Pre-Law

Reference Works

Most of the hard copy works below are in the reference section of Monteith Library.  Use the PAC to access their call numbers.  Most should also be available in largish commercial or university bookstores.  Be assertive about consulting one or more of these works as you think about whether you want to attend law school, prepare for the LSAT, decide to which law schools you will apply, develop a timetable and check-lists for yourself, and prepare your personal statement and application materials.

Preparing for the LSAT:

Bobrow, Jerry, Barron’s LSAT  (Latest ed.)   One of the most popular and widely used self-study manuals that can help you prepare for the LSAT.

Goodman, Eric, et. al., LSAT 180 (2004-2005 ed.).  Advanced questions and study guide pertinent to all sections of the LSAT.

KAPLAN, 2 Real LSATs Explained  (Latest ed .).  This touts itself as the only book with real LSATs and complete explanations for each answer to the questions on those LSATs.

KAPLAN:  LSAT (Latest ed.).  If you don’t want to pay serious $$ to take the famous KAPLAN “crash course,” you may wish to purchase KAPLAN’s self-study manual.    Especially good are this manual’s practice questions and its explanations about why certain answers are the “correct” answers to particular practice questions.

Killoran, David M., LSAT Logic Games Bible (2004 ed.).  Valuable self-study tool for the logic games section of the LSAT.

Law School Admission Council, LSAT:  The Official LSAT SuperPrep—New (Latest ed.).  Three actual LSATs that enable you to take three past LSATs as practice tests, including the writing sample.  This valuable tool also gives item-by-item explanations to to show you why particular LSAT responses are right or wrong.

 Martinson, Thomas H., [ARCO] Everything You Need to Score High on the LSAT (Latest ed.).  A self-study manual that is useful for its test-preparation and test-taking tips and techniques.  Contains four full-length LSAT practice exams complete with analytical explanations for the correct answers to all questions. 

Martinson, Thomas H. [ARCO], The Master Series LSAT (2004).  Another good study manual.

Moore, Rosalind, editor-in-chief, The Dell Book of Logic Games Problems #2(1986).  An older but still quite useful source of logic problems to supplement questions and exercises found in conventional LSAT self-study guides.

Princeton Review, Cracking the LSAT  (Latest ed.).  This is one of the better (and shorter) self-study manuals.  Written in a breezy, irreverent, and sometimes sarcastic style, Cracking provides a number of helpful test-preparation and test-taking tips and techniques, even while it demythologizes the LSAT and the legal profession.

Guides to Law Schools

ABA and LAW Services, The Official Guide to ABA-Approved U.S. Law Schools(2006 ed.).  Gives recent profiles of ABA-approved law schools and has useful charts enabling you to compare law schools on a variety of points.  The book also furnishes “grids” for many (but not all) law schools, allowing you to estimate your chances for admission based on your college GPA and your LSAT score.  Also available on-line at www.LSAC.org

Barron’s Guide to Law Schools (Latest ed.).  Profiles ABA-approved law schools, relying on information provided by the institutions themselves.

Cassidy, Carol-June with S.F. Goldfarb. Inside the Law Schools:  A Guide by Students for Students (Latest ed.).  One of several works purporting to give evaluations of most law schools from the perspective of students attending them.

Castleman, Harry and Christopher Niewoehner, Going to Law School?  Everything You Need to Know to Choose and Pursue a Degree in Law (1997).  Older but still useful work that gives valuable information on law-related careers, law school curriculum, applying to law school, and preparing for the LSAT.

Coleman, Ronald, Pre-Law Companion:  What Law School Grads Wish They Knew Before They Started (1996).  A useful, sometimes amusing overview that gives insights into applying to law school, what to expect there, and how to pay for your law school education.

Doughty, Harold R., The Penguin Guide to American Law Schools (1999).  In addition to furnishing basic information about getting into and financing law school and providing profiles on ABA-certified law schools, this guide indicates which law schools participate in the Law Multi-App process and which have joint degree programs.

