Law is a broad subject which appeals to those who want to develop both abstract thinking and practical problem-solving skills.
Here are some general resources related to Law. These should be a useful introduction, regardless of which Law related course you’re interested in and where you might want to study it.
Have a look at these books to get some insight into the key legal issues you will be looking at as part of a law degree. Take notes as you read, and follow up anything you find interesting. Try and pay attention to the way the authors make their case, and engage critically with what they’re saying. This is useful as it will broaden your perspective as to what studying law might be like, as well as giving you a chance to think critically - something which can come in useful as part of the admissions process (e.g. examples in personal statement, conversation at interview).
Many of these books will be available from your local library, so don’t worry about spending a lot of money purchasing brand-new copies! Alternatively, you could look for second-hand copies online or in charity shops - sometimes these will have some interesting or entertaining annotations too!
'The Secret Barrister' by anonymous
‘Eve was Shamed’ by Helena Kennedy
‘Is Killing People Right?’ and ‘Is Eating People Wrong?’ by Allan C. Hutchinson
‘Rule of Law’ by Tom Bingham
‘Learning the Law’ by Glanville Williams
‘Politics of the Judiciary’ by J.A.G. Griffiths.
These books focus on the practice of studying law as a university subject. Read them to get a better idea about the course decisions you’re making and think about whether Law is right for you.
‘What About Law?’ by Catherine Barnard, Graham Virgo and Janet O’Sullivan
‘Letters to a Law Student’ by Nicholas McBride.
The Law Students' Guide 🔗 🌟 A group of Law graduates have released a free book about applying to law; being successful at university; and subsequently getting a training contract.
These websites are useful for finding out more about contemporary legal issues and why law is important. They’re also useful examples of how people write about law in different ways: think about this as you read them. This reading will give you greater understanding of the subject, which will help you make the right decision about what to study, and prepare you for life as a law student.
McBridge’s Guides website 🔗 🌟 This website contains some introductions to components of law which you would study as part of a Law degree.
Public Law for Everyone website 🔗 🌟 A great source of information about contemporary legal issues relating directly to current affairs, including a blog post containing advice for aspiring law students written by a former Cambridge law student!
Podcasts are a great opportunity to engage with Law in an everyday context. Listen while you’re doing the dishes or on a walk, and if anything sparks your interest, follow it up afterwards. The process of using a ‘source’ such as a lecture or podcast, and then researching anything interesting, contradictory or surprising that it mentioned, is a key part of being a student. Again, this will prepare you for life as a student, and could come in handy as evidence of interest and curiosity on your personal statement.
BBC Radio 4 ‘Law in Action’ podcasts 🔗 These podcasts are an accessible way to hear about some interesting legal scenarios and issues.
Think about law wherever you go! When you’re reading or watching fiction, think about what legal implications actions might have. You could also watch specific plays such as ‘Machinal’ (which follows a trial) to get you thinking in a more informal setting. Write down and research any questions you might have from this process; again, useful for developing your thinking, which should shine through in your application.
You could also visit your local court, or even famous institutions if they’re nearby such as the Supreme Court or Old Bailey. Take notes, and think critically about the arguments being made and the cases being presented. Use this experience to develop your understanding of the practice of law, and try to connect it with academic reading either through further research or what you’ve already read. Again, this will be useful for your application and in beginning to study law at university.