Suggested Reading List for Incoming Law Students
(List is arranged alphabetically)
(This list contains suggested reading by the Faculty at the University of Alabama School of Law. These books are not required reading. They are intended to give incoming students an introduction to the law, legal practice, and legal studies. Please choose a few that may be of interest to you.)
Ball, Howard. Hugo Black: Cold Steel Warrior. 1996.
–Focuses on Hugo Black’s life as a politician and his role in important legal matters
Ball, Milner. Called by Stories: Biblical Sagas and Their Challenge for Law. 2000.
–Examines how religious stories shed light on the decisions faced by lawyers
Bass, S. Jonathan. Blessed are the Peacemakers: Martin Luther King Jr., Eight White Religious Leaders and the “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” 2002.
–In depths look at the purpose and circumstances surrounding Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter”
Bell, Derrick. Ethical Ambition: Living a Life of Meaning and Worth. 2002.
–Author describes his experiences of living an ethical life in the midst of discrimination and conflict
Bowen, Catherine Drinker. Yankee From Olympus: A Biography of Oliver Wendell Holmes. 1944.*
Burton, Steven J. An Introduction to Law and Legal Reasoning. 1995.*
–Helps students gain an understanding of law and legal reasoning
Cardozo, Benjamin Nathan. The Nature of the Judicial Process. 1921.
–Cardozo, a former U.S. Supreme Court Justice, describes how a case is decided
Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring. 1962.
–Informative text on the dangers of pesticides and their effect on society
Cover, Robert. Justice Accused: Antislavery and the Judicial Process. 1975.
–Discussion of slavery, natural law, and judicial process
Dees, Morris with Steve Fiffer. A Lawyer’s Journey: The Morris Dees Story. 2003.
–Describes the story of Morris Dees, Co-Founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama
Douglas, William O. Go East Young Man: The Early Years. 1974.*
–Douglas’s story of his life from childhood to the Supreme Court
Fair, Bryan K. Notes of a Racial Caste Baby: Color Blindness and the End of Affirmative Action. 1999.
–History of America and Bryan Fair’s life and the defense of affirmative action
Fisher, Roger and William Ury. Getting to Yes. 1991.
–Offers an approach on how to come to a “mutually acceptable agreement”
Frank, Jerome. Courts on Trial. 1963.
–Demonstrates the use of social sciences in analyzing a legal problem
Frank, Jerome. Law and the Modern Mind. 1935.
–Author discusses psychological aspects of the nature of law
Fuller, Lon L. The Morality of Law. 1969.
–Examines the relationship between law and morality
Fuller, Lon L. The Anatomy of Law. 1968.
–A historical look at law
Gordon, James D. III. Law School: A Survivor’s Guide. 1994.*
–Provides the humorous side of attending law school
Gray, Fred D. Bus Ride to Justice: Changing the System by the System, the Life and Works of Fred Gray. 2002.
–Stories of Fred Gray’s legal representation of Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
Gray, Fred D. Changing the System by the System: The Life and Works of Fred Gray. 1995.
–Autobiography that details events in segregated Montgomery, Alabama
Gunther, Gerald. Learned Hand: The Man and The Judge. 1994.
–A look at Judge Learned Hand’s life on and off the bench
Greenberg, Jack. Crusaders in the Courts. 1994.*
–Personal memoir of Jack Greenberg’s life in the courts and the definitive history of an organization that helped change American society
Guinier, Lani, Michelle Fine, Jane Balin. Becoming Gentlemen: Women, Law School, and Institutional Change. 1997.
–Tells the story of legal education through the experiences of women
Harr, Jonathan. A Civil Action. 1995.
–A portrayal of actual courtroom drama
Hamilton, Alexander, James Madison & John Jay. The Federalist Papers
–An explanation of our United States Constitution
Hart, Herbert Lionel Adolphus. The Concept of Law. 1961 and 1997.
–1961 version is the original and presents Hart’s treatise on legal philosophy. The 1997 edition includes Hart’s responses to critics
Hegland, Kenney. Introduction to the Study and Practice of Law in a Nutshell. 2d ed. 1995.
