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Guide for students admitted to the William S. Richardson School of Law.

Other Guides for New Law Students

Books about the Law School Experience

  1. J. Robert Arnett, From Here to Attorney: The Ultimate Guide to Excelling in Law School and Launching Your Legal Career (1993).
    KF272 .A76 1993

  2. Leah M. Christensen, Learning Outside the Box: a Handbook for Law Students Who Learn Differently (2010).
    KF283 .C48 2011

    More law students than ever before come to law school having been diagnosed with a learning disability. The purpose of this book is to provide research-based learning strategies for law students who learn differently. If you are a student who has been diagnosed with a learning disability or if you simply have a unique learning style, you may need to outline differently, read cases differently, and approach law school in a more active, engaged and efficient manner. This book offers learning strategies grounded in empirical research to help law students who learn differently maximize their academic success.

  3. Atticus Falcon, Planet Law School II: What You Need to Know (before You Go) -- but Didn’t Know to Ask -- and No One Else Will Tell You (2003).
    KF283 .F35 2003

    An encyclopedic law school guidebook. Offers in-depth advice on hundreds of legal resources, with chapters and sections on courses, materials, study guides, professors, law review, internships, clinics, bar review, research, writing, mastering exams (and the bar exam), and excelling in law practice.

  4. Francis Goodwin, Bar Passages: Steps Between Law School and Bar Exam Passage (2008).
    KF275 .G66 2008

  5. Rebecca Greene, Law School for Dummies (2003).
    KF283 .G74 2003

  6. Jungle Media Group, The JD Jungle Law School Survival Guide (2003).
    KF285 .J3 2003

    There's an old saying about law school: The first year, they scare you to death; the second year, they work you to death; the third year, they bore you to death. Helping to alleviate this famed fright, sweat, and boredom, The JD Jungle Law School Survival Guide expertly shows current and prospective students how to navigate all three years of law-school torture.

  7. Ruth Ann McKinney, Reading Like a Lawyer: Time-saving Strategies for Reading Law Like an Expert (2005).
    KF283 .M39 2005

    The ability to read law well is an indispensable skill that can make or break the academic career of any aspiring lawyer. Fortunately, the ability to read law well (quickly and accurately) is a skill that can be acquired through knowledge and practice. Critical reasoning and reading strategies, accompanied by hands-on practice exercises.

  8. Elizabeth Mertz, The Language of Law School Learning to “Think Like a Lawyer” (2007) (ebrary book, access for UH students:

    Anyone who has attended law school knows that it invokes an important intellectual transformation, frequently referred to as "learning to think like a lawyer". This process, which forces students to think and talk in radically new and different ways about conflicts, is directed by professors in the course of their lectures and examinations, and conducted via spoken and written language. Beth Mertz's book is the first study to truly delve into that language to reveal the complexities of how this process takes place. Mertz bases her linguistic study on tape recordings from her first year Contracts courses in eight different law schools. She knows how all these schools employ the Socratic method between teacher and student, forcing the student to shift away from moral and emotional terms in thinking about conflict, toward frameworks of legal authority instead. This move away from moral frameworks is key, she says, arguing that it represents an underlying world view at the core not just of law education, but for better or worse, of the entire US legal system - which, while providing a useful source of legitimacy and a means to process conflict, fails to deal systematically with aspects of fairness and social justice. The latter part of her study shows how differences in race and gender makeup among law students and professors can subtly alter this process.

  9. Robert H. Miller, Law School Confidential: The Complete Law School Survival Guide: By Students, for Students (2000).
    KF283 .M55 2000

    Anyone thinking about attending law school faces three years of discipline and hard work. Miller, an attorney and 1998 University of Pennsylvania law school graduate, shares his knowledge about getting through. Miller covers every aspect of the law school experience-from surviving the first semester to seeking summer internships-which makes this book unique. He presents experiences of other law students to help readers understand what is expected of them and how these expectations will affect heir social and personal lives. The author emphasizes that discipline and conviction are the keys to successfully completing law school. Chapters are of course included on how to study for entrance tests and select an appropriate school. Recommended for all college and larger public libraries.

