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Drake Law Library Basics: Study Resources

Especially for Exams

These resources might help you prepare for exams: 

Books on Law School Success

These are just a few of the books on law school success available through the Drake libraries.

Study Aids

Study aids include narrative descriptions of the law, outlines, and practice questions. They can help students master the material in their classes.

Many study aids are part of a series, and some students find they especially like a particular series. For instance, the Examples and Explanations series offers hypothetical examples, poses questions about those examples, and then provides answers with detailed explanations.

A separate study aid guide offers options for finding which study aids the library has.

Preparing Case Briefs and Class Outlines

 

Briefs: One technique to help understand assigned readings is preparing briefs, which summarize cases in subsections, such as:

  • Case Name & Parties

  • Facts: a summary of the basic and most important facts of the case

  • Procedural History: discusses the type of lawsuit, how the case was received into the court issuing the opinion in the casebook, and in an appellate court decision, what the lower court held and why

  • Issues: includes all factual and legal questions the court had to answer to decide the case

  • Rules and Principles of Law: the legal rules and legal principles the court mentions in the opinion

  • Holding: contains the answers to the factual and legal questions the court faced

  • Rationale: discusses the court’s rationale and reasoning for its holding.

To be most effective, a brief must be short and to-the-point (hence the term brief).

    OutlinesAnother technique to help master course material is preparing an outline of all material covered in readings and class discussions. The final product can aid in exam preparation, and the process of organizing and writing the material can be very helpful in understanding the course. (This is a significant advantage of preparing your own outline rather than relying on commercially available outlines.)  

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