Must read books for law students – Lloyd law College

Home | Must read books for law students – Lloyd law College

Must read books for law students – Lloyd law College

02,March 2023


Are you a law student looking for some reading material that goes beyond your textbooks and case briefs? Well, you’re in luck! Whether you’re a law student or a seasoned attorney, there’s no denying the importance of staying up-to-date with the latest legal trends and developments. But with so many books, figuring out where to start can take time. That is why in this article, put together, is a detailed catalogue of must-read books that will help you stay informed, inspired, and engaged in the ever-evolving world of law. From insightful memoirs to gripping courtroom dramas, these books will undoubtedly impact your legal journey. So, read on to discover some of the most captivating and thought-provoking books every legal enthusiast should have on their reading list.

Books by Indian authors

The Indian legal system is a complex and dynamic web of laws, regulations, and judicial decisions that have evolved over centuries. For Indian law students, understanding how this system works is imperative in today’s globalized world. With India’s increasing role in the global economy and international relations, a sound understanding of Indian law is essential to navigate the legal landscape and make conversant choices. Reading books by Indian legal experts and scholars can help law students understand the complexities of the Indian legal system and the social, economic, and political forces that shape it. They offer a unique perspective on the Indian legal system, shedding light on its rich history, cultural context, and challenges in the modern world. Moreover, you’ll also discover new ideas and perspectives that can help you develop your legal discourses and arguments. To help you get started, here are some of the must-read works of some of India’s best legal minds, and see the law from a fresh and exciting perspective.

The Indian Constitution: Cornerstone of a Nation by Granville Austin

The Indian Constitution is a masterpiece that provides a detailed analysis of the Indian Constitution, its drafting, and its evolution over time. This book is a must-read for any law student looking to understand the Indian legal system comprehensively. Austin’s work offers insights into the constitutional principles and legal frameworks that underpin Indian law and government, along with the historical and political context that shaped them. With an engaging writing style, Austin’s work is informative and thought-provoking, making it an essential read for anyone seeking to develop a deep and nuanced perspective on Indian law. So, pick up this book, and discover how the Indian Constitution has become the cornerstone of a vibrant and diverse nation.

We, the People by Nani A. Palkhivala

If you’re looking to broaden your perspective on Indian law and gain fresh insights into the rights of Indian citizens, this book is an excellent choice. Palkhivala’s We, the People is a seminal work on the Indian Constitution that offers a fresh outlook on its fundamental rights. In this book, Palkhivala delves deep into constitutional history, tracing the origins of its principles and the struggles that have shaped them. The best takeaway for a 21st-century law student is Palkhivala’s emphasis on the importance of upholding the fundamental rights of Indian citizens, which is highly relevant in today’s social and political context. His engaging writing style and unique insights make this book compelling for anyone interested in Indian law and the country’s rich constitutional history.

Before Memory Fades: An Autobiography by Fali S Nariman

Before Memory Fades is a riveting and candid account of the life and career of one of India’s most respected legal minds, Nariman’s in-depth analysis of landmark legal cases and his experiences working with eminent judges and lawyers, as well as his witty writing style make this book an enjoyable read for anyone interested in the legal profession and its challenges.

Nani Palkhivala: The Courtroom Genius by Soli J Sorabjee and Arvind P Datar

This book offers a detailed account of Palkhivala’s life, legal career, and contributions to Indian law and society. Palkhivala’s unique approach to legal arguments and dedication to upholding the rule of law is inspiring and thought provoking. The book provides deep insights into the legal profession, its challenges and rewards.

Offend, Shock or Disturb: Free Speech Under the Indian Constitution by Gautam Bhatia

In Offend, Shock or Disturb, Bhatia embarks upon a thought-provoking exploration of the limits of free speech in India and delves into the complex and often controversial issue of balancing free speech with other important values, such as public order, morality, and national security. The best payoff for a law student from this book is the understanding it provides of the legal principles and precedents that govern free speech in India.

10 Judgements That Changed India by Zia Mody

Zia Mody’s 10 Judgements is a fascinating and insightful examination of ten landmark legal cases that have profoundly impacted Indian society and law. This book covers a range of legal issues, from human rights and social justice to property rights and intellectual property. It is a must-read to understand the evolution of Indian law and its impact on society.

