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Uses for Useless Used Law School Books

Uses for Law School Books:
Article by Alex Davis, Blueprint instructor and graduate of UCLA law school.

It’s one of the great conspiracies of graduate education, and law school is no exception. Evil textbook publishers hire your professors to write their texts, and why you ask? Built- in readership of course! Given your average professor’s love of pontification, you couldn’t honestly believe that they would subjugate their egos and assign a text written by (gasp) somebody else.

And let’s not ignore royalties. I shuddered every time I had to pry the ol’ Visa out of my wallet to plunk down a colossal sum for a book whose contents would only be relevant to my life for the extent of the given semester. And every time I had to go through that experience, a fraction of that proverbial pound of flesh went into some prof’s pocket. Imagine the possibilities for profit in a 90-student lecture class (and while you’re at it, why don’t you go ahead and imagine your Torts professor’s face on the Brain’s body.)

Not only are you forced to buy the books your professors write, but they also update those books every, goddamn, year. That practice amounts to a virtual prohibition on recouping your (parents’) hard-earned funds through textbook buyback. After all, no textbook store is going to buy a used 9th Edition when the 10th Edition is coming out next semester and there’s (all together now) ONE, EXTRA, CASE.

What is an intrepid law student to do with what has essentially become a pile of oversized coasters? Glad you asked, here are a few ideas:

1. Cut Out the Case Law:

“Blasphemy!” you say. “Stashbox!” I say. While I would never (publicly) condone the use of illicit, mind-altering substances, everyone has stuff they’d prefer to keep out of public view. What better place to hide it than a textbook? Feared by law student and non-law student alike, there is no better place to hide embarrassing miscellany than the inside of a casebook. So get out your exacto knife and get to work!

2. Target Practice:

Once finals are over, it’s common practice to blow off all that steam you accumulated in the studying doldrums. While running through an antique shop wielding a sledgehammer can be fun, it can get a little pricey too. So, instead of massacring Dad’s Amex (and your dignity), let’s find an empty field, some wooden posts and a BB gun. Hell, you can even bring along a fifth of SoCo if you’re feeling particularly country. As they say at the bar (the good kind), “set ‘em up and knock ‘em down!” Once you’ve pierced the covers of those scoliosis-inducing paperweights with tiny metal balls, you’ll be well on your way to serenity. Or at least you’ll hate life a little less.

3. Make Trophies:

That’s right, you have seen the top of the mountain, and it is good (assuming you pulled at least a “B+”). But how to brag to your friends that you conquered the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur? Easy, go “Gaston” and mount those bastards on the wall. Hell, you can even throw some antlers on ‘em if you’re feeling saucy (although I wouldn’t object if you figured out a way to use a gold plastic baseball figurine too). Your triumph will be writ large on your living room wall for all to see (and snicker about), and they’ll know you’ve slain the Business Associations beast.

Well, that’s my time. You’ve all been great. I’d love to read some of your own ideas for repurposing used books in the comments.