Reading Like a Lawyer

Mastering the Art of Reading Law Like an Expert

Third Edition

by Ruth Ann McKinney

Tags: Lawyering Skills/Study Aids

Table of Contents (PDF)

Teacher's Manual available

328 pp  $45.00

ISBN 978-1-5310-2486-4
eISBN 978-1-5310-2487-1

10% discount and free ground shipping within the United States for all orders over $50

Add to Cart

The supplemental materials website containing feedback to the end-of-chapter exercises has been changed to

From Reading Like a Lawyer: "Just as storytelling is rooted in a rich oral history, and art is rooted in a rich visual history, law is rooted in a rich history of the written word. . . . the development of law rests primarily on written precedent and written rules housed in centuries of court opinions and statute books. To be understood, law has to be read, and read well."

Written in an engaging style and full of real-life examples, Reading Like a Lawyer approaches the topic of reading law with contagious enthusiasm and an abiding respect for the importance of learning to read law well. Now in its third edition, Reading Like a Lawyer enjoys a fresh new look and continues to include practice exercises at the end of each chapter and an accompanying website that allows students to test their growing knowledge about legal reading against that of the author.

Written for law students, pre-law students, paralegals, and the public, Reading Like a Lawyer uses active learning principles to help readers adapt their incoming reading skills to the skills needed to succeed in law:

  • how to read legal casebooks and engage confidently in class;
  • how to use assigned reading and class time to prepare for exams;
  • how to read published court cases outside of a casebook;
  • how to read legislative material (statutes) accurately; and
  • how to make wise reading choices online.
For faculty, Reading Like a Lawyer includes a separate teacher's manual with ideas for using the book and its examples with individuals and groups, a list of additional cases for more student practice, and access to a Powerpoint they can use to illustrate the book's principle lessons.

Included on the American Bar Association's "Summer Syllabus: List of Books to Read Before the Start of Law School," Student Lawyer magazine, June 2019, Reading Like a Lawyer can be assigned in a class setting or as a recommended summer read, or can be read independently by anyone who has ever wondered, "how do lawyers read the law?"
Ruth Ann McKinney's Reading Like a Lawyer draws on her extraordinary expertise as a law professor and expert on legal reading, offering students a research-based road map to developing a skill set that is critical to their success."

— Michael Hunter Schwartz, Dean and Professor of Law, University of the Pacific, McGeorge Law School
Reading Like a Lawyer is a gamechanger for law students and law teachers. Its practical approach to mastering the core skill of legal reading is empowering and energizing. Students who employ Professor McKinney's strategies will reap immediate and lasting benefits."

— Laura P. Graham, Professor of Legal Writing, Wake Forest University School of Law and author of General Z Goes to Law School.

Comp Copy If you are a professor teaching in this field you may request a complimentary copy.