Law school may be over, but that doesn’t mean you get to put down the books. This is the time that you should be reading every single useful book you can get your hands on. Save yourself years of countless mistakes and poor judgment calls, and learn from experienced attorneys and veterans of the legal industry.
No matter how busy you may be, try and find a few minutes each night before bed to read a helpful book. If reading isn’t your thing anymore, most of these come in the form of audiobooks you can download and throw on your phone or listen to a podcast on your commute to the office or while you work from home.
Our top 5 favorite books for every lawyer, in no particular order, are as follows:
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Cove
Uncover tips and ideas for solving personal and professional problems, providing a path for fair and moral living that allows any individual to adapt to changes and take advantage of opportunities. The website also provides helpful resources to continue your growth beyond the book.
How to Argue & Win Every Time: At Home, At Work, In Court, Everywhere, Everyday by Gerry Spence
While older, How to Argue & Win Every Time: At Home, At Work, In Court, Everywhere, Everyday by Gerry Spence is still relevant in today’s courtroom and society. Learning to argue may seem limited to the courtroom, but it’s a useful skill that can be strategically applied in almost every aspect of our lives. This book gives the author’s Laws of Arguing and reminds every lawyer that they are capable of making the winning argument in any situation.
Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges by Antonin Scalia and Bryan A. Garner
A testament to both speaking and writing persuasively — a necessary skill for any lawyer who wants to be successful. The authors present their ideas about persuasion, yet do so in an entertaining way that keeps you turning the page. From writing legal briefs to oral arguments, this book covers the skills needed in the courtroom.
MacCarthy on Cross-Examination by Terence MacCarthy
This book is a great read for any trial lawyer, as it goes into detail about how to manage any witness on the stand. MacCarthy provides real-world examples to illustrate his three main points that run throughout the book. The ABA recommends this book and even offers it to members at a special rate.
A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr
The law is complex and takes many shapes—some good, others undesirable. This book uncovers the ugly side of the law and shows that justice can sometimes be elusive by delving into a true story of a difficult case against two corporate giants. If you don’t think you have time to read 500 pages, there is also a movie by the same name, featuring John Travolta, Robert Duvall, and more.
Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published in September 2019 and has been updated for accuracy.