Do you think "On liberty" is a good read for a prospective law student?

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lilguy100
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I'm Applying to Cambridge and other top unis just for context. I'm reading it to try gain a fundamental understanding of the law, particularly jurisprudence as I find this topic quite interesting. Would it be a good book to speak about on a personal statement? I feel like since it's not a module on my LLB course it wouldn't be a good idea to speak about it, but id love to know your opinions on the book in general, and if it would be good to mention!

Ive tried to go with something a little different to the usual i.e "letter to a law student" but I'm not sure if that's the case, is this a popular book for law students?
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Merpedy
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I'd say read books that interest you rather than what everyone else is reading or recommending you to read. I remember picking 'Eve Was Framed' as I had seen it be recommended here and there, and reading it was sooo boring and took an awfully long time. While there were some interesting bits it's not something I just had interest in and could discuss at length (which is what I think partially messed me up in the interview). Obviously, if you want to be safe you can always also read a more general and recommended book.
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Ray3RE
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(Original post by lilguy100)
I'm Applying to Cambridge and other top unis just for context. I'm reading it to try gain a fundamental understanding of the law, particularly jurisprudence as I find this topic quite interesting. Would it be a good book to speak about on a personal statement? I feel like since it's not a module on my LLB course it wouldn't be a good idea to speak about it, but id love to know your opinions on the book in general, and if it would be good to mention!

Ive tried to go with something a little different to the usual i.e "letter to a law student" but I'm not sure if that's the case, is this a popular book for law students?
I am in the same situation, I am trying to avoid writing about Letters to a Law Student, What about Law and The Rule of Law as they seem overdone (although they are all very good for background information and Rule of Law still could be good for discussing in your PS). Having said that I have found it easier to focus on the areas of law that seem interesting to me and then pick books based on that, rather than just purely trying to stand out.

On Liberty is very interesting, especially if you are familiar with Mill from Religious Studies, and it isn't a 'Law' book so it would probably be a unique choice. That is just my own perspective though. Hope this helped.
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EU Yakov
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not really - it's a book on political science, it doesn't speak as to the nature of law

i'm guessing that applicants to top unis will know what it is, which is bad
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Ray3RE
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(Original post by EU Yakov)
not really - it's a book on political science, it doesn't speak as to the nature of law

i'm guessing that applicants to top unis will know what it is, which is bad
Would you recommend that the Further Reading be limited to the nature of Law?

I have come across a few political science and philosophy books on Law Reading Lists and Recommended Reading such as Michael Sandel's Justice which is political philosophy but they don't specify what the utility of reading them is.
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Joleee
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it’s not about what you have read, but what you can write about in your personal statement. did On Liberty convince you to do a law degree? can you persuade the admission’s department that that’s why you qualify to study their degree?
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lilguy100
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(Original post by Ray3RE)
I am in the same situation, I am trying to avoid writing about Letters to a Law Student, What about Law and The Rule of Law as they seem overdone (although they are all very good for background information and Rule of Law still could be good for discussing in your PS). Having said that I have found it easier to focus on the areas of law that seem interesting to me and then pick books based on that, rather than just purely trying to stand out.

On Liberty is very interesting, especially if you are familiar with Mill from Religious Studies, and it isn't a 'Law' book so it would probably be a unique choice. That is just my own perspective though. Hope this helped.
Funnily enough, I do take religious studies, and so have written a few essays that included Mill!
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lilguy100
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(Original post by EU Yakov)
not really - it's a book on political science, it doesn't speak as to the nature of law

i'm guessing that applicants to top unis will know what it is, which is bad
I'll stay away from it then, this was my concern. Do you have any recommendations? preferably something that is somewhat uncommon.
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Ray3RE
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(Original post by lilguy100)
Funnily enough, I do take religious studies, and so have written a few essays that included Mill!
(Original post by lilguy100)
I'll stay away from it then, this was my concern. Do you have any recommendations? preferably something that is somewhat uncommon.
I also do RS and Mill comes up especially in regards to the interaction between governments and individuals and ethical theories both which you could relate to Law. In What About Law I think they actually touch upon a case which raised a lot of questions about individual rights and autonomy which you could link to On Liberty as that is one of the key topics of debate covered in the book. You could also link this to your study of Utilitarianism in RS with concepts such as the Harm Principle being highly relevant to discussions in law (especially criminal). It also offers an opportunity for discussion on historical and geographical comparison on law as similar concepts were utilised in France's Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 and arguably also in the US Constitution. The case from What about Law involved a group of people with masochistic (pleasure from pain) tendencies and if you could discuss what Mill's views would have been based on your reading and compare that to your view or discuss how it shaped your view. That's just one example.

This was just me brainstorming it might not be the best suggestion but I do think that the book still could be a good choice if you styled your writing well. Law encompasses a range of subjects so linking a book that isn't explicitly on law it law might show your awareness of that.

This is of course just my opinion.
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Merpedy
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(Original post by Ray3RE)
I also do RS and Mill comes up especially in regards to the interaction between governments and individuals and ethical theories both which you could relate to Law. In What About Law I think they actually touch upon a case which raised a lot of questions about individual rights and autonomy which you could link to On Liberty as that is one of the key topics of debate covered in the book. You could also link this to your study of Utilitarianism in RS with concepts such as the Harm Principle being highly relevant to discussions in law (especially criminal). It also offers an opportunity for discussion on historical and geographical comparison on law as similar concepts were utilised in France's Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 and arguably also in the US Constitution. The case from What about Law involved a group of people with masochistic (pleasure from pain) tendencies and if you could discuss what Mill's views would have been based on your reading and compare that to your view or discuss how it shaped your view. That's just one example.

This was just me brainstorming it might not be the best suggestion but I do think that the book still could be a good choice if you styled your writing well. Law encompasses a range of subjects so linking a book that isn't explicitly on law it law might show your awareness of that.

This is of course just my opinion.
I was going to say something like this. If you look at how liberty interacts with law, there's also a few essays or even websites (primarily human rights focused) that discuss it too - and they're obviously not as long of a read as a book.

I remember during my interview I was asked some questions about liberism/liberty and how that would affect people following news laws imposed on combating sexism within society.

Honestly, if you can read texts not directly based on law and then have a discussion where you do link said texts to law, it will say much more than someone reading a book and simply regurgitating what they have read.
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Ray3RE
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(Original post by Merpedy)
I was going to say something like this. If you look at how liberty interacts with law, there's also a few essays or even websites (primarily human rights focused) that discuss it too - and they're obviously not as long of a read as a book.

I remember during my interview I was asked some questions about liberism/liberty and how that would affect people following news laws imposed on combating sexism within society.

Honestly, if you can read texts not directly based on law and then have a discussion where you do link said texts to law, it will say much more than someone reading a book and simply regurgitating what they have read.
Thanks for confirming that, that makes me feel more confident writing my PS. Now all I have to is find my own book to write on unless OP decides not to write about it.

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lilguy100
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(Original post by Ray3RE)
Thanks for confirming that, that makes me feel more confident writing my PS. Now all I have to is find my own book to write on unless OP decides not to write about it.

lilguy100 ?
We can both write about the same book, there will likely be many many others also writing about it.
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