The Templeman Library at Kent

Prepare to study law!

Are you keen to begin preparing for your law degree studies? Great! You may find some of the suggested resources we’ve gathered (below) helpful. All these resources are optional! And you don’t need to buy any books just yet – we’ll give you information about which text books you might need to buy (or borrow from the library) during Welcome Week at Kent Law School in September 2020.

In the meantime, take the opportunity to develop an open and engaged mind. Follow stories with a legal angle in the news and reflect on a range of books, contemporary art and culture – all of this will help you develop your critical, cultural and political awareness (and will help you get a lot more out of the study of law at Kent).

Top tips from our students

Read:

  • Kent Law School research: the field of law is huge! Check out our research news stories to see the broad range of socio-legal topics our academics research and how their research impacts society
  • The English legal system: The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England & Wales has published a handy guide to the English legal system
  • Legal knowledge: Reference and support materials for case law research and legal education by the The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England & Wales
  • #FreeLawRevision: Follow the #FreeLawRevision hashtag on Twitter for a developing pool of resources for law students from academics across the country – advice on essay technique, a lecture on how to do well in law exams, a podcast from an examiner on his reasoning behind constructing a problem question (Law of Trusts) and more…
  • How to… do legal research: Follow Inner Temple Library on Twitter for incredibly useful daily posts on how to undertake legal research
  • Counsel: The April 2020 edition of Counsel Magazine (for barristers) is available to read online for free
  • Remote Courts Worldwide: An excellent resource for anyone wanting to see how remote hearings are being developed in different parts of the UK and beyond.
  • Cambridge University Press has made all 700 textbooks currently available in HTML format on their Cambridge Core platform free to access until the end of May, regardless of whether they were previously purchased. Lots of Law books available
  • JSTOR has made all their open access content available without a login – there’s more than 6,000 ebooks and over 150 journals. (JSTOR is is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources)
  • LML Compilation on COVID-19: In light of the current public health situation, the Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences at Cambridge has created a publicly accessibly compilation of literature on the legal and ethical issues facing front-line healthcare professionals
  • Recommendations for books about law: A Twitter thread, started by The Honorable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, asking people which books about law they would recommend as essential reading
  • Recommended blogs:
    • Criminal Justice Notes: for expert insights into significant, contemporary developments in criminal law, policing and criminal procedure in the UK, Ireland and the EU by Kent Law School Professor Dermot Walsh
    • Clinical – The Kent Law Clinic blog: read about the cases Kent Law Clinic solicitors take on for clients in our local community and find out how students enhance their legal education by getting involved!
    • Big Saturday Read: Cutting-edge analysis and critical insights into Zimbabwean law and politics by Kent Law School Lectuer Dr Alex Magaisa, a former chief advisor to Morgan Tsvangirai (a former Zimbabwean Prime Minister)
    • Critical Legal Thinking: A blog dedicated to the radical critique of law and politics (contributors include Kent Law School academics and PhD scholars)
    • Inner Temple Library Current Awareness: Legal news selected by the Inner Temple Library (The Inner Temple Library is one of the four Inns of Court Libraries, which serve barristers, judges and bar students in England and Wales)
    • SLSA blog: the official blog of the Socio-legal Studies Association, sharing discussion of current issues of socio-legal interest (NB “socio-legal” is a term that relates to the relationship between law and society)
    • UK Constitutional Law Association blog: a great place to go for gaining a better understanding of how constitutional law works in the UK as well as constitutions more generally. (NB Constitutional law is the law that establishes governing authority and its limits)
    • The Secret Barrister: “By writing about popular legal stories in the news, I aim to shine a few shafts of light on what is happening beneath the headlines. I want to give the context that you may not be getting from news reports, to explain the legal structures that inform legal outcomes, and to point out where information gaps lie.”