Gillers, Stephen, ed., Looking at Law School:  A Student Guide from the Society of American Law Teachers (Latest ed.).  Perspectives on law schools and their programs from the vantage point of law school profs.

Horwitz, Jeremy B., Law School Insider (2002).  Based substantially but not exclusively on the author’s experience as a law student, this gives sometimes quite detailed commentary on the realities of law school and law school survival skills.

KAPLAN, The NAPLA/SAPLA Insiders Book of Law School Lists (2003-04 ed.).  This should be used with caution because some of the information is dated.  Even so, it gives lists of law schools having special programs (e.g., environmental law, litigation, etc.), study abroad opportunities, evening and summer programs, and scholarship opportunities.

Lermack, Paul, How to Get Into the Right Law School (1993).  Written by an undergraduate prof with extensive experience as a pre-law advisor, this work gives a wealth of practical advice and tips about all phases of the law school application and admission game.  A more recent edition may be available commercially.

Lisnek, Paul M., et. al, The Princeton Review Law School Companion (1995).  An older work but one definitely worth reviewing the summer before you enter law school.  Has good tips on how to play and win the “law school game” once you’re in law school.

Martinson, Thomas H., The Best Law Schools (Latest ed.).  Profiles what the author regards as the top forty law schools in the U.S., using each institution’s selectivity, reputation, and placement record as the main criteria.  Provides for each school a five-page overview highlighting its general environment, academic program, admissions criteria and patterns, placement of graduates, and student body demographics.

Martinson, Thomas H. and David P. Waldheer, Getting Into Law School Today:  The Inside Facts Every Pre-law Schould Know (Latest ed.).  Tips and advice about how to jump successfully through the various “hoops” in the law school application and selection process.

Munneke, Gary A., How to Succeed in Law School, 2nd ed. (1994).  A bit dated, but perhaps useful to skim the summer before you enter law school.

Owens, Eric, The Princeton Review Complete Book of Law Schools (Latest ed.).  Profiles all ABA-accredited law schools and includes useful information on the law school application process.

Peterson’s Law Schools:  A Comprehensive Guide to All … Accredited U.S. Law Schools (Latest ed.).  Similar to the ABA and Law Services Official Guide,Peterson’s Law Schools provides factual information about every ABA-approved law school in the U.S. but does not “evaluate” those law schools.

Research & Education Association (REA), REA’s Authoritative Guide to Law Schools(Latest ed.).  Another factual guide to ABA-approved law schools that does not evaluate them.

Van Tuyl, Ian, The Princeton Law Review Student Advantage Guide to the Best Law Schools (Latest ed.).  Profiles most of the ABA-approved law schools in the U.S.  It’s similar to Martinson’s The Best Law Schools (above) because it doesn’t just catalog information provided by law schools; it also assesses what law students think about their schools.  One section has heaps of information/opinion about law school curriculum, lawyering, and the LSAT.  Another section ranks “top ten” and “bottom ten” law schools in different categories (e.g., best teaching faculties, quality of life, etc.).

Walton, Kimm A., America’s Greatest Places to Work With a Law Degree (1999).  This may be quite dated by the time you graduate from law school, but it provides a virtual encyclopedia of suggestions about good employers for law school graduates and the realities of life in law-related fields.

Weaver. William G., Peterson’s Game Plan for Getting into Law School (2000).  Contains useful strategies for applying to, selecting, and paying for law school.  Weaver’s discussion on the application process supplements Lermack’s How to Get Into the Right Law School (above).

For fun:

Gordon, James D. III, Law School:  A survivor’s Guide (1994).  Written by a law school prof with a sense of humor (no, that’s not an oxymoron), this amusing work satirizes and parodies many aspects of the legal profession, including getting into and enduring law school.

Stracher, Cameron, Double Billing:  A Young Lawyer’s Tale of Greed, Sex, Lies, and the Pursuit of a Swivel Chair (1998).  An amusing memoir by a Harvard Law School graduate.