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Study Aids: Getting Started

Getting Started

What are Study Aids? 

Study aids, often called supplements, are frequently used by students to help them prepare for exams in addition to outlining. Study aids are NO SUBSTITUTE for outlining, attending class, and asking questions of your professors. There are many types or series of study aids available, and the "best" one depends on the course and the kind of supplementary material you're looking for; for example, some series will have practice exam questions, while others may just have an overview of the law. If you decide to use study aids, it will take some trial and error to find the ones you like, and it's often a good idea to review more than type of study aid. See Types of Study Aids for summaries of the most common series. 

 

How Can I Find Study Aids in the Library?

  • Use the Table of Contents or the tabs at the top of this page to select an area of law.
  • Each page contains a list of study aids on that topic. If it is available online, it will be indicated by the word eBook and the name of the database the book is available from. If it is in print, it will tell you the physical location in the library. 

  • Click the name of the title to access the book - doing this will open the library website entry for the book, and it will provide you the direct online link or give you the call number for a print book.
  • Many of the print materials listed in this guide are available on Reserve (located at the Circulation Desk) and must be used in the library for up to two (2) hoursHowever, older editions of the same title may be available under the same call number in the Stacks. See Call Number Location Chart and Library Maps.

 

This is how the list will appear in this guide: 

Types of Study Aids

Popular Series

  • Examples & Explanations Series (Aspen/Wolters Kluwer):
    • Offer hypothetical questions in the subject area, with detailed explanations and analysis.
    • Help you understand your class lectures and your casebook.
     
  • Nutshells (West):
    • Provide a concise narrative explanation of the major doctrines in each substantive area of law.
    • Offer a good introduction to key concepts and legal terminology and jargon.
     
  • Understanding Series (LexisNexis):
    • Concisely explain the basic contours of a particular area of law.
    • Tend to be more extensive than the Nutshells, including references to more cases.
     
  • Mastering Series (CAP):
    • Provide an overview of various areas of the law, with key concepts and terms emphasized.
    • Designed to help students gain a better understanding of the material covered in law school courses.

Hornbooks

  • Explanatory texts that address the major questions in the areas of law that are taught in law school.
  • Often provide answers and explanations to some of the conundrums presented by your casebooks.
  • Not suitable for cover to cover reading. Use the table of contents, index, or table of cases to focus on your particular questions.

 

For a complete list, see A Guide to Commercial Study Aids written by the Law Library at Loyola University Chicago.

Online Access to Study Aids

The Law Library currently provides access to two online study aids databases: West Academic Study Aids and Wolters Kluwer Online Study Aid Library. Titles in this guide, where available, are linked to their ebook access directly. You can also explore these databases to find additional titles; this would be helpful for finding brand new editions that are on the databases but not yet uploaded into the library website. 

West study aids include electronic versions of Hornbooks, Concepts & Insights books, Nutshells, as well as other series. Wolters Kluwer study aids include electronic versions of Examples & Explanations, Emmanuels Crunchtime and Law Outlines, and Glannon Guides, among others.

You should authenticate using your Access IT ID credentials (your usual LawNet login). You will always need to access these through the library website or links included here, but then you can create an individual account allowing you to make and save notes and annotations.

You can also access the study aids electronically via the Maloney Library catalog by searching “Study Aids” or the title of the series you are interested in.