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    • Thread Starter

    Hey, I'm a prospective Law student probably applying to Cambridge and Durham, so I will no-doubt end up having interviews. What I want to know is the best type of preliminary reading that can be done in preparation for interviews?

    Like, I could go more in-depth into foundational legal knowledge by reading actual Law textbooks, or should I be reading theorist books about the Law? In fact, a contact I have studying Law at Cambridge claims his only preliminary reading was "Crime and Punishment", and he spoke about that at his interview.

    So what are your opinions?

    Thanks, Patrick

    Read a daily "broadsheet" (even though physically the Times and the Guardian are no longer broadsheets) newspaper. It is better to read the physical paper than the website for this purpose because it is easier to get a flavour across the whole paper. Try and ensure that you can comment intelligently on all current legal and politico-legal issues that make it to a general newspaper. No-one is going to expect you to know the fine detail on anything but you are expected to be an intelligent and articulate adult and intelligent and articulate adults are expected to be able to have such discourse.

    Jacketpotato has written a very good guide.

    9) What books can I read to give me a flavour of the law and something to talk about at interview?
    Some examples include:
    'Understanding Law' by Adams and Brownsword
    'Letters to a Law Student' by McBride
    'Learning the Law' by Williams
    'Learning Legal Rules' by Holland
    'The Law Machine' by Berlins and Dyer
    'What About Law?' by Barnard, O'Sullivan and Virgo
    'The Politics of the Judiciary' by Griffith
    There are other examples going round these forums, just do a search.

    You should be aware of the different types of introductory law books. There are basically two types of introductory law book: those that give you an introduction to some substantive legal issues and legal ways of thinking, and those that give you an overview of the procedure followed by the courts and the legal professions. You need the books that give you an overview of legal substance as this is what law degrees are about, not books on procedure which are useful in practice but not in a degree. Interviewers will be less impressed by you going in and telling them the relation between the high court and the county court than by an informed discussion of whether people who kill indirectly should be guilty of murder, because it is issues like that which are studied in a law degree: procedure is not.
    As for my personal opinions, I highly recommend 'Understanding Law' as a book to base your reading around and 'The Law Machine' to supplement, but I don't recommend 'Learning Legal Rules' because it is mainly a dry book on how stuff works, what the abbreviations on law reports stand for and so on, this is not what you need. I'm sure there are other good ones, and obviously it is subjective. You can search the forums for what other people have said about these books.


    I agree with what nulli tertius has said.
    I would also say that you should not read Law textbooks, though a general introductory work may help you to decide which areas of law interest you most, and (crucially) why.
    Something good to brush up on just before you go is the information you have about the course and why you want to do it.

    I agree with the above. Would suggest also that a publication such as "The Week" might be useful as it "catches" the major stories/issues in one place for you. Also something like "The New Statesman", in fact, I think they're running a student subscription offer at the moment. You can also probably find those in any decent library.
    • Thread Starter

    Ok thanks for the feedback
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