Landmark Judgments That Changed India by Ashok K. Ganguly

Ganguly’s book is a discerning study of 14 landmark legal cases, such as Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala (1973), Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India (1978), Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan (1997) etc., that have had a significant impact on the development of Indian law and society. This provides an understanding of the complex interplay between law and society and how judicial decisions can shape the course of national development. This can help law students develop a deeper appreciation for the role of law in shaping Indian society and governance, allowing them to study the opinions of some of the most respected judges in Indian legal history and learn from their reasoning and arguments.

Legal Eagles: Stories of the Top Seven Indian Lawyers by Indu Bhan

Legal Eagles explores the lives and careers of India’s most successful lawyers. As a law student, reading this book can provide one with valuable insights into the qualities required to succeed in the legal profession, such as perseverance, dedication, and strategic thinking. It also showcases how these lawyers navigated complex cases, highlighting the importance of practical skills in legal education.

Roses in December: An Auto-Biography by MC Chagla

Chagla’s autobiography is a fascinating account of one of India’s most celebrated jurists. It takes the reader through his journey from humble beginnings to becoming a judge of the Bombay High Court and later serving as India’s Ambassador to the United States. Reading this book can inspire law students to pursue their dreams while also giving them a glimpse into the inner workings of the Indian legal system.

The Case That Shook India: The Verdict That Led To The Emergency by Prashant Bhushan

This book chronicles the landmark case that led to the imposition of a state of emergency in India. It’s a must-read for law students as it provides insights into the intersection of law and politics and the importance of preserving democratic values. It also highlights the judiciary’s role in upholding the rule of law, even in the face of political pressure.

The Cases That India Forgot by Chintan Chandrachud

The Cases That India Forgot is a thought-provoking book that sheds light on forgotten legal cases that have shaped Indian jurisprudence. Law students can benefit from this book as it showcases how the law evolves and how earlier decisions can influence the interpretation of the law in the present. It also highlights the need to consider legal cases’ social and historical context.

India’s Legal System: Can it Be Saved? by Fali S. Nariman

A critical analysis of India’s legal system and its challenges, Nariman’s India’s Legal System displays the importance of ethical values, integrity, and professionalism in legal education and practice as it highlights the need for reform in the Indian legal system to ensure that it remains relevant in the 21st century.

The Rebel: A Biography of Ram Jethmalani by Susan Adelman

Adelman provides a fascinating account of one of India’s most controversial lawyers, offering a keen understanding of how lawyers can challenge the status quo and the importance of speaking truth to power.

Republic of Rhetoric: Free Speech and the Constitution of India by Abhinav Chandrachud

The Republic of Rhetoric is a timely book that explores the intersection of free speech and the Indian Constitution. Law students can benefit from this book as it provides insights into the complex legal and ethical issues surrounding free speech and the delicate balance between freedom of expression and social responsibility.

The Rule of Law by Tom Bingham

Another exception by a foreign author, but an important one for honing the fundamentals of law for any law graduate. This book offers a journey into the heart of the legal system, this book will reveal to you the core values and principles that uphold the law and make it an essential ingredient in creating a fair and equal society where justice prevails and democracy flourishes.

Some Interesting International Picks

Legal education and practice require a deep understanding of the human experience, which includes exploring complex ethical dilemmas and varied societal issues. Here are some excellent books from around the globe that can offer valuable insights to law students and legal professionals:

24 hours with 24 Lawyers: Profiles of Traditional and Non-Traditional Careers by Jasper Kim

With this book, embark on an eye-opening journey into the realm of law as you discover a myriad of unconventional and exciting career paths that lawyers can pursue beyond the traditional law firm setting.

Stories from Trailblazing Women Lawyers: Lives in the Law by Jill Norgren

Inspiring stories of trailblazing women, who have fearlessly shattered the glass ceiling in the legal profession, serve as a remarkable source of inspiration and inspire awe for how they have changed the landscape of law and paved the way for future generations.

One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School by Scott Turow

This engaging narrative takes one on a tumultuous ride through the first year of Harvard Law School. It allows the readers to live vicariously through a struggling student, experiencing the highs and lows of one of the most prestigious law schools in the world.

