Ok, so you’ve taken the bar exam, you’re waiting on your results, you’re applying for jobs but seem to just have a lot of down time. If you’re in California, it won’t be until either May or November that you will receive your results, so you’ve got some time.

During this time you should be networking, building your contact list, and trying to be as productive as possible. Below are some of the best books you can read as a law school graduate, which can both help you find the right legal job as well as figure out how to be the best new lawyer possible.

Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: The Essential Guide For Thriving as a New Lawyer

  • Covers: Tips written to assist new lawyers with transitioning from law school to law firm life; law firm economics; work-life balance and more.
  • Good for: Someone in the law firm space (both small law and big law).

Letters to a Young Lawyer (Art of Mentoring), by Alan Dershowitz

Alan Derschowitz (one of the most accomplished lawyers of all time), writes on life, law, and the opportunities that young lawyers have to do good and do well at the same time.

  • Covers: Topics such as making money; should a good lawyer defend bad people?; and self doubt.
  • Good for: Anyone.

The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practicing Law

The Curmudgeon’s (a bad-tempered or surly person) guide to practicing law is a great book containing a series of essays to help you manage your practice, do things correctly, and just once.

  • Covers: How to be efficient with your time; working with team members; how to earn your partner’s trust; how to dress (just in case you need a guide).
  • Good for: New associates


The Partner Track: How To Go From Associate To Partner

This is pretty much the complete guide to assist you through the law firm partnership track (seriously, take a look at the table of contents). It starts off helping you figure out what the right firm is for you to start at, as well as how to re-evaluate every step of the way.

  • Covers: Selecting the right law firm to work at, through each year of practice (identifying when to stay vs. leave)
  • Good for: Anyone who is receiving job offers from law firms, or is currently at a law firm and considering whether to stay or leave.


What Color is Your Parachute?

Although last on this list it is a good read for anyone in the job hunting mode. With over 10 million copies sold, it is one of the most prolific books for someone who is looking for their next jobs. It covers topics such as parity (ensuring your online profiles match your resume).

  • Covers: Networking; Interviewing; Salary Negotiation; Dealing with handicaps
  • Good for: Everyone. Whether you are just starting out in your job search, are mid-career, or even thinking about starting your own business; this book has it all.