The National Jurist Magazine picked out the best study aids in four categories to help you master your legal studying
Did last semester not go as well as you had hoped? Law school’s heavy workload can overwhelm even the most diligent student. Luckily, students don’t have to go it alone. Professional study aids, when used as a support and not the primary mode of learning, can help you be more organized and focused. Getting the right coursework help from those who understand what you need and how to use it, is highly important and can give you a better base to complete your work. Building upon a list that we published in our September issue, we’ve compiled additional aids that are popular, comprehensive and up-to-date. (Visit www.nationaljurist.com/content/hot-off-the-press/best-study-aids for the September list.)
For those who are really serious about hitting the books, AspenLaw Studydesk offers an all-encompassing software program. Created by a law student, this program allows students to use eBook versions of all of the study guides listed below, plus many others published by Aspen Publishers. It is complete with a word-processor, digital flashcards, briefing templates and much more.
Cost: $39.95 software download. Regular price for individual study aids.
Casenote Legal Briefs
This tried-and-true resource has been around for nearly two decades and has crossed the desks of thousands of students and professors. Each of the more than 140 titles offers detailed descriptions of individual cases as well as a section explaining the relevancy of each case in relation to the coursework. These briefs are a best-bet for a command on almost all subjects.
Blond’s Law Guides
These guides offer the most concise explanations of thousands of cases, spanning from contract law to criminal procedure. Each description contains “Case Clips,” which breakdown key issues and facts. In addition, EasyFlow Charts make them ideal for visual learners. Blond’s Law Guides offer a step-by-step breakdown as well as insightful summaries and explanations of some of the most important cases in legal education.
The Understanding Series by LexisNexis
This series of guides is a complete collection covering the basic knowledge of the fundamental areas of law. Each guide offers a basic introduction to the topics, as well as in-depth analysis and factual information. They are also highly recommended by professors, with one Northwestern Law School professor saying “the Understanding Series is in a class of its own.”
Subjects: 41 titles
A Student’s Guide to Series
Also from LexisNexis, this collection of guides goes beyond the broad topics and delves into the specifics within certain subject areas. Designed as workbooks, students are able to take an active role in the studying process. This series is also widely used throughout campuses, with six of the eight titles named as required coursework in at least 17 law schools.
Subjects: 8 titles
For students looking for both topic review as well as test prep, this compilation is ideal. Each of the titles covers the most important facts of the subject area as well as the most pressing issues. In addition, these books offer essay guidance, exam tips and visual charts and graphs.
Another source for review material includes “Law in a Flash” cards, a simple way to study on the go ($41.95). For those looking specifically for test review, LexisNexis’s Questions & Answers Series provides more than 200 questions, along with detailed explanations of the correct answers.
In Kaplan’s 1L & 2L success packages, they offer outlines of six key topics to first and second year law. In addition, each topic contains an audio overview and practice multiple-choice tests. 1L covers topics such as property, torts and contracts, while 2L focuses on evidence, criminal procedure and remedies.
Subjects: 2 titles, 12 subjects
Emanuel Glannon Guides
Test your knowledge throughout the semester with these helpful practice exam guides. Each edition contains hundreds of questions of varying difficulty, as well as explanations of the correct and incorrect answers. In addition to covering course material, the guide also offers exam tips and limericks to help students remember concepts.
Also, ExamEdge Online test and ExamEdge Exerciser offer a multimedia approach. These tools give students access to over 1500 practice tests and also gives them the ability to design their own exams, based around their own strengths and weaknesses. ($179.95)
This story was written by Megan Gallagher and published in the January 2011 issue of The National Jurist. Click here for the digital edition of the January 2011 issue of The National Jurist or visit The National Jurist website for more great content about law school.
Stay on top of all the latest information about law school with a free subscription to the digital edition of preLaw and/or The National Jurist Magazines and by subscribing to Law School Podcaster’s shows!
Listen to our podcast, Law School Exam Prep: Advice to Help You Make the Grade for more good tips to help you prepare for law school exams!