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.

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  • About Law School

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

    “If you are curious about how exam preparation for law school differs from college, then this is a must read. This book introduces how to approach some of the foundational aspects of law school such as briefing, note taking, outlining, and exam writing strategies.”
     – Rodney Rawls, Associate Director, Academic Achievement Program

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

    “I recommend Alex Schimel’s book to all students because I learned from him when he taught here at Miami Law. Schimel’s straightforward approach to analysis includes how to make a counterargument. When I began to apply his strategy, my exam writing improved tremendously. He demonstrates a formula that works. The book is also a relatively quick read.”
    - Odetta Clarke, Associate Director of Student Life

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

    “Learning how to learn is a critical skill for law school and life. This book explores scientific based learning strategies such as self-quizzing, interleaving, and spaced retrieval that will improve your ability to review and memorize information.”
     – Rodney Rawls, Associate Director, Academic Achievement Program

  • Reading and Writing

    • Plain English for Lawyers, by Richard C. Wydick

    “This practical workbook contains exercises to help law students refine overly complicated legal writing into plain language.”
    Jill Barton, Director of the Legal Communication and Research Skills (LComm) Program and Professor of Legal Writing

    • Point Made by Ross Guberman

    “Legal writing expert Ross Guberman draws on the writings of the nation's 50 most influential lawyers, including Barack Obama, John Roberts, Elena Kagan, Ted Olson, and David Boies. Their strategies, demystified and broken down into specific, learnable techniques, become a detailed writing guide full of practical models.”
    Jill Barton, Director of the Legal Communication and Research Skills (LComm) Program and Professor of Legal Writing

  • Life

    • Atomic Habits, by James Clear

    “Atomic Habits is a phenomenal text on time management and achieving goals. Its recommendations are powerful, but easy to implement. Beyond that, the book will help you become more cognizant of your own behaviors, particularly those small, nearly unconscious decisions you make on a daily basis, and how they may be helping or hurting your long-term aspirations.”
    - Jack Townsend, Associate Director of Student Life

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

    “Understanding personal finances is an essential component of a lawyer’s professional ethics, as well as a critical aspect of our personal well-being. While some people entering law school may already have a lot of knowledge of personal finance, many of us are just entering the stage of life where we need to start considering these issues. Beth Kobliner’s book is a great foundation for considering many key topics in personal finance. I am also a big fan of the online tools recommended by AccessLex.”
    - Janet Stearns, Dean of Students

     The Mindful Law Student: A Mindfulness in Law Practice Guide, by Scott Rogers

    “The Mindful Law Student is both profound and concise. The materials build upon Scott’s teaching at the University of Miami for the past 15 years. The Mindful Law Student includes specific exercises and probing questions for meditation and self-reflection at the end of each chapter. The text skillfully integrates the teachings of many great thinkers, from Rumi and Buddhist devotees to musicians like Herbie Hancock and Supertramp, from civil rights leaders like W. E. B. Du Bois, to contemporary lawyers and judges who practice mindfulness.”
    - Janet Stearns, Dean of Students

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

    “In The Inner Work of Racial Justice, Professor Rhonda Magee offers us a roadmap for feeling more deeply our connection to each other and seeing more clearly the ways cultivating greater self-awareness of our attitudes and beliefs can meaningfully influence how we treat each other and come to know ourselves. Each chapter concludes with a meditation that will help strengthen our mindfulness and deepen our sense of compassion and kindness.”
    - Scott Rogers, Director, Mindfulness in Law Program, Lecturer in Law

  • Podcasts

    • Legal Rebels
    • More Perfect
    • Strict Scrutiny
    • The Happiness Lab
    • Young Lawyer Rising
    • 5-4

  • Films and Series

    • Central Park Five
    • Extraordianry Attorney Woo
    • John Lewis: Good Trouble
    • My Name is Pauli Murray
    • On the Basis of Sex
    • The Mauritanian

  • Commentators and Content Creators

    • AI, A Twitter List Curated by Professor Andres Sawicki
    • LegalEagle (YouTube)