Thursday, November 26, 2009

A few books all law students should read...

When I was at dinner with the Chief Justice the other night, he made a comment that there were books that all law students should read.  Some because you can learn things about trying cases, and others so that you will know what a trial is really like.  Got me to thinking because some of his book recommendations that I have read and really enjoyed and wondered how realistic they were.  So, I have made my own list.  Enjoy.

1L by Scott Turow:  I recommend this book for all people to read BEFORE the start law school, and even before they go to apply, if they can.  This is a realistic look at what the first year is really like in law school.  It's a bit dated, but you know, the principles in this book are still true and the tactics that people use still hold true as well.

The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly:  the Chief Justice recommended this one and I have read it.  This was a great book and gives a realistic view of what the criminal courts in LA County are like.  Trials especially..

The Conviction by Richard North Patterson:  Wow, very powerful book.  And very, very good, detailed, realistic look at what it is like to go through the appeals process for the death penalty.

The Innocent Man by John Grisham:  His first nonfiction book chronicles the real life story of a man wrongly convicted to death for the rape and murder of a young woman in Oklahoma.  I was lucky enough to see this man speak not long ago.  The Innocence Project was responsible for proving this man was innocent and overturning his conviction.

The Pact by Jodi Picoult:  So, great book [warning you will need kleenex]. It's not that this book is terribly accurate on what happens with trials, but the legal principles in here are spot on, from both the prosecution side and the defense angle.

The Nine by Jeffery Toobin:  A non-fiction book about the Nine Supreme Court Justices [before Alito and Sotomeyer].  Great insight, wonderful stories.

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