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Student Survival Kit

Introduction to Study Aids

Study aids are commercially produced supplemental sources designed to assist you in your law school learning. The Law Library make a wide variety of study aids available to students at no cost. There are a variety of categories of study aids, each designed to help you in different ways and to be used at different times in the semester. For more information on study aids and when to use them, see our Research Guide entitled, Study Aids and Exam Preparation Resources. Below is some information on study aids that will help you prepare for your 1L year and will be helpful to you early on in the semester.

Study Aid Resources to Prepare for Your 1L Year

Here are a few online study aid resources that can help you get a head start on some essential law school skills:

The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) has a number of online courses and podcasts to help you prepare for law school. You can find resources on additional 1L topics at the CALI website. Note, that to access these resources you will need a CALI login which is provided to you at the start of the fall semester.

West Academic Study Aids has a number of online resources on topics that can help you prepare for you first year of law school. A few of the most helpful are listed below. You can find additional resources on the West Academic Study Aids platform. Note, that to access these resources you will need a BC login.

Types of Study Aids & How They Help

Study Aid Series Summary Series Titles
Case Briefs

Summarize case law decisions assigned as readings in class and are used to clarify confusion and test your understanding of a case's significance. Case briefs are often coordinated with a specific case book. Some case briefs are also available in audio format.

  • High Court Case Summaries (West)
  • Legalines (West)
  • Casenote Legal Briefs (Aspen)
Hornbooks & Treatises

Hornbooks and treatises provide narrative explanation of the law and can help you understand key concepts and terminology and provide background and context for your 1L doctrinal courses.

  • Nutshell Series (West)
  • Hornbooks (West)
  • Concise Hornbooks (West)
  • Short & Happy Guides (West)
  • Concepts and Insights (West)
  • Inside Series (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Jumpstart Series (Aspen)
  • Examples & Explanation (Wolters Kluwer)
Audio & Video Lectures

The recordings of lectures by law school professors can help to clarify areas of confusion, reinforce your learning and provide a review of topics of law. And, they are portable so you can listen them on your commute or while you exercise.

  • Sum & Substance (West)
  • Office Hours (West) 
  • Law School Legends (West)
  • In Other Words (Aspen)