Preparing to study Law

Here are some suggestions for how you might prepare to study Law at Leicester Law School:

The media

A good law student has a broad awareness of current affairs and legal issues. One of the best ways to prepare for your law degree is to read a good quality British newspaper or news website every day.

Many newspapers have specific sections for legal news

These newspapers help to develop your awareness of issues affecting the UK political and legal system, and global affairs. If English is not your first language, reading English materials and discussing them (in English) with your friends or family will be of enormous benefit.

Books

First year teaching assumes no legal knowledge, so we do not recommend specific pre-course reading, and the main textbooks are available as ebooks once you start the course. Even so, there are some relatively inexpensive recommendations that can help you get off to a good start for working and thinking like a law student.

Our first recommendations are books on how to study Law

  • G. Williams, Learning the Law (16th edition, Sweet and Maxwell 2016). This helps you to understand the legal system and the discipline of studying law. It has been published many times so if you use a second hand copy, look at a recent edition
  • N.J. McBride, Letters to a Law Student: A Guide to Studying Law at University (4th edition, Pearson 2017)
  • A. Bradney, F. Cownie, J. Masson,  A. Neal and D. Newell, How to Study Law (8th edition, Sweet and Maxwell 2017)
  • I Moore, C Newberry-Jones, The Successful Law Student (Oxford 2018)

You may also be inspired to learn about ideas and views relating to justice, society and human rights by reading:

  • A. Lester, Five Ideas to Fight For (Oneworld Publications, 2016)
  • T. Bingham, The Rule of Law (Penguin, 2011)

Or by watching or listening to the following online talks, which may lead you to explore related ideas:

Learning should be enjoyable and pleasurable, so we recommend you find something useful and that you think you will enjoy.  Preview books online and choose one or two that spark your interest.  You do not need to read them all.  

Leicester Law School, supports sustainable development goals and encourages the use of libraries and second hand book sales, as well as purchases which support charitable causes.  You are encouraged to think about the source you use for hard copy books.  For instance, Voluntary Action Leicester, which is connected to our Legal Advice Clinic, can be supported every time you purchase through smile.amazon.co.uk. 

Fiction

You may also enjoy reading works with legal themes such as

  • Charles Dickens, Bleak House
  • Harper Lee, To Kill a Mocking Bird
  • Franz Kafka, The Trial
  • Books by John Grisham

Online resources

In additional to the online versions of the newspapers mentioned above the following websites may be useful and gateways to additional information

Legal blogs

You may find these legal blogs interesting:

  • The blog of Leicester Law School graduate Philip Henson. Phil is now a partner and Head of Employment Law at an award winning London Law firm. He is regularly quoted as an expert in employment law in the national, international and HR media; including several appearances on BBC News 24, BBC Radio, ITN News and Sky News
  • Two blogs focussing on legal issues in the UK: Law and Lawyers and Charon QC 
  • Law Actually, the blog of an in-house lawyer from the telecoms industry
  • Pupillage and How to Get It - the blog of a Leeds-based barrister who writes about the realities of entering the legal profession

The Leicester Law School is not responsible for any external sites.