Follow:

Watch:

  • Watch Supreme Court Live: The UK Supreme Court is broadcasting live submissions from their website
  • What to watch during lockdown? Inner Temple Library (on Twitter) has compiled a thread of law related shows and documentaries available to watch online (via iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Netflix and YouTube)…
  • Digital Theatre Plus provides access to around 300 plays and productions including both classics and contemporary theatre from companies such as Shakespeare’s globe and the Broadway Digital Archive. Plays include Macbeth, King Lear, The Crucible, Grapes of Wrath, The Doll’s House and Alice in Wonderland
  • National Theatre Live: A selection of NT Live shows will be streamed in full on YouTube every Thursday, free for everyone
  • Discover Art at the Tate: The national collection of British art from 1500 to today, including international modern and contemporary art is available to view online
  • Film recommendation – On the Basis of Sex: The true story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her struggles for equal rights, and the early cases of a historic career that lead to her nomination and confirmation as US Supreme Court Associate Justice.
  • Documentaries: KLS student Wuraola runs a blog on Instagram where she reviews documentaries. Follow docureviews for some inspiring and informed ideas about what to watch next

Study:

  • Amnesty International is offering free human rights courses online
  • Learn for Free: Law Courses & Lectures Online: Fantastic list of resources compiled by Inner Temple Library. From interactive courses spanning several weeks to quick introductory tasters. And covering a range of topics and jurisdictions
  • Law lectures: Take your pick from a huge choice of recorded law lectures hosted by Gresham College
  • **JUST ADDED** The Modern Judiciary: Who They Are, What They Do and Why it Matters. Explore the role of judges in the UK and learn about the daily business of judging, from common law to judicial diversity. A free, five-week online course developed by The Judiciary of England and Wales in collaboration with King’s College London. Begins on Monday 29 June 2020. For anyone interested in studying law and/or at the beginning of their undergraduate law degrees.

Apply:

Listen:

  • Lockdown Law Pods: A law related podcast playlist by Inner Temple Library
  • The Commercial Awareness Podcast: a weekly commercial awareness news round-up for prospective and current UK-based corporate lawyers by KLS alumnus Tapiwa Museba who graduated from Kent with a Law LLB degree in 2017 (follow @commawarepod on Instagram for updates!)
  • Better Human: a human rights podcast with barrister Adam Wagner (from Doughty Street Chambers)
  • Political Bites: a politics podcast from the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent
  • KLS50: Kent Law School celebrated its 50th anniversary year in 2019. In honour of this occasion, we recorded two special podcasts, each with a group of distinguished academics reflecting on 50 years of critical legal education at Kent. Listen to our KLS50 playlist to get a fascinating insight into the intellectual culture of the Law School you’ll be joining in the autumn!

Reading lists: non-fiction & fiction

Non-fiction

  • The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How it’s Broken
  • A Testament of Hope (Martin Luther King Jr)
  • Concept of Law (HLA Hart)
  • Country of My Skull: Guilt, Sorrow, and the Limits of Forgiveness in the New South Africa (Antjie Krog)
  • Eve was Framed: Women and British Justice (Helena Kennedy)
  • Eve was Shamed: How British Justice is FailingWomen (Helena Kennedy)
  • Getting to Maybe: How the World is Changed (Frances Westley)
  • In your Defence: Stories of Life and Law (Sarah Langford)
  • Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope (Shirin Ebadi)
  • Is Eating People Wrong? (Allan Hutchinson)
  • Law’s Empire (Ronald Dworkin)
  • Letters of Note (Shaun Usher)
  • On Liberty (JSMill)
  • Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter (Albie Sachs)
  • The Bookseller of Kabul by Åsne Seierstad (Ingrid Christopherson – Translator)
  • The Bramble Bush: On Our Law and Its Study (Karl Llewellyn)
  • Under the Wig: A Lawyer’s Stories of Murder, Guilt and Innocence (William Clegg)
  • Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China (Jung Chang)
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Robert M Pirsig)

Fiction

  • 1984 (George Orwell)
  • Asking for It (Louise O’Neill)
  • Bleak House (Charles Dickens)
  • Harry Potter books (JK Rowling)
  • Never let me go (Kazuo Ishiguro)
  • Paradise (Toni Morrison)
  • Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
  • The City and the City (China Mieville)
  • The Handmaid’s Tale (and anything else by Margaret Atwood)
  • The Hunger Games Trilogy (Suzanne Collins)
  • The Round House (Louise Erdrich)
  • The Sealed Letter (Emma Donoghue)
  • To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
  • Wide Sargasso Sea ( Jean Rhys)