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The Insider’s Guide to Study Aids

Find Out What You Need to Know

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With Labor Day on the horizon, some law schools are already in full swing while others will be starting classes soon, either on campus or through distance learning. Among students there is already talk about how to set up study groups and using supplemental books (a.k.a. study aids) to help analyze cases and better understand black letter law. In short, every student wants to know what proactive steps they can take to give themselves an edge.

When it comes to law school there are no do-overs.

When it comes to law school there are no do-overs. That’s why you need to make smart choices to help improve your performance. It’s important to find out how to select the best study guide based on how you learn material most efficiently. Choose wisely and you’ll also get important feedback prior to exams and have more time to study.

Here are some tips to guide you through the process from the very start of the semester through to midterm and final exams:

  1. Take stock of your strengths and weaknesses.
    Besides keeping up with the reading, you need to be self-aware. Think about where you need a helping hand. Common trouble areas for students include understanding the big picture, knowing the rule of black letter law, issue spotting, analysis of fact patterns, and application of the rules. Once you’ve made your self-assessment use those insights to arm yourself with the right tools to close the gap on what you need to know. Have a good grasp of the material? You’ll find recall tools (think flash cards) and study aids with practice questions and exam tips are useful for exam prep.
  2. Want a clearer view of the big picture?
    Even if you faithfully do the reading and listen to your professors’ lectures, there will be times when you’ll feel totally adrift in a sea of information that doesn’t make sense. This is when in-depth study aids rich in narrative can offer a life raft. Among the most popular and highly regarded is the Examples & Explanations series, which students find helpful from the first day of class through to finals. Definitions of key terms and a thorough review of pertinent rules and concepts help you focus on what you need to know. Examples of how to apply the law (hypotheticals) in the form of questions are followed by detailed explanations (analysis), making it easier to comprehend complex material.
  3. Need to master course material?
    Professors and students agree that an outline is the most effective tool for studying. While it’s important that you build your own, many find that Emanuel Law Outlines covers topics, cases, and black letter law in a way that’s easy to digest. Throughout your course the essay Q&As make it easy to test your grasp of the material. Exam prep is covered, too: Capsule summaries are perfect for studying, while the exam tips alert you to issues and fact patterns often used on tests that trip up the unsuspecting.
  4. Like to check your knowledge on applying the rules correctly?
    Often students don’t have any idea of how they are doing in a course until after mid-terms – when the semester is almost over. Glannon Guides were designed to help students learn course material through multiple choice questions and analysis of both correct and incorrect answers. This study aid lets you test your knowledge and practice for upcoming exams while discerning nuances of the law and its application. The more challenging questions at the end of each chapter – called “Closers” – test ability to synthesize answers to more sophisticated questions, and is followed by an entire final chapter of “Closers” covering all the material.
  5. Want to conquer Civil Procedure?
    Typically taught during the 1L year, Civil Procedure is a challenging course for many students. If you find yourself struggling with this material, check out PracticePerfect Civil Procedure, an engaging, interactive study aid that explains commonly encountered legal doctrines through easy-to-understand animated videos, illustrative examples and numerous practice questions. Designed to work with all major casebooks, PracticePerfect is delivered through CasebookConnect.com, the learning platform used to access Aspen Publishing casebooks. Click here to watch a short video.
  6. Want practice preparing for midterms and finals?
    Believe it or not, they’ll be here before you know it. While all the study aids referenced above can help you prepare for exams, some are designed to help when already midway through the semester. This is where Emanuel CrunchTime and Emanuel Law in a Flash come into play.

    • Great for the visual learner, CrunchTime lives up to its name by helping students review material through flow charts and capsule summaries of the course topic. Exam tips and short answer, multiple choice, and essay questions and answers let you practice across a variety of formats while building skills and confidence.
    • For years, students on the go have relied upon Law in a Flash flash cards, to quiz themselves on black letter law and review important definitions and hypotheticals. Now, this trusted content has been transformed into digital flash cards powered by SpacedRepetition.com. Based on a scientifically proven method for learning, SpacedRepetion.com uses a sophisticated algorithm to help students learn and remember more—in less time. To check it out, visit www.spacedrepetition.com/law-in-a-flash.
  7. Go digital for an interactive experience with meaningful feedback.
    Trusted by law students, Examples and Explanations, Emanuel Law Outlines, and Glannon Guides are now available in a digital-only format in addition to the traditional print format. Each connected study aid includes an online e-book with search, highlighting, and notetaking capabilities; access to an interactive Study Center filled with practice questions that allows students to track their progress; and an Outline Tool that compiles notes and highlights to help jump start a course outline.
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