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Study Aid Publications & Resources

Lists of treatises, nutshells and other study aid resources by course/subject

About this Guide

This Guide lists treatises, hornbooks, nutshells, and other study aid publications, including DVD and online resources available in the library.  The guide also lists bar exam review materials available on reserve.  For advice in selecting and using study aids, see, "Study Aids: Proceed with Caution" by Amy L. Jarmon, 42 (3) Student Lawyer 19, (Nov. 2013).

 

Study Aid Series Available on Reserve

The following study aid series are available for check out from the Reserve collection at the Circulation Desk:

  • Hornbooks (West)
  • Nutshells (West)
  • Examples & Explanations (Aspen)
  • Concepts & Insights (Foundation Press)
  • Law Stories (Foundation Press)
  • Understanding (Lexis)
  • Model Problems & Outstanding Answers (Oxford)
  • Inside Series (Wolters, Kluwer, Law & Business)
  • Mastering (Carolina Academic Press)
  • Sum & Substance Audio (West)  
     

What are Treatises, Hornbooks & Nutshells?

  • Treatises
    Treatises are legal texts that are often multivolume in size. Treatises can vary in terms of style and analysis but they generally provide a detailed survey of a particular field of law. See for example, Corbin on Contracts (Law Reserve KF 801.C65). Treatises are a secondary source and lack legal authority. However, because they are written by respected legal scholars they can carry considerable persuasive value depending on how highly the author and the treatise are regarded by the court.
  • Hornbooks
    Hornbooks are single volume texts that cover a particular area of law, often one that is also the subject of a law school course. They are usually written by law professors that are experts in a particular field of law. Hornbooks are primarily a study tool that, unlike casebooks, provide answers in a straight forward and narrative fashion to major questions in a particular area of law. In other words, hornbooks provide the "Black Letter" law.
  • Nutshells
    Nutshells are a series of paperback volumes published by West Group that cover various areas of law. Like treatises and hornbooks, Nutshells are usually written by legal scholars. However, Nutshells are more concise and provide more of an overview of the law versus the more detailed discussion and analysis found in treatises and hornbooks. Nutshells are meant to be used primarily a study tool and are rarely, if ever, cited by courts. Nutshells are often a good starting point for anyone wishing to become familar with a particular area of law. 

Other Sources for Locating Study Aid Publications

To find nutshells and hornbooks on other topics try searching MNCAT using the keywords: nutshell, treatise or hornbook (as appropriate) and a subject or descriptive term(s).   Example: nutshell real estate 

Other recommended sources for locating study aids publications include: the Georgetown Law Library Treatise Finders, the Harvard Law School Library Legal Treatises by Subject Guide, and the Legal Treatises section of Zimmerman's Research Guide.


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