Recommended Reading

Criminal Law

  • Jacqueline Martin, Unlocking Criminal Law  – A concise and easy to understand guide to the key concepts of criminal law.
  • David Ormerod, Smith and Hogan’s Criminal Law – The go-to book for lawyers, judges, academics, and anybody else involved in criminal law. Only purchase this book if you are working on a BA law degree or higher, or if you want to aim for top grades.

English Legal System

  • Jacqueline Martin, The English Legal System – Very similar setup to her book on criminal law. Concise and easy to read.
  • Thomas Bingham, The Rule of Law – A former Law Lord discusses the rule of law. What does it mean? What does it involve? Also offers a concise history of law. Wonderfully well written.
  • J.H. Baker, An Introduction to English Legal History – very academic book for students studying at higher levels. Also useful for any students with a keen interest in legal history and an intention to achieve top grades.

Key Skills

  • Nicholas McBride, Letters to a Law Student – Does what it says on the tin. A series of letters written in reply to a fictional law student. Tells you how to write a legal essay, answer a problem question, research the law, understand the jargon. Wonderful stuff.

Wider Reading

  • M.J. Sandel, Justice – Harvard philosopher Michael Sandel tackles the issue of justice – what is the right thing to do? Covers all the key concepts in moral philosophy, including utilitarianism, contract theory, and libertarianism. Much of the law is designed to deter bad behaviour and/or deliver justice, so it’s a good idea to start asking yourself: “How do I know what is fair and what is not?”


  • Charles Dickens, Bleak House – A beautifully written indictment of the Court of Chancery. Lawyers, judges, and barristers all get it in the neck. Dickens’ finest novel.

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