  10. James E. Moliterno, An Introduction to Law, Law Study, and the Lawyer’s Role (2nd ed. 2004).
    KF272 .M64 2004 Reserve

    A fresh and innovative look at the subject of law and what law study and the practice of law entail.

  11. Shana Connell Noyes, Acing Your First Year of Law School: The Ten Steps to Success You Won’t Learn in Class (2nd ed. 2008).
    KF283 .N69 2008

  12. Austen L. Parrish, Hard-nosed Advice from a Cranky Law Professor: How to Succeed in Law School (2010).
    KF283 .P37 2010

    Professors Parrish and Knolton have written a succinct guide to law school that students will find tremendously helpful--and a lot of fun. Dispensing wisdom with a clever sense of humor, Hard-Nosed Advice from a Cranky Law Professor entertains as it teaches and demystifies the law school experience. This engaging book offers practical advice on topics ranging from briefing cases to preparing for the bar exam, making it an important resource for students at all stages of their legal education. The book's guidance on outlining, exam-taking, and law review and clinical opportunities is especially valuable. I will recommend Hard-Nosed Advice from a Cranky Law Professor to my first-year students, and law schools should consider assigning it as part of their orientation programs. --Prof. Christopher A. Whytock, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

  13. Michael Hunter Schwartz, Expert Learning for Law Students (2005).
    KF283 .S39 2005

    Expert Learning for Law Students is designed to help law students build the analytical skills necessary to succeed in law school, on the bar exam, and in law practice. This book reveals how successful law students and lawyers plan, monitor, and implement their work and it provides detailed guidance regarding individual student personality types and learning styles.

  14. Helene S. Shapo, Law School Without Fear: Strategies for Success (2nd ed. 2002).
    KF386 .S44 2002

    This is an indispensable book for law students because two law professors wrote it for a particular law student: their son. Authors Helene Shapo and Marshall Shapo, both law professors at Northwestern University, wrote this book when one of their sons decided to go to law school. They set out to answer a question that has puzzled thousands of law teachers and millions of law students; how can you explain in simple terms the most basic things that a law student really needs to know about law school? They set out to explain, in down to earth language that takes law students seriously, the hurdles that most often baffle law students and how to jump them. This book started out as a practical advice to the authors' child. Now every law student can benefit from its clearly written road map for success.

  15. Dennis J. Tonsing, 1000 Days to the Bar, but the Practice of Law Begins Now (2nd ed. 2010).
    KF272 .T66 2010

    Accessible and practical book that breaks law school learning strategies into understandable, logical and practical steps that maximize the effect of students' study efforts, and explicitly ties those learning strategies to the strategies practicing lawyers use to understand, analyze and apply legal concepts in the real life representation of their clients. Students who employ its methods not only improve their law school performances and increase their chances of passing the bar on their first try, but they also come to understand the practical implications of their hard work for the transition into the real world of practice, where clients entrust to lawyers the protection of their rights, their property, liberties, some times even their lives. In other words, students will learn how to practice law while pursuing success in studying law.

  16. Kimm Alayne Walton, Strategies & Tactics for the First Year Law Student: Maximize Your Grades (2010).
    KF283 .W35 2010

    Note-taking--Sharpening your note-taking skills will maximize your study time and improve your grades. Your law professor's personality--Understanding it can be to your advantage. Study traps--What are they and how to avoid them. Memory aids--How classic memory systems work and when you should (and shouldn't) use them. The pressures of law school--Effective techniques for handling the pressure from classmates, professors, and reading assignment. Taking exams--Nine steps to writing exceptional exam answers.

  17. Charles H. Whitebread, The Eight Secrets of Top Exam Performance in Law School: An Easy-to-use, Step-by-step Approach for Achieving Great Grades (2nd ed. 2008).
    KF283 .W48 2008

    Eight secrets that will add points to every exam answer you write. The three keys to handling any essay exam, how to use time to your advantage, issue-spotting, how to organize your answer, and the hidden traps of the "IRAC" method. Once you have mastered these skills, you can put your knowledge to the test with sample exam questions, and check your answers against those provided. There is also a special section on how to do well on other exams, like open book, multiple choice, or policy exams.