We all know that you can revise with textbooks and past exam papers, but something great about studying law is that you can do valuable research by simply reading a book! There are plenty of books out there that will tie into your law or legal studies.

Don't worry about your level of experience as there are books for all levels of the discipline of law. If you take a legal studies course for your high school year 11 or 12 subjects, there are several books in this article that are perfect for the content of your course and your revision.

The same can be said for any university student, although all these books are worth reading no matter how far into your education to become a lawyer you are.

Revision guides can get dull after a while but a well-written book can hold your attention for days, and as you'll be learning valuable information there's no need to feel bad for focussing on it.

Studying can be a drag, change it up with some reading
Some law students can find it hard to get all the revision time they need, staying motivated and organised is key! (Source: Unsplash)
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The curriculum for legal studies at high school varies around the Australian states, but for the most part, it is a course that aims to equip students who aspire to be lawyers with the knowledge they need to be prepared for a law degree at university.

That means looking at:

  • The overall legal system in Australia
  • The justice system
  • Rights protection
  • Key legal institutions
  • The rule of law
  • Law-makers and their powers

That's quite a lot to take in! Alongside that, you'll need to take your knowledge and apply it to scenarios, which builds essential critical thinking skills for when you start your undergraduate degree in law at university.

With that in mind let's take a look at some of the most interesting and relevant books that can really help to shine a light on your legal studies.

Understanding the Australian Legal System

This is a book written in 2005 by a prestigious lawyer who has released several other works in his career. He also writes books that are great in your first years at university as you begin to grapple with more difficult concepts.

From reading this book you will learn all there is to know about the Australian legal system, as the name suggests, in a concise but thorough manner. Read through this book on a weekend and get ahead of the curve in your legal studies by understanding key concepts before they arise in class.

Law in Australian Society: An Introduction to Principles and Process

Just as your course of legal studies at high school asks questions about the principles of the legal system, this book answers them for you.

Similarly to the previous book, this will give you a complete overview of the legal and criminal justice system in Australia as well as so much more. Once learning about hierarchy and the structure of legal institutes, Keiran Hardy will go into further detail about how the media and politics can affect law and reform.

Special notice is given to the insightful thoughts of Hardy into equality in the justice system and how it affects indigenous people and communities. Each topic you cover in the book will be explained with a practical example, and the book ends with case studies involving Australian counter-terrorism legislation in order to show you how law reform works in real-time.

This is a well regarded and engaging book that any law student whether at school or university should read.

Laying Down the Law

Once again, this book aims to clearly explain the foundations of the legal system in Australia to people of any experience level. Alongside this, the authors discuss and highlight problems that exist within today's legal and criminal justice system, and speak of how legal practitioners have a duty to fix this.

You will find clear examples and explanations throughout the book, and even some practical exercises that you do yourself which aim to hone the key skills you will need as a lawyer.

This is an excellent choice to learn the basis of Australian law, put it into context, and use that knowledge in your legal studies at high school or your undergraduate degree at university.

Books For Any Stage of Your Law Education

Although there is much to learn from the aforementioned books whether you are in high school or university, more experienced students may already be aware of the foundations of the Australian legal and justice system. Although those books do go much further in-depth than you have been taught or studied.

Books are a powerful tool of knowledge
If you are a law student, legal texts and books can give you valuable insight into what you learn in your course at school or university (Source: Unsplash)

The study of law is very broad and you can therefore specialise in many areas, like some of the following:

  • Criminal Law
  • Family Law
  • International Human Rights Laws
  • Business or corporate law
  • Construction law

Specialising in a field takes time, but you can take steps towards it in your bachelor degree by taking an honours year or electing units in a similar vein. Furthermore, once you graduate you will need to do postgraduate practical legal training for a few years, here you can get a feel for what you enjoy and zero in on the area of law you'd like to pursue.

Wherever you are on that path though reading is still essential to keep you on top of your game, and luckily there are plenty of books that are resources specific to each specialisation of law that you might be studying.

Critical Perspective of Human Rights Law in Australia

From the title you might gather that this book is most relevant to law students who aim to practice in human rights in Australia. The authors, Paula Gerber and Melissa Castan, grip their audiences with a detailed discussion and analysis of some of the biggest issues that Australia is facing with human rights.

This is a scholarly book that may even be useful as a source in a university essay one day, as it presents clear and concise analytical points and arguments that will have you enthralled in the debate.

Constitutional Law and Theory

Blackshield and Williams are the authors of this book on the constitutional laws of Australia. As much as you might think that this is just for law students specialising in constitutional law, that's not the case here.

The constitution of Australia is the backbone of the legal system and the legislation that is in place across the country. Because of this, all Australian lawyers have a responsibility to learn and respect the constitution in their study and practice.

The book provides a clear and succinct explanation of Australian constitutional law, especially tailored for law students to read along with their course.

Criminal Laws

Brown, Farrier, Neal and Weisbrot are the authors of this particular book of materials and commentary on criminal laws. This is commonly described as a book that is almost considered a textbook because of how useful it is to criminal law students at university.

The book looks at primary sources as examples whilst giving deep critical analysis and commentary, and also providing the context needed to fully understand the meaning behind it.

It is riddled with references and factors in law from other disciplines too, so it is often found as a source in scholarly journals or university papers.

Uniform Evidence Law

Written by Stephen Odgers, this book is described as having:

The leading guidance on the uniform evidence legislation for barristers, courts, litigators and students alike.

It gives you a full rundown of legislative procedures used within uniform evidence law, which runs parallel to criminal law. The newest edition takes into account any change over the last few years and says that it's important to keep up to date as a quarter of procedures are reviewed every year

Buy second hand for the best value
Academic legal books can be expensive new. If you need them for your bachelor of law at university, try buying second hand (Source: Unsplash)

Using These Books to Your Advantage

All of the books that we've looked at today offer a great insight into particular areas of law and legal studies that could help students such as yourself secure a better understanding of the content you learn in your undergraduate, master, or postgraduate course.

As with all scholarly books though there are a couple of issues you might face when you go to use these books.

  1. They can be expensive
  2. They can be very long

Of course, if you are studying for multiple areas of law at university, it's not recommended to just sit and read 1,500 pages about criminal law instead of balancing your revision.

In this case, you can kind of use them like any textbook, each time you are learning a new topic in your course, check to that area of the book to give yourself more context and understanding of how it all works.

If you find that a book you want is a little out of your price range, you can always try and find a second-hand copy from previous students or online. You might even be able to find e-book versions as there are plenty of online law resources to find as well.

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Sebastian

I am an Englishman living in Melbourne. I have a passion for travelling and exploring the world. I love photography and spending time in the fresh air. I have worked as a chef for a number of years and would preferably eat a Sunday roast for every meal.