An easy and fun way for you to improve your writing skills is to read good writing. Below you'll find a list of recommendations from Moritz professors and links to items included on the Green Bag annual lists of exemplary legal writing. Stop by the display near the reference desk to select a book to check out or pick up a treat.
Many of the books are also available from libraries around the state. Use the OhioLink catalog to search for items. With your Ohio State credentials, you can borrow books from any OhioLink member library and have them delivered to any OhioLink library in the state (including, of course, the law library).
- Carol Berkin, A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution (2002). Professor Anne Ralph calls this book "[a]n enjoyable, well-written account of the 1787 Constitutional Convention that gave birth to the U.S. Constitution and our American form of government."
- James B. Stewart, Den of Thieves (recommended by Professor Erin Archerd).
- Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow (recommended by Professor Kim Jordan).
- James McBride, The Good Lord Bird. Professor Ellen Deason couldn't put this book down. She describes the book as "a historical novel about John Brown told through the imaginary experiences of an escaped young male slave who poses as a girl to preserve his life."
- Nell Berstein, Burning Down the House. This book is about the movement to close juvenile prisons and jails is recommended by Professor Kim Jordan.
- Rachel Lloyd, Girls Like Us. This book about human trafficking is also recommended by Professor Kim Jordan.
- Lawrence Friedman, Guarding Life's Dark Secrets: Legal and Social Control over Reputation, Propriety, and Privacy (recommended by Professor Stebenne).
- Any book by Jeffrey Toobin (recommended by Professor Foley; Professor Anne Ralph recommends "The Nine.")
Legal Documents (including judicial opinions)
- West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette (recommended by Professor Foley who added that this opinion is "pure judicial poetry, if there is such a thing.")
- Silverman v. Motorola Solutions, Inc. (2013 Green Bag Honoree)
- In Re National Security Letter (2013 Green Bag Honoree)
- U.S. v. Dossie (2012 Green Bag Honoree)
- Briefs written by the Solicitor General (recommended by Professor Foley)
- Vanessa Banni-Vinas, Correcting a Ballerina's Story: The Truth Behind Makletzova v. Diaghileff, 53 American Journal of Legal History 353 (2013). (2013 Green Bag Honoree)
- John H. Langbein, The Disappearance of Civil Trial in the United States, 122 Yale Law Journal 522 (2012) (2013 Green Bag Honoree)
- A Letter from Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (view the original letter or listen to an audio recording at The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute) (recommended by Professor David Goldberger)
- Brandi Grissom, Trouble in Mind: How Should Criminals Who Are Mentally Ill Be Punished?, Texas Monthly, March 2013 (2013 Green Bag Honoree)
- Dahlia Lithwick, Extreme Makeover: The Story Behind the Story of Lawrence v. Texas, The New Yorker, March 12, 2012 (2012 Green Bag Honoree)