By Joseph Glannon
Professor of Law, Suffolk University Law School
Dear prospective law students:
As you prepare to start law school next fall, you will likely be deluged with advice from law students, law school alumni or various how-to-survive-law-school books. Students will likely recommend my books to you:
Some of the how-to-survive books will recommend my books too (see, e.g., Miller, Law School Confidential p. 114). At least one of these, Planet Law School (p. 90), recommends reading my book The Law of Torts before starting law school.
Don’t do it.
The last summer before law school is precious. Instead of trying to steal a march on your classmates by starting early, do what I did: strap on a backpack, get a Eurail pass, and spend that last, delicious summer seeing some new part of the world. You may not have a stretch of two or three months free for travel again for a long time (retirement?), so don’t waste these! There will be plenty of time to study once the semester starts.
And my books – and most everyone else’s – will be much more helpful as a companion to class than as a prelude. If you try to read these beforehand, it will be hard to appreciate the explanations without the accompanying class discussion and exploration of the cases read for class. But the books will be very helpful when you are immersed in the law school class process.
If you must do some legal reading before you start, read something inspirational. A good choice would be Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s memoir, My Beloved World, or Gideon’s Trumpet by Anthony Lewis. Best to start law school with a sense of law as a rich and rewarding profession; all that doctrine and detail will come in its own good time.
You can reach Professor Joseph Glannon in his 3rd floor office at Suffolk Law School or at firstname.lastname@example.org.