One thing that I’ve enjoyed about my final year has been an opportunity to read books that don’t appear on a syllabus. Like most law students, I’ve become more efficient at reading the required pages. This semester I really only have one class that relies on assignments from a traditional casebook. At home, now that I can typically count on my kids to go to sleep around 8:00 (there’s some required reading involved here too) and stay asleep until 6:00, my own more predictable sleep schedule opens up some time for unassigned reading as well. The margins of my class notes are littered with books suggested by professors or casebook editors that I didn’t quite have time to pursue as a 1L or 2L. Now I do.
At the moment, I’m bouncing back and forth between two books from those margin notes: Thinking, Fast and Slow and MacCarthy on Cross-Examination. When I have a little more extended time (perhaps around July 31st), I’m planning to dig back into Ronald Dworkin’s Justice for Hedgehogs. MacCarthy’s 2007 text is already a classic, and it’s been a great resource for thinking about the practice of cross examination specifically and advocacy and persuasion in general. Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow presents interesting research on the way that people perceive the world and how they (we) actually make decisions. The implications for law are obvious even from the limited perspective of a 3L, particularly as they relate to heuristics, overconfidence, irrational disregard for known probabilities, and factors that influence risk-averse and risk-seeking behaviors.
What’s on your list?