Best Law Books – Top 9 Picks For Understanding The Legal System

by | Jul 9, 2020

Learning about the legal system is beneficial for anyone looking to gain a deeper understanding of the nation’s backbone.

When it comes to law and the legal system, though, there is a lot of knowledge to gain and it can seem overwhelming. Thankfully, there are a plethora of books out there so you can get insights from the experts, such as lawyers and judges. Let’s see what the best law books are in this guide.

Best Law Books

Below are the top 9 books on a law that will help you better understand famous courtroom showdowns, what Harvard law is like, and how to persuade judges. 

1. A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr

A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr

A Civil Action is the true story of an epic courtroom showdown. In this, two of the nation’s largest corporations were accused of causing the deaths of multiple children due to water contamination. This became an instant national best-seller and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Described as a page-turner with heartache and duplicity, A Civil Action is a compelling tale of the legal system gone awry. Often, greed and power fight a never-ending struggle against justice. 

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2. Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges by Bryan A. Garner and Antonin Scalia

Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges by Bryan A. Garner and Antonin Scalia

Courtroom lawyers do two things best: speak persuasively and write persuasively. In this book, two of the most noteworthy legal writers of our day present every important idea on judicial persuasion. This is nothing close to a boring recount of the fundamentals of law, but rather a fresh and entertaining work on the persuasion that underlies each argument.

This covers the essentials of sound legal reasoning, the art of brief-writing, and more. If you’re looking to induce the judge to focus closely on your arguments, this book will teach you how. Lastly, Garner and Scalia provide insight on what it takes to succeed in any oral argument, an important skill for anyone in law. 

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3. Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams by Jeremy R. Paul and Michael Fischl 

Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams by Jeremy R. Paul and Michael Fischl

In Getting to Maybe, law professors Paul and Fischl explain law school exams like never before. They start off by examining the cultural switch that occurred from schools praising correct answers to law schools that reward more nuanced analyses of ambiguous situations. In this case, more than one approach can always be correct. 

Legal analysis frequently produces perplexing situations. In this, Paul and Fischl teach you how legal analysis can be brought to bear on examination questions. This book goes far past conventional study and prep advice and takes you through a deep explanation of how to succeed on any type of law school exam. 

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4. The Legal Analyst by Ward Farnsworth 

The Legal Analyst by Ward Farnsworth

The Legal Analyst is a comprehensive toolkit for thinking about the law. Law school teaches you about legal rules and tools for thinking about those legal rules. Although the tools for thinking are far more useful and interesting than the rules, they tend to be glossed over. Luckily, The Legal Analyst brings it all together in one place to help you master the law.

From classic ideas in game theory to psychological principles, Farnsworth’s guide leads readers through the complex world of legal thought. In each chapter, he introduces a single tool and explains how it can be used to solve a wide array of problems. 

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5. One L by Scott Turow 

One L by Scott Turow

One L is Scott Turow’s journal of his first year at law school. This book became an instant best-seller from when it was published in 1977, and remains a virtual bible for prospective law students today. Not only does Turow introduce the main educational concepts of the law, but explains the anxiety and competitiveness throughout the atmosphere. 

Turow taught at Stanford years before heading to Harvard Law, making him uniquely qualified to write about his classic experiences. 

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6. Law 101 by Jay M. Feinman

Law 101 by Jay M. Feinman

In this fifth edition of the best-selling classic, Jay M. Feinman explains everything you need to know about American law. In this, he accounts for all of the recent developments on the American legal system and more. He also covers all of the main subjects taught in the first year of law school to best prepare the reader. 

Ultimately, this book will teach you about every facet of the American legal tradition, constitutional law, criminal, property, and more. To illustrate these concepts and how the entire legal system works, Feinman draws on noteworthy examples and cases throughout the book.

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7. The Nine by Jeffrey Toobin 

The Nine by Jeffrey Toobin

The Nine goes inside the secret world of the supreme court. In this New York Times best-seller, you’ll gain insight on the judicial branch and all of its secrets. Although this is nonfiction, many have claimed its compelling stories to read like creative fiction all the way through. 

Both informative and fascinating, this is the perfect book for anyone looking to understand both the judicial brand and the legal system as a whole. 

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8. The Concept of Law by H.L.A. Hart 

The Concept Law by H.L.A. Hart

The Concept of Law has been named the most important and original work of legal philosophy of the century. In this, you’ll find a compelling balance of elegant language and balanced arguments that go deep into Hart’s legal theories. 

In this long-awaited new edition, Hart presents an Epilogue in which he responds to his well-known critics.

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9. The Rule of Law by Tom Bingham 

The Rule of Law by Tom Bingham

‘The Rule of Law’ is a commonly used phrase but seldom looked into. The rule of law is the foundation of the modern states, but what does it consist of? In this concise but brilliant book, Bingham examines the rule of law and its true meaning. According to him, the rule of law is not just a legal doctrine, but the foundation of a fair and just society.

The rule of law guarantees a responsible government, security, peace, economic growth, and more. In this, Bingham briefly examines the historical origins of the rule of law and how its essence has been captured in western democracies today. 

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Reading Law Books

Reading up on the law is important for anyone, whether you’re getting ready to take your LSAT, looking to excel during your first year in law school, or seeking to better understand the history of your nation’s legal system. The books above have remained outstanding resources to learn about the law for decades, providing real accounts from judges, law students, professors, and more. 

Andrew Green

Andrew is a successful entrepreneur and lifelong learner. Throughout his career, he has watched hundreds of online courses that have allowed him to achieve success in highly competitive fields such as online marketing, investing, and sales. Andrew is committed to expanding his knowledge and expertise and he reviews the premium courses he watches on his online blog.
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