Introduction to Law Books
Before starting at university you will want to at least understand the basics of the English legal system and the framework in which it operates. This is especially true if you’ve not studied law at A level.
It’s not just for getting a head start – you need to know some of this stuff to properly begin learning. You want a good foundation on which you can build your knowledge.
The following books give you a good introduction, they prepare you as best they can to begin law at university:
Learning The Law : Glanville Williams
This book was first published in 1945 and there have been many editions since. It teaches students the foundation skills and knowledge needed to successfully study the law.
It really is essential reading. It teaches you things which lecturers perhaps believe are too obvious, yet manages to sort out some misunderstandings people frequently have about the law.
There’s a reason it’s been around for so long! Also available on Kindle.
Another long running and successful book which provides a great introduction to the English legal system.
Covers the legal institutions, case law and legislation (with interpretation). Is very good at explaining the techniques solicitors (and all in the legal profession) use when reasoning and thinking about practical legal matters.
Assumes no prior knowledge.
Politics – A Very Short Introduction
Essential if you don’t know anything about politics! Especially if you’re thinking of studying more philosophical legal areas later on in your degree.
Provides great insight into the process of making law.
Also has a great run down of the history of politics starting with the Greeks.
Well worth a read considering its price, and how long it takes to finish.
A Very Short Introduction to Law
Another book from the very short introduction series. This is great if you’re wondering whether to peruse a career in law or not.
It’s very simple and easy to understand – there is very little complex jargon.
It has the following sections – law’s roots, law’s branches, law and morality, courts, lawyers and the future of law.
Available for Kindle.
Critical Thinking : Analysis & Argument
Critical thinking is so important in law. This is often overlooked and the importance of creating sound arguments while avoiding fallacy’s is lost.
It will help you in all elements of your university education from oral arguments to writing great answers in essay & problem questions.
This book is good at helping you develop thinking skills, improving critical analysis and ability to construct effective arguments.
Philosophy of Law – A Very Short Introduction
Yes, yet another book in the series!
Love them or hate them you’re going to have to answer problem questions some time at university. This book can help you do this.
It helps open your mind up to some of the key philosophical questions and legal theories out there. Starting to form your own opinions on fault, liability and justice early can really help later on.
You’ll notice some of the books aren’t directly about law. It’s not possible to go into detail about politics for example during your first few weeks. There just isn’t time. But a basic knowledge of politics is important for learning about the law.
Luckily, with introduction to law books, they don’t seem to go out of date too quickly. Since they’re not teaching specific cases or legislation there isn’t much that can be said which will become bad advice or irrelevant over time.
Reading and fully understanding at least one of the above books will give you a big head start over those who haven’t Besides, if you’re passionate about a career in law you should be excited about starting your legal learning as soon as possible!