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Optional Summer Reading List
A frequently asked question from incoming law students is what summer reading will best prepare one for law school. The list below represents some of the suggestions from faculty, administrators, and students for summer reading. We suggest that incoming students first check for the title they are interested in at their local public library. If you are located in the Treasure Valley please feel free to stop by to pick up a title you are interested in. If you are unable to find the title at your local public library or aren't located in the Treasure Valley, the law library staff will happily mail a copy of your desired title to your home address.
The Defense Never Rests
Call Number: GRW Law Library West Stacks KF221.M8 B35 1971
Publication Date: 1971-01-01
The Sam Sheppard murder case - The Carl Coppolino murder case - The Torso murder case. These are some of the sensational "wife-murder" cases F. Lee Bailey re-creates in this riveting collection. Reconstructing each case moment by moment, he brings a behind-the-scenes understanding to unforgettable courtroom drama. These and his other fascinating accounts give us insight into why he was one of the lead defense attorneys in "The Trial of the Century" - the O. J. Simpson trial.
Miracle at Philadelphia
This is the story of the stormy, brilliant session of 1787 in Philadelphia which saw the birth of the Constitution of the United States. Looked at straight from the records, the Federal Convention is startlingly fresh and new.
Call Number: GRW Law Library West Stacks KF373.T88 A3 2010
Publication Date: 2010-12-28
"A wonderful book...it should be read by anyone who has ever contemplated going to law school. Or anyone who has ever worried about being human." -The New York Times It was a year of terrors and triumphs, of depressions and elations, of compulsive work, pitiless competition, and, finally, mass hysteria. It was Scott Turow's first year at the oldest, biggest, most esteemed center of legal education in the United States. Turow's experiences at Harvard Law School, where freshmen are dubbed One Ls, parallel those of first-year law students everywhere. His gripping account of this critical, formative year in the life of a lawyer is as suspenseful, said The New York Times, as "the most absorbing of thrillers."
Attorney for the Damned
Call Number: GRW Law Library West Stacks KF213.D3 W4 2012
Publication Date: 2012-10-12
A famous defender of the underdog, the oppressed, and the powerless, Clarence Darrow (1857-1938) is one of the true legends of the American legal system. His cases were many and various, but all were marked by his unequivocal sense of justice, as well as his penchant for representing infamous and unpopular clients, such as the Chicago thrill killers Leopold and Loeb; Ossian Sweet, the African American doctor charged with murder after fighting off a violent, white mob in Detroit; and John T. Scopes, the teacher on trial in the famous Scopes Monkey Trial. Published for the first time in 1957, Attorney for the Damned collects Darrow's most influential summations and supplements them with scene-setting explanations and comprehensive notes by Arthur Weinberg. Darrow confronts issues that remain relevant over half a century after his death: First Amendment rights, capital punishment, and the separation of church and state. With an insightful forward by Justice William O. Douglas, this volume serves as a powerful reminder of Darrow's relevance today.
Publication Date: 2010-08-17
"For Michael Sandel, justice is not a spectator sport," The Nations reviewer of Justice remarked. In his acclaimed book -- based on his legendary Harvard course -- Sandel offers a rare education in thinking through the complicated issues and controversies we face in public life today. It has emerged as a most lucid and engaging guide for those who yearn for a more robust and thoughtful public discourse. "In terms we can all understand," wrote Jonathan Rauch in The New York Times, Justice "confronts us with the concepts that lurk . . . beneath our conflicts." Affirmative action, same-sex marriage, physician-assisted suicide, abortion, national service, the moral limits of markets -- Sandel relates the big questions of political philosophy to the most vexing issues of the day, and shows how a surer grasp of philosophy can help us make sense of politics, morality, and our own convictions as well. Justice is lively, thought-provoking, and wise -- an essential new addition to the small shelf of books that speak convincingly to the hard questions of our civic life.
The Common Law
Call Number: GRW Law Library West Stacks K588 .H65 2009 and at http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2449.
Publication Date: 2009-04-15
Much more than an historical examination of liability, criminal law, torts, bail, possession and ownership, and contracts, "The Common Law" articulates the ideas and judicial theory of one of the greatest justices of the Supreme Court. G. Edward White reminds us why the book remains essential reading not only for law students but also for anyone interested in American history. The text published is, with occasional corrections of typographical errors, identical with that found in the first and all subsequent printings by Little, Brown. This book is available online at Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2449.
A Civil Action
Call Number: GRW Law Library West Stacks KF228.A667 H37 1995
Publication Date: 1995-08-29
The lawyer had not wanted the case at first - it was too big, too complicated, too risky. It concerned a cluster of childhood leukemia victims in a small town north of Boston where the city wells had been poisoned by industrial chemicals. Two of the nation's largest corporations, each with a plant near the wells, stood accused. Against his better judgment, the lawyer found himself drawn into the case. In this book, you'll meet the Harvard Law professor who told the lawyer that this case was worth a billion dollars, that it was the sort of lawsuit that would ring the alarm in corporate boardrooms across America. And you'll meet his adversaries, foremost among them a crafty old trial lawyer, chairman of the litigation department at one of the biggest and most feared law firms in Boston. The case turned into an epic struggle that took nine years of the lawyer's life. At the heart of the legal system, he was confronted by powerful and well-connected interests who would do anything to win. In the end, the struggle nearly cost the lawyer his sanity. He sacrificed everything - home, friends, and reputation - not for money, but for what he believed to be the truth.
Journey to Justice
Publication Date: 1996-09-30
He's become a household name: Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr., the brilliant orator and legal strategist who captained the Dream Team in the trial of the century. But behind the man the media created is a story of a life spent in the trenches of the American legal system, fighting not for clients as high-profile as O. J. Simpson, but for individuals whose voices are too often silenced. Journey to Justice is an unflinching portrait of Johnnie Cochran and the legal system that he has so profoundly influenced. It will forever change our understanding of what works and what doesn't in America's most noble and troubling institution.
The Supreme Court
Call Number: GRW Law Library West Stacks KF8742 .R47 2002
Publication Date: 2002-02-05
This new edition of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist’s classic book offers a lively and accessible history of the Supreme Court. His engaging writing illuminates both the high and low points in the Court's history, from Chief Justice Marshall’s dominance of the Court during the early nineteenth century through the landmark decisions of the Warren Court. Citing cases such as the Dred Scott decision and Roosevelt's Court-packing plan, Rehnquist makes clear that the Court does not operate in a vacuum, that the justices are unavoidably influenced by their surroundings, and that their decisions have real and lasting impacts on our society. The public often hears little about the Supreme Court until decisions are handed down. Here, Rehnquist reveals its inner workings--the process by which cases are chosen, the nature of the conferences where decisions are made, and the type of debates that take place. With grace and wit, this incisive history gives a dynamic and informative account of the most powerful court in the nation and how it has shaped the direction America has taken.
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