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Study Aid Publications & Resources

Pint and online publications arranged by course/subject. Also includes law school success and exam prep publications, bar exam prep materials, and links to legal and general software training resources

About this Guide

This Guide lists treatises, hornbooks, nutshells, and other study aid publications available in  print, online and DVD. Information and links to other study aid resources (LegalEd, CALI Tutorials, and  a guide to legal research & law practice software and vendor trainings) are also provided. The Law School Success section includes publications on surviving/succeeding in law school and exam prep and performance advice. The Bar Exam Materials section includes publications on general bar exam preparation and advice, and materials for taking the MBE, MEE, MPT and MPRE exams. 

U of M Law student, Victor Jimenez (2023) has compiled a very useful guide to study aid publications. The guide groups study aids by type and format in the following categories: Case Briefs, E & Es, Outlines, Overviews, Hornbook Treatises, Exam Preparation, Audio and Video. Links to the titles are provided along with a listing of the subjects available under each title.

For additional advice in selecting and using study aids, see, "Study Aids: Proceed with Caution" by Amy L. Jarmon, 42 (3) Student Lawyer 19, (Nov. 2013).

West Academic Study Aids Digital Collection 
Features study aid publications and materials in ebook, audio and video formats. The collection includes popular series such as Hornbooks, Nutshells, Black Letter Law, Gilbert Law Summaries, Legalines and many others.

Carolina Academic Press Study Aids 
Featuring ebook versions of these study aid series: Mastering, Q & A, Skills & Values, and Understanding. Also includes treatises on various areas of law and practice, from adoption law to water law.

Wolters Kluwer Study Aids
Features eBook versions of these study aid series: Examples & Explanations, Crunchtime, Glannon Guides, Casenotes Legal Briefs, and more.  Individuals can log in to annotate and highlight resources, but titles are available without creating a personal account.

Study Aid Series Available on Reserve

The following study aid series are available for check out from the Reserve collection at the Circulation Desk and available online as noted below:

  • Concepts & Insights (Foundation Press) - ebook version via West Academic Study Aids
  • Developing Professional Skills (West Academic) - ebook version via West Academic Study Aids
  • Examples & Explanations (Wolters Kluwer/Aspen ) - ebook version via Wolters Kluwer Study Aids
  • Hornbooks (West) - ebook version via West Academic Study Aids
  • Concise Hornbooks, Understanding series (West)  - ebook version via West Academic Study Aids
  • Inside Series (Wolters, Kluwer Law & Business)
  • Law Stories (Foundation Press) - ebook version via West Academic Study Aids
  • Mastering (Carolina Academic Press) - ebook version via Carolina Academic Press Study Aids
  • Model Problems & Outstanding Answers (Oxford)
  • Nutshells (West)  - ebook version via West Academic Study Aids
  • Questions & Answers (Q & A) series (Lexis) - ebook version via Carolina Academic Press Study Aids
  • Short and Happy Guides (West) - ebook version via West Academic Study Aids
  • Skills & Values (LexisNexis)  - ebook version via Carolina Academic Press Study Aids
  • Sum & Substance Audio (West) - ebook version via West Academic Study Aids
  • Understanding (Lexis) - ebook version via Carolina Academic Press Study Aids

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, and the Harvard Law School Library Legal Treatises by Subject Guide.

University of Minnesota Law Library
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