–Gives a first-day orientation of law school
Horwitz, Morton. The Transformation of American Law 1780 – 1860. 1979.
–Provides a general idea of how economic conflicts helped change the law in America
Horwitz, Morton. The Transformation of American Law 1870 – 1960. 1994.
–A continuation of the social and economic inequality and the struggle in American law
Irons, Peter. Justice at War: The Story of the Japanese American Internment Cases. 1993.
–This thorough research uncovers a “government campaign of suppression, alteration, and destruction of crucial evidence that could have persuaded the Supreme Court to strike down the internment order”
Ivory, Luther D. Toward a Theology of Radical Involvement: The Theological Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. 1997.
–Focuses on the theological and ethical perspective of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jackson, Harvey H. Inside Alabama: A Personal History of My State. 2004.
–The state’s history with a strong emphasis on the themes of injustice and the counter efforts
Kairys, David. Politics of Law: A Progressive Critique. 1998.
–Addresses issues related to the law and contains essays from subjects covered in first year law school
Kennedy, Duncan. “Legal Education as Training for Hierarchy” in David Kairys, ed., The Politics of Law: A Progressive Guide. 1982.
Kluger, Richard. Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America’s Struggle for Equality. 1977.
–Looks at race relations in the U.S., the litigation process and strategy, and the South Carolina decision making process
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. 1960.
–Explores the behavior and attitudes of adults toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930’s
Leuchtenburg, William. The Supreme Court Reborn: The Constitutional Revolution in the Age of Roosevelt. 1996.
–Illustrates the legal and political battles that shaped the Supreme Court
Levi, Edward. An Introduction to Legal Reasoning. 1948.
–Describes and introduces the logic of law
Lewis, Anthony. Gideon’s Trumpet. 1964.
–A story about a poor man’s fight for legal counsel
Llewellyn, Karl. The Bramble Bush. 1960.
–Provides an introduction to the study of law
Llewellyn, Karl. The Common Law Tradition. 1960.*
–Author discusses the appellate procedure, stare decisis, and the judicial process
McCraw, Thomas K.. Prophets of Regulation: Charles Francis Adams, Louis D. Brandeis, James M. Landis, Alfred E. Kahn. 1986.
–This is a story of four powerful men and their theory and practice of regulation
McNeil, Genna Rae. Groudwork: Charles Hamilton Houston and the Struggle for Civil Rights. 1990.
–Author details Houston’s efforts to integrate schools and the struggle for civil rights
Pound, Roscoe. Introduction to the Philosophy of Law. 1998.
–Looks at how philosophy has been a powerful instrument throughout the history of law
Raines, Howell. My Soul is Rested: Movement Days in the Deep South Remembered. 1983.
–Oral history of civil rights
Robeson, Paul. Here I Stand. 1988.
–Memoir of actor and singer, Robeson, and his response to his accusers during McCarthynism
Smith, J. Clay. Emancipation: The Making of the Black Lawyer, 1844-1944. 1999.
–The first complete reference book covering the first one hundred years of African Americans in the legal profession
Stern, Gerald. The Buffalo Creek Disaster. 1977.
–About litigation and how a group of survivors from a coal mining disaster sues the company and wins
Tushnet, Mark V. Thurgood Marshall: His Speeches, Writings, Arguments, Opinions and Reminiscences. 2001.
–Collection of Thurgood Marshall’s oral recollections, speeches, and articles
Ury, William. Getting Past No. 1993.
–Gives information on how to negotiate with difficult people
Wright, Richard. Native Son. 1940.
–Author writes about the feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in the 1930s in Chicago
A New List of Recommended Reading for Prospective Law Students, 83 Mich. L. Rev. 663, 1985.
The American Heritage Dictionary
The American Heritage Book of English Usage
Black’s Law Dictionary
Brians, Paul. Common Errors in English Usage, 2003.
Chicago Manual of Style
Strunk’s Elements of Style
*Indicates books that are no longer in print.