* Books To Read Before Law School

Four classics that will help you think.

The summer before I entered law school, I asked Professor Gregory which books I should read to prepare for law school. These are the four he recommended, all of which I devoured and loved. Five years after graduating, I purchased vintage versions of each and they occupy a place of honor in my law firm to this date. That a book by Mortimer J. Adler, already one of my favorite authors, made the list was a good omen.

“Gideon’s Trumpet” by Anthony Lewis. A history of the landmark case of James Earl Gideon’s fight for the right to legal counsel.

“Gideon’s Trumpet: How One Man, a Poor Prisoner, Took His Case to the Supreme Court-and Changed the Law of the United States” by Anthony Lewis.

“Make No Law” by Anthony Lewis. The story of the 1960 libel suit that pitted The New York Times against a Montgomery, Alabama, city official, and whose settlement in the Supreme Court redefined what newspapers, and ordinary citizens, can print or say.“Make No Law: The Sullivan Case and the First Amendment” by Anthony Lewis.

“Minnesota Rag” by Fred W. Friendly. The tale of a court case that molded our understanding of freedom of the press and set a precedent for the publication of the Pentagon Papers.

“Minnesota Rag: Corruption, Yellow Journalism, and the Case That Saved Freedom of the Press” by Fred W. Friendly.

“How To Read A Book” by Mortimer J. Adler. A wonderful how-to book from America’s greatest philosopher and taxonomist.

“How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading” by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren.

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