The 10 Best Law Textbooks

video play icon 10 Best Law Textbooks

This wiki has been updated 22 times since it was first published in July of 2018. Whether you’re in law school or need to learn about the practice for your business or academic major, you’re sure to benefit from one of the textbooks on our list. We’ve included selections that focus on various aspects of the legal world, all aimed to help students absorb complex material and pass exams, with a few practical guides thrown into the mix for further elucidation. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. The Study of Law

2. Law 101

3. Examples & Explanations

Editor's Notes

May 19, 2020:

Law is a broad and extensive field that encompasses many specialized areas of practice, so we thought a list comprised mainly of general overviews as well as a few functional texts would be best. So you'll find introductory titles like The Study of Law and Law 101 alongside rigorous ones like International Law and Constitutional Law: Principles and Policies. These sweeping volumes are then supplemented with The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law, a text recommended by esteemed universities to get students briefed on what's to come, Getting To Maybe, an insight into how to excel at exams, and The Bluebook for legal writing.

We swapped the ALWD Guide to Legal Citation for The Bluebook because we felt the latter is more valuable to students on the whole. While neither is a fun read, The Bluebook prescribes the most widely used legal citation system in the United States and is compiled by the Harvard Law Review Association, the Columbia Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal. This makes it the best bet for those who want to be as thorough as possible. You can still get away with using alternatives like the ALWD Guide, but be aware that it disagrees with Bluebook on a few matters.

We also brought on International Law at the expense of Essentials of Health Policy and Law, which is still a must if that is your chosen field. We felt that in an age of increasing globalism, however, something like International Law would be more relevant thanks to its breadth of subject matter. It works in tandem with business law textbooks as well as volumes from other related fields and contains an expanded treatment of the relationship between international and domestic law for a deeper comprehension of litigation abroad and at home.

Special Honors

Yale Career Guides & Advice Yale Law School's Career Development Office provides would-be students with exceptionally helpful public guides that anyone can access. You'll find extensive PDF documents for environmental law, criminal law, international public interest law, business law, and more. You can also access web pages explaining what it's like to work in a law firm and bar admission.

Law Classes with edX Whether you're a layperson, student, or entrepreneur, taking a law course with can benefit your career and enhance your studies. They offer Harvard Law School-sanctioned courses on contract law and computer science as it applies to lawyers in addition to a host of relevant classes from universities and colleges all over the world. They also have a MicroMasters Program in international law.

4. Constitutional Law: Principles and Policies

This item has been flagged for editorial review and is not available.

5. International Law

6. Basic Contract Law

7. Getting To Maybe

8. Business Law Today

9. The Bluebook

10. The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law

Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.

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