As I mention elsewhere, Planet Law School II (affiliate link) is the gold standard for a law school book to buy other than your case books. I would still buy a number of other books as well, but if someone pointed a gun to my head and allowed me to buy only one book, this would be it.
Frankly, I recommend to every law student that I tutor that they buy this book. I have mostly praise for this book, and only a few criticisms, but honestly, no other book currently on the market comes close to being honest about the law school game and how to beat it.
The author, Atticus Falcon (obviously not his real name), provides a clear-eyed, well-articulated critique of the entire law school system.
No one describes in more rich and convincing detail the pathology of law school, the <a href="http://law-school-hacker.com/socratic-method.html">Socratic method</a>, and the ultimate bait and switch of it all, in short: you spend a lot of time out of class reading cases, all your class time watching your professor make the law much more complicated than it is.
Only Planet Law School, of all of the books I've read, puts together such a readable retelling of an ancient history that has such relevance to the lives of law students and that so few in the legal academy wants to revisit.
Why is it important to know the history of law school?
If you know, before going to law school, how arbitrary and insane the curriculum actually is, and how far removed it is from actual legal practice, you will approach law school with the proper perspective.
You can detach emotionally from your instinctive and unthinking sense of obedience to do what the professor wants, and do the opposite--that is, do exactly what you need to in order to ace law school.
To do well in law school, you need to be at least a little bit cynical about law school. Once you have read Mr. Falcon's history of legal education, you will never be the same again. Just as you will never want to eat another sausage after reading the jungle, you will never again trust another law professor.
Planet Law School isn't just full of history, however. There is plenty of extremely practical advice, most of which I agree with. For instance,
I have a couple criticisms of this book, but they do not prevent me from recommending it to law students. Here they are in no particular order:
Despite my criticisms, and they are minor, I highly recommend this great book if you are about to start law school, or even after you start. If you find yourself at all lost or alienated by law school, but still want to do well, please get this book.
I have asked that most of my tutoring students purchase this book. Most of them have found this idiosyncratic book eye-opening and helpful.
Here are my personal recommendations for products and services that I have reviewed that can improve your results in law school. This list is short because I include only my top picks.
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