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Study Aids, Study Skills, & Exam Preparation Resource Guide: 1L Study Aids

This guide brings together all of the available study and exam preparation resources provided by the Loyola Law School Library for its students. The guide includes links to study aids for more than 30 Loyola courses.

Study Aids by Publisher and Category

No matter what subject you are studying, it is likely that you will seek support through the use of a study aid at one point or another during the semester. Study aids come in all shapes and sizes. This page introduces students to the variety of study aids--and categories of study aids-- that are generally available for students.  Subsequent pages list study aids available to Loyola students through the Law Library by subject.

A Guide to Commercial Study Aids

The vast majority of study aids are produced by the three commercial entities that are responsible for your law school textbooks.  These are LexisNexis publishing (now owned by Carolina Academic Press), West Academic (not directly affiliated with Westlaw or its parent company), and Aspen Publishing.  Each has an online store where students can browse all available study aids. Links to each store are provided along with a list of the study aids that each provides and a brief description taken from the publisher's website. 

LexisNexis Lawschool (Carolina Academic Press)

  • Mastering series:  Easy-to-read explanations of the law including key learning features like introductory roadmaps, checkpoints and topical checklists.
  • Questions & Answers series: Hundreds of multiple-choice questions and a practice final exam with answers to test a student's knowledge of the law.
  • Skillls & Values series: Subject-specific, practice-oriented tools designed to bring practical and analytical skills into the classroom and facilitate with self-assessment.
  • Understanding series: A concise yet comprehensive analysis of each subject which helps students throughout the semester and as students study for final exams.

West Academic

  • Acing series: These titles feature an innovative method of content organization, utilizing a checklist format that leads students through the questions they need to ask to fully evaluate the legal problem they are trying to solve.
  • Black Letter Outlines: Offers both a comprehensive outline and a capsule summary for review. Also includes true/false, multiple choice, and
    essay review questions to help students prepare for final exams.
  • Concepts and Insights series: These titles provide concise conceptual overviews of the major subjects of law.
  • Concise Hornbook series: This series features concise analyses of fundamental areas of the law by prominent legal scholars. Each text is lightly footnoted and focuses on the core principles and concepts fundamental to understanding the subject matter.
  • Exam Pro Series: Titles contain sample exams (either multiple choice or essay) with detailed answers that help students understand the correct
    answer while building exam skills.
  • Gilbert Law Summaries: Each title provides a detailed, comprehensive outline of the law and a capsule summary perfect for last-minute review.
  • High Court Case Summaries:Summaries are written to present the essential facts, issue, decision, and rationale for each case in a clear, concise manner. They assist students with identifying and understanding the key takeaways from the cases they read in their casebooks.
  • Hornbook Series: Hornbooks explain the law in great depth and broaden students understanding with insights into not only the law’s historical development, but also its contemporary issues and future directions.
  • Law School Legends audio series: Each course is condensed into single lectures and include examples and exam tips. Plus, students get a handout so they can take notes or work problems as they go.
  • A Short & Happy Guide series: These titles provide a concise and economical explanation of legal principles, practices, and policies in terms students can grasp quickly.
  • Sum & Substance Audio series: Lectures presented by today's leading professors.  Students can listen to lectures anywhere, at their convenience-while commuting, exercising, or even running errands.

Aspen Publishing

  • Aspen Student Treatise series: Designed to supplements student casebooks, titles in this series cut through the clutter and help students focus on the essentials of each subject. Written its student-friendly style and easily-understood examples you will rely on your treatise from the first day of class right through exams.
  • Casenote Legal Briefs: Each case brief includes the black letter law, facts, majority opinion, concurrences, and dissents, as well as analysis of the case.
  • Emanuel Crunchtime series: This series focuses on exam preparation. Each title offers  flowcharts and capsule summaries of major points of law and critical issues, as well as exam tips for identifying common traps and pitfalls, and sample exam and essay questions with model answers.
  • Emanuel Law in a Flash: Flashcards allow students to quiz themselves and review important definitions, hypotheticals, and black letter law throughout the semester and at exam time.
  • Emanuel Law Outlines: Each book includes both capsule and detailed outline-format explanations and discussions of the critical issues, key topics, and cases students must know to master a course. Also included are exam questions with model answers, an alphabetical list of cases, and a table correlating the outline to the leading casebooks.
  • Examples & Explanations: Each book provides clear explanations of each class topic and features hypotheticals similar to those presented in class, with corresponding analysis which students can use during the semester to test their understanding.
  • Glannon Guides: Each guide provides an expository review of key points of law and illustrative scenarios, followed by probing multiple-choice questions.
  • Inside series: Each title in this series is written in a concise, straightforward style that clearly identifies the essential components of the law and how they fit together.  Individual titles also contain FAQs that rectify common misconceptions, chapter summaries that extract main concepts in bullet points, and a connections section that inter-relates topics to one another.

Study Aids by Category

Law school study aids are intended to assist students in accomplishing specific ends like extracting the rule from a particular case (case briefs), getting a broad overview of a topic, or practicing exam questions. This section organizes commercial study aids by category.  There is some overlap here because study aids often serve more than one role. Next to each resources is a two letter code indicating its publisher: LN=LexisNexis Digital Library; AS=Aspen Learning Library; WL=West Academic. This list is not exhaustive. For more information on any of these resources go to the Guide to Commercial Study Aids box located on this page.

“Canned” Case Briefs: these supplements do exactly what they say.  They summarize the law, facts and analysis of the cases students are assigned from course casebooks. Many track casebooks themselves. WARNING! “Canned” briefs are NOT a substitute for reading assigned cases. They should only be used to test one’s understanding or to extract a rule if needed. Examples of canned briefs include:

  • Casenote Legal Briefs (AS)
  • High Court Case Summaries (WL)
  • Legalines (WL)

Commercial Outlines: These titles focus on black letter law and legal rules.  They often include exam tips and sample questions.  Examples include:

  • Black Letter Outline series (WL)
  • Emanuel Law Outlines (AS)
  • Gilbert Law Summaries (WL)

Explanations of the Law:  these series provide explanations of legal concepts and black letter law and useful background information. They tend to be more detailed than most outlines or narrative study guides. The amount of detail varies with each publication.  Examples include:

  • Concepts and Insights (WL)
  • Concise Hornbooks (WL)
  • Hornbooks  (WL)
  • Law in a Nutshell (WL)
  • Student’s Guide (LN)
  • Understanding (LN)

Problem-based Study Aids: These titles include problems/ questions and model answers relating to the area of law being discussed. These study aids usually include essay and multiple choice questions and/or hypotheticals followed by explanations. Examples include:

  • Acing (WL)
  • Emanuel Crunchtime (AS)
  • Examples and Explanations (AS)
  • Friedman's (AS)
  • Exam Pro (WL)
  • Glannon Guides (AS)
  • Questions and Answers (LN)


Subject Guide