Author: Glanville Williams
Learning the Law is a title that you will hear since your first semester in college. Some professors mention it in class, you see it in the library, you hear that name from sources you won't even remember a few years later. I never read it, though it was always talked about as a "classic" for law students. The first year in law school and hostel life had way more interesting things stocked for me than reading a "classic".
And, now when I'm almost half done with fourth year of law school, I picked this book up when I am browsing what I could read next. As I was looking through a list, my subliminal memory beeped as my eyes scanned past Learning the Law. Curiosity finally got the better of me to check out this "classic" to reflect on how much it would have helped me know what I'm not doing in law school (though I couldn't have guaranteed that my 17-year-old self would have followed all that)!
The moment I opened the book, I understood why they prescribe it for the first years. It's simple, short, and it doesn't read strictly like a text book. But, what it does is give a good, basic insight into the common law systems and equity- laying the base for the study of law. Williams also dedicates chapters to discuss on scholarship, legal research, techniques for case study and better analysis on it, and moot courts. These are some undeniable aspects of legal study that a law student in any given year would need. With a chapter attractively titled "From Learning to Earning", Williams also talks about the practice of law, being a lawyer, and the other possible career opportunities.
The last chapter in this book was the icing in the cake, for Sandhya, the ardent fiction enthusiast. Williams discusses and gives you Shakespearean references of 'law', and titles across dramas, novels, biographies, and actual books on real-life trials. Along with these, there are a host of suggestions that he makes on the essays, humour books, and history that we could read based on the law.
True to its tagline, the book is a "guide, philosopher, and friend". I think every first year must check it out. Everyone said the same to us, and yet hardly any of us read it. I'll tell you- you don't have to read it- but just open the book, read a few paragraphs here and there, check it out, and then I'm positive that you'll at least give it a better glance once you start with it! I am so glad I read it at least now, for I have a star suggestion-list of novels, biographies, trials, and essays waiting for me to read!