1. Using a Law Library: A Student’s Guide to Legal Research Skills – Peter Clinch
Legal research skills are vital for solicitors and barristers. It will be an expected that you can find cases, legislation, journal articles and other sources. Give this easy-to-access book a read to put you at an advantage.
Whilst it is true that it is a fundamental part of a law degree, not everyone will be confident conducting legal research. For non-law students, it is unlikely that they will even be aware of legal research skills.
Whichever category you fall under, you can really put yourself in the best possible position to impress an employer by reading this book.
2. Great Debates in Criminal Law – Jonathan Herring
Many students enjoy studying criminal law at university. It is probably one of the most identifiable LLB modules. This certainly translates to the number of people wishing to practise criminal law. But how do you stand out amongst thousands of other people that love criminal law?
Reading Great Debatesin Criminal Law will introduce just that – key debates that are going on in this area of law. You can’t make an application saying you are passionate about criminal law without knowing what’s going on in this area.
This text is informative, simple to read and will keep you well informed when it comes to making those applications and discussing criminal law area in interviews. (If you enjoy family, equity, contract or jurisprudence, there’s a Great Debates book for these too.)
You’ll probably never be expected to recite the history of the English legal system. But familiarising or refreshing your memory on the subject can be very useful.
Some argue that Lord Denning’s work is dated, however it cannot be argued that he is one of the most recognisable names in legal history. You get to learn about how he arrived at certain decisions and the fundamental cases that form what we understand as the law.
Again, understanding the timeline of events that altered the law will be so handy when it comes to interviews. You can have engage in a meaningful conversation where you use what you know to suggest what areas of law you would reform – an impressive ability.
4. Is Eating People Wrong?: Great Legal Cases and How they Shaped the World – Allan Hutchinson
If you want to understand what the common law is like, this book is for you. It is a text suggested to aspiring law students all the time, but it is surprising just how many actually read it.
Hutchinson’s storytelling of eight landmark cases provides for an interesting and thought provoking read. Bring this book up in a training contract application and you will be sure to turn a few heads, praising your academic curiosity and interest in the common law.
5. The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It’s Broken – The Secret Barrister
Aspiring solicitor and barristers alike will benefit from reading this one. The Secret Barrister’s insight into our underfunded criminal justice system are both hugely entertaining, and also terribly shocking.
If you aspire to work in criminal law, this book is a must-read.
6. The Art of Always Being Right: The 38 Subtle Ways of Persuasion – Arthur Schopenhauer
Although not strictly a ‘law book’, this text is very good at equipping you with an understanding of how to argue and persuade people. As the legal profession requires these and other qualities, this is an incredibly useful book to read.
The art of persuasion (also known as rhetoric) will not only be of use in the profession but also when making written applications. If you can simplify your argument, make it easy to follow and be persuasive, you can guarantee yourself to impress those who come across thousands of applications.
And there you have it. These have been the six law books to read over summer that can boost your employability.
You’ve seen books offering different things – some offer an understanding of the profession and current debates whilst others provide you with the necessary skills employers will value. Give these a read and you will see a drastic difference in the quality of your applications.