About this guide
This Guide lists treatises, hornbooks, nutshells, and study aid publications in the Law Library. All items are available on reserve in the Law Library, unless otherwise noted. It includes selected DVD and online resources. For bar exam review materials see the page of bar exam materials available on reserve. For helpful advice in selecting and using study aids, see, "Study Aids: Proceed with Caution" by Amy L. Jarmon, Student Lawyer, Nov. 2013.
* Includes climate change, natural resources and energy law.
Study Aid Series Available on Reserve:
The following study aid series are available for check out from the Reserve collection at the Circulation Desk:
Examples & Explanations (Aspen)
Concepts & Insights (Foundation Press)
Law Stories (Foundation Press)
Model Problems & Outstanding Answers (Oxford)
Inside (Wolters, Kluwer, Law & Business)
Mastering (Carolina Academic Press)
- Sum & Substance Audio (West)
Definitions of Treatises, Hornbooks & Nutshells
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 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 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.
Locating Treatises, Hornbooks & Nutshells Covering Other Subjects
To find nutshells and hornbooks on other topics try searching MNCAT Discovery using the keywords nutshell, treatise or hornbook (as appropriate) and subject or descriptive term(s)
Example: nutshell real estate
We'd love to hear from you!
Send us comments/suggestions about this guide and report broken links or other problems below.