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Law reading list

For applicants

We advise you to read the Law page thoroughly. For reading and preparation advice you will find the following sections particularly useful:

For offer holders

You will find the start of your law course a lot easier if you do some introductory reading before coming up to Cambridge.

There are many books that provide an introduction for law students. Over the summer, do browse through the bookstores or your local library and see which you find most useful/interesting. The following may help in introducing you to legal skills/how lawyers think (don't worry if you can't find the latest edition):

  • Glanville Williams, Learning the Law (14th Edition by ATH Smith, 2010) - this is a popular introductory book. It will not give you any specific, substantive legal knowledge – but it will provide you with useful information ranging from how to read cases to what the abbreviations mean.
  • Ian McLeod, Legal Method (7th Edition, 2009)
  • James A. Holland and Julian S. Webb, Learning Legal Rules (7th Edition, 2010)
  • Nick McBride, Letters to a Law Student (2nd Edition, 2010).

Sooner or later you’re going to have to do legal research (i.e., find your way around a law library quickly and competently in order to look up material). A good guide is Peter Clinch, Using a Law Library: A Student’s Guide to Legal Research Skills (2nd Edition, 2001).

For a short introduction to the substantive topics and themes that arise in the study of law, see Jeremy Waldron, The Law (1990).  Some leading cases are discussed in a highly accessible manner in Catherine Barnard, Janet O'Sullivan and Graham Virgo (eds), What about Law? (2nd Revised Edition, 2011).

I look forward to seeing you at the start of Michaelmas Term!

Eva Nanopoulos, Director of Studies

For more information, please consult the the Law Faculty website which includes reading lists for each of the Part IA (Group 1) papers.

Reading lists | For offer holders | Undergraduate study