Several legal publishers publish study guides. These guides are treatises that provide a foundational understanding of one of the fundamental areas of legal studies, for instance, tort law or insurance law. There are a few common uses for study guides:
The Law Library provides current editions at the reserve desk. Older editions are shelved in the main stacks.
Various titles published by West, such as hornbooks, nutshells, Black Letter series, and the Acing series are available in Westlaw with a student password.
These resources supplement class readings or provide foundational understanding of a legal topic.
Hornbooks are comprehensive volumes covering broad topics of law. They are frequently written by the same authors that wrote your casebook and usually cover the same leading cases and rules of law. You will see references to these books in decisions.
Nutshells are a series of paperback books that cover a single legal subject in an easily readable format with less discussion of cases and more general explanation of the rules of law.
Quick Review (Sum and Substance Quick Review series)
This resource focuses on outline preparation, with a “big picture” overview and comprehensive narrative treatment. There are some brief questions and answers, case illustrations, and some exam tips but no summaries or flow charts.
Sum and Substance Audio
The Sum & Substance CDs are introductory lectures by renown professors on specific legal topics. They serve as a great tool to clarify complex issues discussed in class, and the format is excellent for commuters and those students who are auditory learners. These resources are in very high demand throughout the semester.
This series explains the basic principles of an area of law and discusses policy concerns and historical events that shape the law. It supplements casebooks. The goal is a deeper understanding of the legal topic. It is not designed as an exam preparation.
Acing Law School Series
This series organizes rules to analyze and answer problems in substantive areas. Each chapter begins with a review of the rules, followed by a checklist of important points. Next it outlines the order in which to consider and apply the rules. There are short-answer problems with sample answers, and each section concludes with points to remember. It is less comprehensive but focuses on analysis. Easy to use and clear explanations.
Examples and Explanations (E&E)
This series discusses fundamental definitions, rules, and concepts covered in substantive law courses. It begins with an overview, including a series of examples to test students’ understanding and ability to apply the law to specific problems. This is followed by explanations with solutions to the problems that discuss rules and insights. Examples are short questions that build on small variances in the facts. Explanations are short paragraphs in response to each part of the example. This series has broader coverage of topic than the Acing series.
Less comprehensive than E&E, these books contains flow charts, capsule summaries, exam tips, short answer question and answers, multiple choice questions and answers, and essay questions and answers. These are abridgements of Emanuel Law Outline series. The coverage is content most likely to appear on exams and is not intended to be comprehensive.
Emanuel Law Outlines
Similar to CrunchTime in format, the Outlines are more comprehensive in coverage. These do not include the flow charts from CrunchTime, but they have an expanded summary for each topic, essay exam questions and answers, and multistate-style exam questions and answers. The content correlates to the standard case books in the field.
Questions & Answers (Q&A)
This set uses multiple choice and short answer format and supplements the casebook. Coverage is not comprehensive, with no summary of rules, but questions are selected based on most popular casebook and also course syllabi from around the country. The goal is to test students’ understanding of the area of law.
Law in Motion
This is an interactive guide with online resources: animation videos, flash cards, multiple choice questions, essay questions, timed practice exams, and case examples. It is designed for audio-visual learners. Library users will probably not have access to online resources. This is a better tool for a personal purchase.