Stephanie Wildman is John A. and Elizabeth H. Sutro Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Social Justice and Public Service

Welcome to Santa Clara Law. Whatever your field of interest, whatever draws you to study law, you probably hope to make a difference in the world.  Santa Clara Law, with its commitment to social justice, can help you find that path. It is an exciting time to come to law school.

I hope to meet you when you arrive on campus, but today I wanted to share and recommend some books that I wish I had read before coming to law school.  These books introduce legal theory in a readable way, while looking to the future for positive social change.

1) Richard Kluger, Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America’s Struggle for Equality (2004) (history of cases leading to landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision).

2) Derrick Bell, And We Are Not Saved: The Elusive Quest for Racial Justice (1987) (Bell, a former civil rights lawyer and leading scholar, breaks new ground using fictional characters to illuminate legal theory).

3) Lani Guinier & Gerald Torres, The Miner’s Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy (2002) (Guinier and Torres explore how social change can occur to benefit all participants in democracy).

4) Patricia J. Williams, The Alchemy of Race and Rights: The Diary of a Mad Law Professor (1991) (Williams writes in lyrical prose about her life, law, popular culture, and legal education).

And for a great, still relevant overview of the first year law experience check out Looking at Law School (Stephen J. Gillers ed., 1997) (describing content of first year subjects, as well as other topics in legal education).

Let me know what you think of these books.  And see you on campus.

SCU Insider is a blog with advice and information for admitted students, from professors.