Ok, if you’re not in law school, this post is going to be pretty worthless to you. But, if you’re in, I thought I’d share what classes I’ve taken, what texts they used…and maybe even more importantly, what supplements I used for each class…in hopes that it might help you pick out your own.*
*Disclaimer: I didn’t get an A in most of these classes. Some I lucked out in…most I didn’t. I also didn’t review EVERY supplement in a category – just pulled out the best things that worked for me. (Gotta love the disclaimer as a law student!) Ok, here we go!
Civ Pro: Bluntly, this was one of my worst classes in law school thus far (not bad teaching, just bad comprehending on my part). But, the text we used was Yeazell’s 7th Edition, and I used Examples & Explanations as my main supplement in that class. While it didn’t do much for me, maybe it will for you. I still see Erie in my nightmares…and if you don’t know what Erie is, consider yourself LUCKY. Ignorance definitely is bliss here – except on the final exam in Civ Pro!
Contracts & Sales: Contracts book was Fuller & Eisenberg’s 8th edition. I did buy Murray on Contracts (hornbook) and used it occasionally (and it is the only hornbook I’ve purchased thus far.) I also bought and used the 4th edition of Contracts Examples & Explanations. I have an old Gilbert’s copy too. As for Sales, we used Keating for this course, 4th ed. I didn’t really use any supplements for that part of the course. However, I also used the Law in Flash series for Contracts, and it helped. Thus far, this has probably been my best success academically in law school (but then again, I actually care about this content too, which always helps..)
Legal Writing: no supplements, other than the Blue Book. You’ll come to loathe this book too, esp. if you end up on law review. And why they have two different style guides for writing (one for the courts, and one for law review) I’ll never know, other than some sicko previously wanted to confuse law students who made it into law review with more complication in their lives.
Criminal Law: We used LaFave’s 4th edition as a textbook. I also had the Legalines book for the cases. I also had Law in a Flash for criminal, which I think helped a little. It was a weird final, so I’ll leave this one at that….
Property: Text for this was Casner et al 5th edition and a bunch of supplemental material given to us by the professor. I had the Casenote Legal Briefs for this, and used CrunchTime: Property for this class. I did OK in it, but I’m still not totally sure about the whole “A to B for the life of B until C stands on her head and does the hokey pokey and unless D sings “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” on Christmas Eve” thing…bundle of sticks is about what I get now relative to that course.
Constitutional Law: Text was Stone 7th Ed. I had Emanuel’s Con Law for this class, and it saved me. This was probably the fuzziest class I took thus far in law school, and Con Law permeates every other class. Do yourself a favor (unlike what I did) – study your butt off in this one. It will pay off. Con law really is in every other area of the law. I also had the con law Law in a Flash cards for this, and they also helped some…
Admin Law: Text was Breyer 6th ed., and I had the CaseNote series for it as well as Examples & Explanations (E&E) which helped a little. The exam again wasn’t my favorite (mainly multiple choice…ick), nor my best performance.
Family Law: Text was Areen 5th edition, and I had the CaseNotes book for it and again E&E. While my performance wasn’t great in this one either, the best thing I can say about this class is that I definitely DO NOT want to practice Family Law…EVER. (With one tiny exception: maybe Prenups would be OK. They are, after all, contracts, and more preventative measures which I totally support for couples.) I think they should still call this are of the law “Unfamily Law” instead.
Mergers & Acquisitions: Behind Contracts & Sales, this was probably my other favorite class thus far of law school. The text was Carney’s 2nd edition. The only supplement I had for it was the Nutshell on M&A. I LOVED this class and I recommend the Nutshell, because it can go a little more into stuff like Revlon duties…some of the cases in the textbook are like reading a technical manual.
All the other classes thus far I either didn’t buy a supplement for, or no supplement was available. In general, I recommend supplements…especially for part time law students who honestly don’t always have the time to read the cases in the text 3 times. My law profs aren’t probably happy with that response, but honestly, I’m just keeping it real here. Sometimes life gets in the way and we just can’t read and re-read everything as much as we’d like.
Now, if you’re a lawyer who has “been there, done that” recently, and can give me some feedback on the best supplements for the following courses I’m taking this semester, I’m all ears:
Closely Held (so, Corporations, Agency, or both?)
Antitrust in Healthcare (there’s not even a real textbook on this one, so I doubt there will be a supplement)
Patent Law (this is the first time I’m taking any kind of IP law, and while I’m Patent Bar eligible, I’m not sure yet whether or not I will like IP law enough or not to sit for it…)
Professional Responsibility (I’m buying E&E, but are the Law in a Flash cards worth the price here?)