and Apple, and has Sony and basic rtf and Java.  Look for a paperback by early fall 2010.

UPDATE in 2012: all the lists seem to have Llewellyn's The Bramble Bush, as a how-to guide to 1Ls, so I helped bring it back and made it available in Kindle, iBooks, Nook, and paperback. Blog post on that here; and Amazon is here. We also released Epstein's Women in Law. Enjoy!

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Dean Krinski's list is "extensive and thoughtful," indeed. I was surprised to see "The Wire" in the "Criminal Law & Procedure" section, but not "Law & Order." It was also refreshing to see a list for 1L's without the infamous "One-L" (although it, too, was a good read).

Posted by: Kelly Anders | Jun 11, 2008 1:25:41 PM

Here is a follow-up post by the USF law library (with links) and a good comment by 'Dave' there:

Posted by: Alan Childress | Jul 5, 2008 11:00:16 PM

I'm interested enough to enter law school in my country but I feel I need an incentive or motivation to do that since I'm not entirely convinced that this is my thing .....

Posted by: tinea corporis | May 5, 2010 7:03:41 AM

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