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Books I wish I'd read sooner

Girl reading a book

Since returning to law school for my final year, I’ve found my curiosity taking me to all corners of the library. There are so many valuable resources that I wish I had the opportunity to read earlier in my degree. As my time at uni draws to a close, I thought I’d share a few with the Survive Law community, in the hope that other students and young lawyers will utilise these to their full advantage…

The Wellness Doctrines book cover

As a lawyer and advocate for positive mental health within the legal industry, Jerome published this book to examine the prevalence, causes and effects of psychological issues for Australian law students and young lawyers. As someone who has first-hand experience with depression and anxiety, I wholeheartedly endorse the messages advanced in TWD.

Read more here.

Mastering Law Studies and Law Exam Techniques book cover

Now in its 8th edition, this concise handbook assists students in successfully navigating the particular and challenging requirements of law school. It was a useful resource flagged by my Evidence lecturer last semester, and includes chapters on general legal studies as well as basic rules and strategies for answering examination questions. The final chapters include practice exam questions from a range of disciplines – and sample answer guides. Whilst offering a methodical approach, there are practical tips for issues such as mid-exam panic and note review… All of which I’d taken on board sooner!

Point Made. How to Write Like the Nation’s Top Advocates book cover

Ross Gruberman is a legal writing expert and has conducted over a thousand workshops targeted to top tier law firms across three different continents. This book starts with the line: “if it reads easy, it wrote hard.” A similar sentiment to Mark Twain’s line: “I didn’t have the time to write a short letter, so I wrote you a long one instead.” This book acknowledges the time and effort that goes into drafting concise legal documents, providing 50 concrete writing tips. Whilst geared towards the American market, the principles from this book will prove useful throughout your legal career. From the value of numbered lists to the persuasive power of the ‘one-syllable opener’, the sections of this book are arranged succinctly and are the perfect source of productive procrastination.

Quiet book cover

Whilst not a legal-centric resource, this guide to introversion is useful for introverts, extroverts; law students and other disciplines alike. A former lawyer and negotiator with a Juris Doctor from Harvard, author Susan Cain previously worked in the fast paced corporate world of Wall-Street. It was here that she realised the power of quiet, and embraced this personality trait as a core tenet of her work. Given the nature of law school, and the competing personalities within it, this book serves as a gentle reminder to the introverts amongst us that we’re able to contribute in a way that is unique, but just as valuable.

Watch Susan Cain’s TED Talk here.

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