Crime, rights, and the law all take center stage in these novels that are both thrilling and educational. Whether you’re a lawyer or a layman, you will surely be entertained by these novels. Read on to find 50 of the best legal novels out there.
Classics & Bestsellers
These are legal novels that just about everyone’s heard of or read.
- To Kill a Mockingbird: To Kill A Mockingbird explores the implications of the cases you take on.
- Compelling Evidence: This crime novel follows Paul Madriani as his former lover is arrested for murdering her husband.
- The Firm: In this incredibly popular book, you’ll see that hotshot firms aren’t always what you think.
- Eyes of a Child: See an ugly custody battle gone wrong in Eyes of a Child.
- A Time to Kill: Inspired by life experiences and To Kill a Mockingbird, John Grisham’s novel considers what would happen if a victim’s father murdered her assailants.
See the law in action in these novels that focus on trials and the court.
- Gideon’s Trumpet: Read this book to examine the real life case of James Earl Gideon’s fight to have legal counsel.
- Primal Fear: Martin Vail is faced with an impossible murder case.
- Reversal of Fortune: In this novel, you’ll find learning for criminal lawyers and entertainment for laymen.
- The Trials of Nikki Hill: Written by OJ Simpson prosecutor Christopher Darden, this deputy DA takes on a high profile case.
- The Seven Minutes: Irving Wallace’s novel takes on a trial of pornography and freedom of speech.
- Retribution: Jilliane Hoffman tackles this serial killer courtroom thriller.
- Presumed Innocent: Rusty Sabich is a prosecutor charged with murdering his colleague in Presumed Innocent.
You’ll be reading these novels on the edge of your seat.
- The Testament: John Grisham’s novel The Testament offers legal suspense and adventure.
- Gone, But Not Forgotten: This defense lawyer has to find out who the real killer is and clear her client’s name.
- Treason: Don Brown explores Navy justice in this JAG novel.
- Hostage: This second installment of Don Brown’s series takes a look at the danger involved with Navy justice.
- Defiance: Continuing Don Brown’s Navy Justice series, Defiance focuses on finding a famous missing JAG officer.
- Involuntary Witness: This suspense novel written by an anti-Mafia judge in Italy attacks racism and the judicial process.
- A Man in Full: Read this novel to explore race in law and beyond.
- The Loch: Steve Alten’s novel shares a scientist turned lawyer in his experiences with Loch Ness.
These novels are based on or inspired by history and real life events.
- Naming Names: Naming Names offers a dissection of the Hollywood blacklist.
- The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction: In this novel, a historian examines the story of Irish Catholic orphans.
- Arc of Justice: Arc of Justice shares insight into race, civil rights, and murder on trail in 1925 Detroit.
- We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: This book shares the stories of genocide in Rwanda.
- Storming the Court: In this novel, a group of Yale Law students took on the Supreme Court.
- Justice Older than the Law: Study the life and legal wins of Dovey Johnson Roundtree in Justice Older than the Law.
- In Cold Blood: Truman Capote writes the true account of a multiple murder.
- The Rescue Artist: The Rescue Artist is based on the famous theft of "The Scream," taking a look at the history of art theft.
- Blind Eye: Blind Eye tells the true story of a murdering physician.
- Local People: You can better understand the struggle for civil rights in Mississippi with the help of this novel.
- Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer: Become immersed in the hunt for Lincoln’s killer in this novel.
- Exile: Exile takes a legal approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Get your heart pumping reading these exciting legal novels.
- The Appeal: See what happens when a CEO appeals a case against his company.
- Six Hours Past Thursday: Steve Draves is an outwardly solid citizen with a secret con man life.
- Show of Evil: This DA takes on a serial killer.
- Homicide: You’ll go inside Baltimore’s homicide unit in this book.
- Reign in Hell: Martin Vail goes up against a survivalist militia as a US attorney.
- Criminal Conversation: Follow the danger and adventure of District Attorney Michael Welles in this novel about organized crime.
- The Law Clerk: The Law Clerk is interesting for anyone who has devoted their lives to the law.
- The Client: Set in the south, The Client offers a good mix of legal elements and suspense.
- The Associate: Videotapes, blackmail, and surveillance prevail while an associate tries to keep his position at the largest law firm in the world.
These novels all have a common theme-injustice and making things right.
- The Trial: A Young man is arrested and killed for apparently no reason, and this novel explores the trial that follows.
- Conflict of Interest: Robert Kerrick’s career and life are threatened when as he finds justice for his clients.
These legal novels were so popular, they became movies.
- The Runaway Jury: Explore a tobacco death case just before jury selection in The Runaway Jury.
- The Chamber: The Chamber takes you inside the death row of Mississippi State Penitentiary.
- Red Dust: Red Dust is written about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in fictional Smitsriver, South Africa.
- The Rainmaker: The little guys take on a powerful law firm in this novel.
- The Burden of Proof: This family is caught in an emotionally shattering situation.
- Anatomy of a Murder: This novel is an incredibly popular courtroom drama.
- A Civil Action: A Civil Action discusses a real-life water contamination case in Massachusetts.