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TimeSaver: Introduction to the Study of Law  

Last Updated: Nov 13, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Introduction to the Study of Law


In addition to the resources of the Academic Success Program, the Law Library's collection contains materials that cover various aspects of the law school experience. Topics covered include briefing cases, law review, legal analysis, moot court, study aids, studying for and writing law school exams, and strategies for successfully surviving law school.



The Law Library has a varied collection of study aids on numerous legal subject areas. This series of guides is intended to provide access by subject area to the study aids in the collection.

General Information on Study Aids
Some study aids are referred to as hornbooks, others as nutshells. A hornbook is a single volume covering an area of law with references to cases, statutes, and secondary sources such as law review articles and American Law Reports annotations. Unlike a hornbook, a nutshell provides a basic overview of the legal concepts in a particular area of law with few references to cases, statutes, and secondary sources.

The main study aids series are:

  • West/Thomson Reuters hornbooks and nutshells
  • LexisNexis “Understanding ....” series
  • Aspen Publishers Examples and Explanations series 
  • Foundation Press Concepts and Insights series 

Even more detailed information on a legal subject area can be found in a single volume or in a multi-volume set referred to as a treatise. These treatises can be searched by author, by advanced keyword, by subject or by title using the Law Library’s WebCatalog. The treatises are shelved by their call number in the Library’s open stacks. Most single volume treatises can be checked out from the Law Library for twenty-eight days.

Study Aids' Law Guides

The guides for first year courses are:

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Nan Balliot
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