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Exam Preparation: Commercial Study Aids

Study Aids by Course

Sometimes reading the assignment, listening in class, and reviewing your notes isn't quite enough. Commercial study aids explain legal concepts and important facts and ideas in different and helpful ways. They also have tools to help you make sure you really understand the information.

The Library has an extensive collection of print study aids available for use in the law library, as well as electronic study aids through West Study Aids.

Print study aids are held in Closed Reserve, so check them out from the Circulation DeskLike all Closed Reserve materials, these study aids can be checked out for 4 hours at a time (2 hours during exam periods). 

Click the link below to see available study aids (both in print and online), organized by course.

Major Series Available

The major types of study aids available in print are:

  • Hornbook Series: A single-volume treatise on a topic of law. Contains extensive footnotes to statutes and cases. Normally the most comprehensive study aid.
  • Understanding SeriesA slightly simplified type of Hornbook, with numerous footnotes as well as an index and table of cases.
  • Concise Hornbook SeriesAnother simplified version of the Hornbook. Contains some footnotes with citations, index, and table of cases. 
  • Concepts and Insights Series: Simplified treatise meant to complement casebook instruction, offering concise, conceptual overviews of important areas of law.
  • Examples & Explanations SeriesIllustrative text with hypothetical and questions. Normally includes a glossary of technical terms, indexes and tables.
  • Mastering the Law SeriesContains many short sections, each describing a legal concept or key term.
  • Nutshell SeriesOutlines the basic concept in an area of law and provides short descriptions for each principle.

When Should I Use Which Series?

With such a wide range of titles to choose from, it may be frustrating to try and figure out which series is the one to work with. This breakdown separates which study aid series you may want to use at various times in the semester.

Early Semester Mid Semester Late Semester 
Hornbooks, Treatises, and Case Briefs
  • Hornbooks*^
  • Understanding Series^
  • Examples & Explanations Series^
  • Concepts and Insights Series*^
  • Concise Hornbook Series ("Principles of...")*^
  • High Court Case Summaries*
  • Legalines*
Outlines and Overviews
  • Nutshells*^
  • Mastering the Law^
  • Black Letter Outlines*
  • Gilbert Law Summaries*
  • Law Stories*
  • Quick Reviews*
  • Short & Happy Guides*
Exam Prep and Audio Lectures
  • Acing Series*
  • Exam Pro Series*
  • Law School Legends Audio Series*
  • Sum and Substance Audio*

*^West Study Aids and Print (some titles are WSA only).

^Print only.

*West Study Aids only.