Books I found helpful during the first year of law school (1L)

Last summer and fall, I did a bit of research to try and identify books and study aids that might be helpful during my first year of law school.  There are hundreds of products out there, and some are considerably more useful than others.  I wanted to put together a list of the books I found to be most valuable for any incoming law students (or self-educators interested in reading about law) who might be interested:

(* = essential/most valuable)

Ward Farnsworth, The Legal Analyst: A Toolkit for Thinking About the Law
Richard M. Fischl and Jeremy Paul, Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams

Dennis J. Tonsing, 1000 Days to the Bar but the Practice of Law Begins Now
Steven Emanuel, Steve Emanuel’s First Year Questions and Answers
Randy Barnett, The Structure of Liberty: Justice and the Rule of Law
LexisNexis Area of Law Outlines (free)
Black’s Law Dictionary - iPhone app version

Legal Writing:
Brian Garner, Legal Writing in Plain English

Ross Guberman, Point Made: How to Write Like the Nation’s Top Legal Advocates

Civil Procedure:
Joseph Glannon, Civil Procedure: Examples and Explanations
Richard Freer, Civil Procedure

Richard Freer, Law School Legends: Civil Procedure (audio)
Arthur R. Miller, Sum and Substance: Civil Procedure (audio) - out-of-date but still worthwhile

William Prosser, Prosser and Keeton on Torts

Joseph Glannon, Torts: Examples and Explanations
Steven Finz, Sum and Substance: Torts (audio)

Brian A. Blum, Contracts: Examples and Explanations
Marvin Chirelstein, Contracts and Case Analysis in the Law of Contracts
David Epstein, Sum and Substance: Contracts (audio)
Randy Barnett, Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law: Contracts

Criminal Law:
Joshua Dressler, Understanding Criminal Law

Joshua Dressler, Sum and Substance: Criminal Law (audio)

John G. Sprankling, Understanding Property Law
Linda H. Edwards, Estates in Land and Future Interests: A Step-by-Step Guide
Julian C. Juergensmeyer, Sum and Substance: Property (audio)

Constitutional Law:
Erwin Chemerinsky, Constitutional Law: Principles and Policies

Mary Cheh, Sum and Substance: Constitutional Law (audio)*

Ryan McCarl
Attorney | Writer | Educator