Monday, May 30, 2011
A recently graduated student of mine sent me a note the other day, asking for a suggestion for one (broadly speaking) law-and-lawyering-related book to read during the few days off he has before starting his bar-exam preparation. I recommended Kazuo Ishiguro's "The Remains of the Day", which my own teacher -- David Luban -- once recommended to me. Other suggestions?
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C.J. Sansom, Dissolution or one of its sequels. They're historical mysteries set in Tudor England, and the "detective" is a lawyer who genuinely acts like one. He cracks the books to research legal and factual points and he doggedly wears down witnesses with secrets. The books make vivid what it means to have a commitment to justice in a world that often doesn't -- plus, the mysteries themselves are perfectly constructed.
Posted by: James Grimmelmann | May 30, 2011 1:23:44 PM
Robert Traver's Anatomy of a Murder.
The early Rumpole stories.
Posted by: Jeff Lipshaw | May 30, 2011 2:00:49 PM
Kermit Roosevelt, In the Shadow of the Law.
Posted by: Orin Kerr | May 30, 2011 2:02:30 PM
Don Fehrenbacher, The Dred Scott Case: Its Significance in American Law and Politics
Posted by: Steven Lubet | May 30, 2011 3:59:49 PM
If he wants to free up some time, try a short story: Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich.
Posted by: rob vischer | May 30, 2011 5:21:17 PM
Wally Lamb's, I Know This Much is True.
Posted by: JT | May 30, 2011 11:22:00 PM
Kafka's The Trial
Posted by: Jay Wexler | May 31, 2011 8:36:56 AM
If it were me, I would want the "one book" in this scenario to have nothing to do with law. I would want it to be escapist but not mindless. You can't do better than Jane Austen or Alexander Dumas in such circumstances, imho.
Posted by: Lyrissa | May 31, 2011 8:48:27 AM
Charles Dickens, Bleak House. That was my pre-law-school-summer book. It's funny as hell, and it lowered my expectations about the law appropriately without driving me to utter despair.
Other pluses: The reader learns a little about how the British legal system works. Perhaps unusually for law-related books, the central legal case isn't about a crime. And anyone who reads the book will forever (and appropriately) resist the application of the so-called Coase theorem to the real world.
Posted by: Sarah L. | May 31, 2011 9:11:52 AM
A Frolic of His Own, by William Gaddis.
Posted by: Ed | May 31, 2011 2:07:00 PM
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