Summer Suggested Reading List

Students frequently ask what summer reading will best prepare them for 1L year of law school. Though Miami Law generally suggests that the best way to prepare for law school is to arrive relaxed, focused and ready for the hard work that accompanies the study of law, there are numerous books offering advice and strategies for navigating law school and thriving as a law student.

The list below includes suggestions from the Miami Law faculty, Academic Achievement Program, and others.

About Law School and the Legal Profession

Bridging the Gap Between College and Law School: Strategies for Success, by Ruta Stropus and Charlotte Taylor

Expert Learning for Law Students, by Michael Hunter Schwartz

How to Read a Case, by Orin Kerr (

Law School Exams, by Charles Calleros

Law School Exams – A Guide to Better Grades, by Alex Schimel

Learning Legal Reasoning: Briefing, Analysis and Theory, by John Delaney

Succeeding in Law School, by Herbert Ramy

The Law Student’s Pocket Mentor: From Surviving to Thriving, by Ann Ijima

Tomorrow’s Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future, by Richard Susskind

Reading and Writing

Elements of Style, by William Strunk, R. and E.B. White

Grammar for a Full Life, by Larry Weinstein

How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading (1972), by Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren

Legal Writing in Plain English (2001) [and anything else he’s written], by Bryan A. Garner

On Writing Well (7th ed. 2006), by William Zinsser

Plain English for Lawyers (4th ed. 1998), by Richard C. Wydick

Reading Like a Lawyer, by Ruth Ann McKinney

The Legal Writing Handbook: Research, Analysis & Writing, by Oates & Enquist

The Little Book of Plagiarism (2007), by Richard A. Posner

Law, Politics & History

A Civil Action, by Jonathan Harr

A Question of Choice, by Sarah Weddington

Caste: The Origins of our Discontents, by Isabel Wilkerson

Damages: One Family’s Legal Struggles in the World of Medicine, by Barry Werth

Gideon’s Trumpet, by Anthony Lewis

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson

My Beloved World, by Sonia Sotomayor

Simple Justice, by Richard Kluger

Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World, by Fareed Zakaria

The Buffalo Creek Disaster: How the Survivors of One of the Worst Disasters in Coal-Mining History Brought Suit Against the Coal Company — and Won, by Gerald Stern

The Courage of Their Convictions: Sixteen Americans Who Fought Their Way to the Supreme Court, by Peter Irons

The Man Who Lived Underground, by Richard Wright

The Trial, by Franz Kafka

The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good?, by Michael Sandel

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

Until We Reckon: Violence, Mass Incarceration, and a Road to Repair, by Danielle Sered


Get A Financial Life: Personal Finance in your Twenties and Thirties, by Beth Kobliner

How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer, by Sarah Bakewell

Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning, by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger and Mark A. McDaniel

Mindfulness for Law Students, by Scott Rogers

The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law, by Haben Girma

The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves and Transforming Our Communities Through Mindfulness, by Rhonda V. Magee

The Lady of Silk and Steel: From Everest to Embassies, by Sue McCourt Cobb

The Measure of our Success, by Marian Wright Edelman

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey


More Perfect

Strict Scrutiny

The Happiness Lab


Movies and Television

Central Park Five (documentary)

John Lewis: Good Trouble

My Name is Pauli Murray

RBG (Documentary) or On the Basis of Sex

The Mauritanian

The Wire (HBO)

When They See Us (mini-series)