Suggested Reading for New Law Students

If you are looking for books to read or other media to watch before or during your 1L year, below is a list from the Spivey Consultants of their recommendations!

Disclaimer: do not think of this list as mandatory reading for you to be a successful law student — it is only meant to serve as a list of ideas for you to read for fun and for different perspectives on the legal world.

  • A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr
    For a somewhat dated but still descriptive view of civil litigation. – Joe Pollack
  • Brain Rules by Joe Medina
    It's kind about how to "hack" your brain. – Mike Spivey
  • Getting to Maybe: How to Succeed on Law School Exams by Michael Fishl
    For those headed to law school, with the caveat that it's a bit abstract until you're in class and thinking about the material. – Anne Dutia
  • Law School Confidential: A Complete Guide to the Law School Experience by Robert Miller
    Basically covers how to navigate the law school experience from start to bar prep. – Paula Gluzman
  • Lawyers as Counselors: A Client-Centered Approach by David Binder, Paul Bergman & Susan Price
    A reminder of an important role lawyers play. – Nikki Laubenstein
  • Legal Writing in Plain English by Bryan Garner
    Best to read after starting the 1L year – Joe Pollack
  • Plain English for Lawyers by Richard Wydick
    This is a gem – the perfect small reference guide for all law students, especially 1Ls, and beloved by legal writing professors everywhere. – Jenn Kopolow
  • Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges by Antonin Scalia and Bryan Garner
    Best to read after starting the 1L year – Joe Pollack
  • The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College by Jacques Steinberg
    It's about undergrad admissions at Wesleyan College. It isn't a "how to get into school" book, but more of a "year in the life of admissions” book. It’s a good reminder that admissions officers are regular people. – Nick Everdell
  • The Happy Lawyer: Making a Good Life in the Law by Nancy Levit & Douglas O. Linder
    – Nikki Laubenstein
  • The Little Book on Legal Writing by A.L. Dworsky
    A great resource for any writing, not just legal. – Shannon Davis
  • The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin
    – Joe Pollack
  • SCOTUS blog (
    Most interesting in late spring toward the end of the term when court tends to release the toughest and most anticipated decisions. – Everyone
  • Better Call Saul (television series)
    The first season is totally over the top, but the scenes where he is building a trusts and estates practice are realistic. – Joe Pollak
  • My Cousin Vinny (movie)
    In addition to being absolutely hilarious and featuring Marisa Tomei at her best, the trial scenes in this film depict cross-examination in a fascinating (if dramatized) way. – Anna Hicks