Contrary to popular belief, you can make a decent amount of time to pleasure read in law school. During 1L, a stereotypically time-crunched period, I saw my reading productivity sky rocket. It was a way to reclaim some sort of agency over the knowledge I was consuming. In the beginning of the first semester I read two of Woodward’s Nixon books (All the President’s Men, which left me yearning to know the ending, told in The Final Days), and over the course of winter I finished a trilogy of sorts that addresses the white, conservative discomfit with America’s direction (White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, which offers a macro, historical perspective, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, which takes a more personal look at Louisiana in particular, and, of course, Hillbilly Elegy, micro, personal perspective).
“I have never known any distress that an hour’s reading did not relieve.”
-Charles de Montesquieu
I’m James Barasch, a 1L and I’m pleased to be joining Impact! I used to run a book review column and blog during my time at Tufts University, and I thought I’d continue that tradition here at BC Law.
Over Winter Break, in between holiday celebrations and summer job ponderings, I relaxed by reading “The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement: The Battle for Control of the Law” by Steven M. Teles. Starting in the 1970s, Conservatives sought to reverse the growth of legal liberalism by focusing on creating their own corps of professionals in law schools, public interest groups, and in the judiciary. Teles relates the story of political experimentation and individual innovators who organized and led this countermovement to significant successes and the prominent place many of its organizations, such as the Federalist Society, the Center for Individual Rights, and the Institute for Justice now hold in modern American legal culture.