Preparatory Reading for Law Offer Holders

Message from the Downing College Law Fellows

You will be provided with details of the syllabus for each paper and a reading list when you begin your course in October. You will need to buy some textbooks, but each supervisor will make recommendations as to what you need for their subject. It will be possible to buy many books second-hand from the second-year lawyers at Downing, so there is no need to buy any textbooks before you come into residence.

It is not necessary for you to do a great deal of specific reading before October. However, it is important for you to keep up to date with current affairs by regularly reading a newspaper and news websites. It would be helpful for you to read (or reread) What About Law? by Barnard, O’Sullivan and Virgo, (3rd edn., 2021, Hart Publishing). The purpose of this book is to provide an introduction to the study of each of the foundation subjects and to the study of law as an academic discipline. Please read Chapter 1 and the Chapters on Crime, Tort and Constitutional Law before you come to Cambridge.

We would also recommend that you buy and read Key Ideas in Law: the Rule of Law and the Separation of Powers by Jack Beatson (2021, Hart Publishing) and Key Ideas Tort Law by Peter Cane (2017, Hart Publishing).

In September the college will be in touch with some (limited) preparatory work to do in Tort Law ahead of term.  You should set aside approximately 2 days to do this work.

An additional book with some useful tips about studying Law is McBride’s Letters to a Law Student: A Guide to Studying Law at University (5th edition, 2022 Pearson). 

If you have any questions or concerns before coming to Downing, please contact the Admissions Officer, who will pass your message on to the Director of Studies: