Resources

Here are some links to useful resources for prospective and current law students, as well as people studying for the bar exam. Inclusion on this list does not amount to endorsements. Check back periodically, as I will continue to update and add to this page.

General Resources for Law Students:

Law School Academic Success Project: This website was created as a joint effort by the Law School Admissions Counsel and the American Bar Association. It contains a number of videos about helpful law school skills and techniques to deal with the stress associated with law school.

CALI (The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction): CALI provides lessons related to most law school classes, as well as materials to test your understanding of those topics. This website requires a password that law students can usually get from their law school library staff.

CALI eLangdell Press’s ebooks for various federal rules.

University of San Diego School of Law’s Study Skills Materials: The academic success office at the law school provides tips on a number of topics related to law school success, from briefing cases and outlining to managing stress and developing time management skills.

Law School Materials for Success (Dean Barbara Glessner Fines): This website provides access to a free 96-page ebook published by CALI’s eLangdell Press. There are also several podcasts that go with the book.

Letter to a Young Law Student (Professor Corinne Cooper): Provides a good overview of the first-year law student’s introduction to law school.

Ten Instructions for Briefing Cases (Professor Paul Bateman): A good introduction to how to brief cases for law school.

Efficient Reading Techniques (Professor Ruth Ann McKinney)

http://www.lawnerds.com. This website has a variety of tips about succeeding in law school, as well as some practice exam exercises.

Overcoming Procrastination (Cornell University Learning Strategies Center)

Time Management for Right-Brained People (Or What to Do If Lists Are Not Your Style) (Cornell University Learning Strategies Center)

Article about Taking Notes By Hand vs. By Computer: Studies demonstrate that students who take notes by hand remember information better.

Books for Incoming and Current Law Students

Starting Off Right in Law School (2nd ed.), by Carolyn J. Nygren: uses a fictional case to introduce students to the vocabulary and skills of law school and legal practice.

Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams, by Richard Michael Fischl & Jeremy Paul: discusses the differences between undergraduate and law school approaches to studying, explains how legal reasoning works and how to apply legal reasoning to class and exam preparation. Much of the focus is on how to perform well on law school exams.

1L of a Ride: A Well-Traveled Professor’s Roadmap to Success in the First Year of Law School (3rd ed.), by Andrew J. McClurg: provides a straightforward explanation of what to expect during the first year of law school, including suggestions and comments from former law students.

Expert Learning for Law Students (2nd ed.), by Michael Hunter Schwartz: provides useful advice about tackling the various skills you need to develop and tasks that you must accomplish as a law student. It also helps you to understand more about how you learn, and how you can approach law school based upon your learning preferences.

Reading Like a Lawyer: Time-Saving Strategies for Reading Law Like an Expert (2nd ed.), by Ruth Ann McKinney: focuses specifically on how you can develop the reading skills you need to effectively and efficiently read for law school.

Learning Outside the Box: A Handbook for Law Students Who Learn Differently, by Leah M. Christensen: a great resource for students who learn differently from the average student, including those who have diagnosed or undiagnosed learning disabilities that affect the way they learn.

Bridging the Gap Between College and Law School: Strategies for Success, by Ruta K. Stropus & Charlotte D. Taylor: provides useful advice about adjusting to law school and developing skills necessary for law school success, including exercises to practice those skills.

Resources about Learning Styles

Vark: A Guide to Learning Styles: This website contains a quiz to help you understand more about your personal learning style, as well as descriptions of various learning styles. Some content is free, while other content requires payment.

Index of Learning Styles: Website includes an on-line assessment of learning preferences developed by Richard M. Felder and Barbara A. Soloman of North Carolina State University. The website also provides a handout explaining assessment results, as well as additional links to research about learning preferences.

Stress, Time Management, Substance Abuse, and Mental Health Resources

LawLifeline: a new mental health resource specifically for law students

Lawyers With Depression: A website and blog created to help law students and lawyers cope with and heal from depression.

American Bar Association’s Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs: Confidential Hotline for Law Students and Lawyers, 1-800-LAW-LAPS (529-5277) and specific website for law students

American Bar Association, Law Student Division, Mental Health Initiative: Tool Kit for Student Bar Associations and Administrators

Law School and Stress (Why It’s So Hard and What to Do About It) (Dean Barbara Glessner Fines): Text of speech that the Dean gives to incoming first-year law students about managing the stress of law school.

The Basics of Stress Management (Cornell University Learning Strategies Center)

Understanding Academic Anxiety (Cornell University Learning Strategies Center)

Letting Go of Test Anxiety (Cornell University Learning Strategies Center)

Helpful Legal Writing Resources

Introduction to Basic Legal Citation (Professor Peter W. Martin): This website provides access to a free 277-page ebook published by CALI’s eLangdell Press. There is also a link to a companion “wiki.”

Core Grammar for Lawyers: Online self-directed learning program for lawyers and law students. There is a cost. Some law schools require their students to purchase this program as part of their legal research and writing courses, but it is also available to individuals.

Law Prose Blog (Brian Garner): Written by one of the foremost experts and legal writing and grammar, this blog has daily tips for legal writing.

Technology and Apps for Studying

Dropbox: Free app for organizing and accessing files across all devices.

Flashcardlet: A free app for creating electronic flashcards for Apple devices.

Flashcard Machine: Free service for creating digital flashcards. Can obtain apps that allow you to access your flashcards from some Apple and Android devices.

Genius Scan: App which allows you to take photos with a cell phone or tablet that look like they have been scanned.

Google Drive: Another free app for organizing and accessing files across all devices.

Mind Mapping Tools: This article discusses a number of possible mind mapping tools–some are free, and others have a monthly, yearly, or one-time cost.

Quizlet: Another free flashcard program

Rulebook: App which allows you to download, annotate, and access law and rules even when not connected to the internet; basic version is free. You can also add The Bluebook to it, but there is a cost for The Bluebook.

SeRiouS: SeRiouS, short for Spaced Repetition Systems, is a new digital flashcard program designed specifically for law students. You can choose from already existing cards or make your own. The program uses an algorithm to determine how often you view each of the flashcards, based upon how you rate your level of confidence in the material on each card. In its beta stage at present, the program is currently free to law students and bar takers.

Bar Exam Resources

National Conference of Bar Examiners

Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE)

American Bar Association Bar Admission Information

American Bar Association Commission on Disability Rights: Bar Information for Applicants with Disabilities

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