As the summer slips away there may still be time to read. For that matter if one is in academia, one should find time to read no matter what. Dan’s first bit of advice to me was read, read, and oh yeah read. Now I entered the field in part because I missed reading and writing. I love the fact that when I say I worked on the weekend, people think “Oh, too bad,” while I think I just enjoyed what I was doing, but it happens to be part of my work. As I tell my students, lawyering is a nerdy profession. Don’t fight it; EMBRACE THE NERD WITHIN. One way to do that is, you guessed it, to read. So what should one read? That depends on the topic of interest of course. Nonetheless, one person has started a great project that merits a nod.
Patrick O’Donnell’s list of biblographies at Ratio Jurist is a great public service. Take a look. Given the number of topics he wishes to cover in the future, he needs some sense that people care. Checking out his lists and perhaps even sending him a thank you note is nice way to do that. Who knows? Perhaps you can convince him to post his list on capital punishment or science and technology just in time for you to start that super cool article.
One last note to non-academics and students: although practice may seem isolated from outside reading, I found that the best attorneys I knew read voraciously about their area of the law and about how to excel in writing or oral argument. In addition, if one feels that the job is boring or not a fit, read about the area you want to be in. That way when the opportunity to enter that field of your dreams arises, you will at least show that you really do know the area and are dedicated to it. Experience in an area matters of course but so does evidence that you love the field and wish to excel in it.