This Library Study Guide is designed to show first year law students a few basic research guides to help them with first year classes. Each of the above Tabs includes links to basic research resources for a specific First Year class:
Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Torts and Property Law
These publications include: Nutshell Books, Examples and Explanations, Questions and Answer, and hornbooks♦. Additional sources include legal treatises♦♦ and the Restatements of Law.♦♦♦
These all offer in depth, comprehensive analysis of specifc areas of law. These books may help clarify or explain some of the basic legal issues being discussed in class.
Also included are descriptions and links to specific online databases such as Westlaw, LexisNexis and Hein-Online; these offer access to some of the same material.
Many of the books listed here are on Course Reserve and be checked out for 2 hours. Also, older editions of the same title may be available under the same call number or Subject Area. iYour professors, the reference librarians, or your classmates may have additional suggestions for supplementary or explanatory reading.
Hornbooks, Treatises and Restatements - Oh My!!
♦ A hornbook is a text that gives an overview of a particular area of law. A legal hornbook is a type of treatise, usually one volume, which could be a briefer version of a longer, multi-volume treatise. Students in American law schools often use hornbooks as supplements to casebooks.
♦♦Legal treatises are publications that present a highly organized, detailed explanation of a specific area of law (sample topics include contracts, torts, criminal law and property). Treatises are published as single-volume or multi-volume sets. Most treatises are updated by the use of supplements or pocket parts.
♦♦♦Restatements organize and "codify" the common law of the United States. The Restatements are a series of detailed statements of basic law in the United States covering a variety of subjects written and updated by well-known legal scholars under the auspices of the American Law Institute (ALI)since the 1930s. While not having the force of statutes or of decided precedents, the Restatement (as lawyers generally call it) has the prestige of the scholars who have studied the legal questions. Topics covered include agency, contracts, property, torts and trusts.
Using any of these may help to clarify or explain some of the basic legal issues being discussed in your class.
Your professors, the reference librarians, or your classmates may have additional suggestions for supplementary or explanatory reading.