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Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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Recommended Reading for before Starting Law School, The Legal Analyst, A Toolkit for Thinking about the Law

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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Before you start law school at Houston they give you a list of recommended books, most of which are at least marginally useful. I particularly recommend the Buffalo Creek Disaster and A Civil Action if you’re looking for the most interesting of the lot. I flipped through some of the other stuff such as Acing Your First Year of Law School and Law School Confidential at the bookstore and decided I’d rather flunk out of law school than wade through that schlock.

Via the Volokh Conspiracy, I learned of a new book by Ward Farnsworth, a law professor at Boston University and former clerk to both Judge Richard Posner and Justice Kennedy of the Supreme Court, called The Legal Analyst: A Toolkit for Thinking about the Law. I haven’t read the book, but judging from the sample chapters and subsequent posts from Farnsworth on Volokh, I can’t imagine a better primer for some of the concepts you’ll encounter. Rather than preview any of the substantive coursework (Contracts, Torts, etc.) Farnsworth tackles the analytical framework that is unique to the law. If you only had time to read one book before law school starts up, this wouldn’t be a bad choice.

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