By Meagan Leightley
If you are an incoming law student whether it be part-time, full time or on the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL); this is the perfect book for you! It is a great resource that can give you a head start before you begin your degree and it is the perfect place to get answers to your questions and help to ease yourself into studying law. Over 30 law students and 30 graduates give their insight and experience of studying law during the writing of the book through “I wish I’d known” advice. The book covers a wide range of topics, such as; how a law degree is structured, different degree options and how to make the most out of your learning. This book is particularly good for someone who has never been taught law before as it gives you information, such as; the different legal sources out there and how you can find them. As well as exploring what a law degree will be, the book includes content on success outside the classroom and how to broaden your skills beyond your degrees, such as; mooting, debate, negotiation competitions and volunteering. Even if you are currently studying your law degree, the book will be helpful because it explores dissertations and the process of picking topics to get to the end product as well as essay and revision techniques. The book nicely finishes off by discussing the future and how to effectively write a good CV, cover letter and come up with a personal development plan regardless of whether you take a legal career path or not.
This best-selling advocacy manual is perfect for any budding barristers or anyone wanting to improve their advocacy skills. It is written by Iain Morley QC, who called to the Bar in 1988 and works in a chambers practising primarily in criminal law. It gives you the do’s and don’ts of advocacy using examples and highlighting specific techniques used. Iain writes in a humorous and engaging style that gives you practical advice on how to persuade people throughout the course of this delightful book. It is inspirational and gives you the confidence to occupy the space in a courtroom. If you are wanting to pursue a career at the Bar, this is a must read!
Within this book, Helena Kennedy QC examines the evidence that women are still being discriminated against within the legal system. She explores issues like the lack of female diversity within the legal profession, double discrimination experienced by BAME women, the gendered of language within the law and much more. She highlights that despite changes that have taken place over the past four decades, women are still facing injustices within the legal system. It is an incredibly eye-opening book using case studies, facts and data to support her argument as well as addressing the struggles men face providing a well-rounded argument. As well as this, she talks about her first–hand struggles navigating through the legal sphere and trying to find a pupillage. I would highly recommend this book to both men and women to educate themselves on the issues that women face and how they can be exacerbated by factors, such as; race and sexuality. By educating everyone hopefully people can collectively come together to get the justice needed for women!
As law students, we are always told that we need to be commercially aware and this book is a great place to start! Christopher Stokes has been a partner in a City firm, marketing director and financial journalist and therefore has the knowledge of what working in the business world is like. It covers a broad range of topics including equity finance, debt finance, M&A, private equity and banking. It’s a great place to start if you wish to know about the financial markets in an understandable manner through the use of concepts being defined simply and with examples. It is a great little introductory handbook giving you the knowledge you need in a digestible form. Christopher also has a range of other books that may help you with commercial awareness, such as; All You Need To Know About Commercial Awareness.
Stories of the Law and How It’s Broken is a first-hand account from the experience of an anonymous criminal barrister of what the criminal justice system is really like. It opens your eyes to how the system can and has failed those it is meant to protect. If you are planning on working within the criminal justice system, I would highly recommend this book, as it is brutally honest about the injustices that many people face. It addresses issues, such as; imprisoning the innocent, watching the guilty walk free and the cutting of legal aid and the effect it is having. It also highlights the lack of diversity amongst the magistrate with a lack of representation of disabled and BAME individuals. Despite the seriousness of the issues and the hard-hitting truths and realities, it is written with a humorous style making it incredibly enjoyable and an easy read. What makes the book even more gripping is not knowing who the author is because throughout reading the book you are constantly trying to question whether the book is written by a male or female. The book has been incredibly successful, and it became a Sunday Times best–selling book! If you enjoyed reading this and want more of The Secret Barrister in your life, the author has a blog and a Twitter feed that is just as funny and eye-opening, as they highlight all the criminal offences that occur in the film, Home Alone. As well as this, they have a new upcoming book which is currently scheduled to be released in September called Fake Law: The Truth About Justice in an Age of Lies.