Learning the Law by Glanville Williams

This wonderful book elucidates the fundamental principles that underlie the English legal system.

Winning Arguments by Jay Heinrichs

Reading this book will enable you to unleash your inner advocate and master the art of persuasion. It will teach you how to effectively communicate your ideas and opinions, helping you to become a more prevailing and influential voice in any situation.

Law’s Empire by Ronald Dworkin

This book will develop a philosophical view of the law, morality, and political philosophy in a law student. It takes one on an enthralling voyage into the complex and intricate relationship between these fundamental concepts to gain a deeper understanding of their place in our society.

The Concept of Law by Herbert Lionel Adolphus Hart

This book throws open the doors of legal theory and examination of the nature of legal systems for a law student. It provides for an interesting exploration of the concept of legal obligation and discovering the underlying principles that shape the law and our understanding of justice.

On Liberty by John Stuart Mill

This particular suggestion is not a full-fledged book but an essay that compels one to reflect on the delicate balance between individual freedom and the limits of state authority as they explore the concept of liberty and its role in a just and democratic society.

Letters to a Law Student by Nicholas McBride

This invaluable resource will give you practical and valuable advice on studying law and succeeding in your legal career, helping you navigate the challenges and complexities of the legal profession with ease and confidence.

Justice: What’s the right thing to do? by Michael Sandel

This book will challenge you to delve deeper into your beliefs, confront the complexities of the legal system, and contemplate what truly defines a just society

Novels/Literary Masterpieces

As Vera Nazarian stated, “Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world, a door opens to allow in more light." The power of a good book to enlighten, inform, and challenge is undeniable. For law students, novels can offer valuable insights into the complexities of human behaviour, legal reasoning, and the human condition. Here are some of the best literary works you should consider giving a go:

The Trial by Frantz Kafka

Franz Kafka’s The Trial shows the law as a labyrinthine maze of bureaucracy and absurdity, leaving readers with a deep and unsettling sense of the power and unpredictability of the legal system.

Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Dickens’s Bleak House will transport you back to Victorian England, where the Chancery Court is a calculating web of legal technicalities that can swallow the innocent and guilty alike.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

In this heart-rending and equally moving novel, Lee paints a powerful and emotional portrait of racism and injustice in the American South, ushering in its wake a profound understanding of lawyers’ ethical and moral responsibilities.

Jeremy Hutchinson’s Case Histories by Thomas Grant

This novel lets you step into the shoes of the legendary barrister Jeremy Hutchinson as Grant recounts some of the most fascinating and groundbreaking cases in British legal history, providing a masterclass in advocacy and legal strategy.

The Firm by John Grisham

John Grisham’s The Firm takes readers on a thrilling ride through the cutthroat world of corporate law, showing the high-stakes rewards and pitfalls of working for a powerful law firm.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale, also a Netflix original series now, paints a chilling picture of a dystopian future where women have been stripped of their rights, providing a sobering reminder of the vital role lawyers play in defending human rights and fighting against oppression.

Billy Budd, Sailor by Herman Melville

Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Sailor, tells the story of a young sailor on a British warship, highlighting the tension between military discipline and individual rights, making it an essential read for anyone interested in military law.

1861: The Civil War Awakening by Adam Goodheart

This book provides a vivid and insightful look into one of the most pivotal moments in American history, exploring the legal and political issues that lay at the heart of the conflict.

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

The Reader, which has a critically acclaimed motion picture adaptation starring Kate Winslet, delves into the complex and frequently uncomfortable issues surrounding guilt and responsibility, providing a robust and stimulating reflection on the role of law in bringing justice and reconciliation.

The Colour of Law by Mark Gimenez

Gimenez’s The Colour of Law takes readers through the criminal justice system in the Deep South, exploring the complexities of race and class in contemporary America and highlighting the crucial role of lawyers in fighting for justice and equality.


Reading books outside of curriculum instructions can significantly enhance a law student’s understanding of the world and develop their personality as a legal professional. These books can provide insights into complex ethical dilemmas and societal issues integral to legal education and practice. The recommendations mentioned above can help young law students develop their skills in analysis, communication, and critical thinking, which are essential for building a successful career in law.