You Can Do It : Guides to Making the Most of Law School

A few weeks ago, we took a look at a trial practice series called the Art of Advocacy.  This week I’d like to introduce you to another part of the Law Library where one might find books about the study and teaching of law.

Besides books, the Law School is hosting Study Skills Workshops for students.  The next one “Preparing for Exams” is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 6th.  LaRasz Moody, Assistant Dean for Academic Success Programs at Villanova Law School, will work with students at 12:30, 1:30, and 2:30 in Room 2260.  Dean Moody is 2002 graduate of our law school.  For more information please see:


1) Acing your first year of law school : the ten steps to success you won’t learn in class / by Shana Connell Noyes & Henry S. Noye
Law Library Reserve Collection KF283 N69 2008 (2nd ed.)
Law Library KF283 N69 1999

Contents:  How to read a case -- How to brief a case -- Learning from Socratic class discussion -- Navigating the Bluebook of legal citation -- Legal research -- Legal writing -- Using study aids effectively -- Outlining -- Preparing for exams -- Writing exam answers.

2) Law school success in a nutshell : a guide to studying law and taking law school exams / by Ann M. Burkhart, Robert A. Stein
Law Library Reserve Collection KF283 B87 2008 (2nd ed. - 2 copies)
Law Library KF283 B87 1996 (2 copies)

Contents:  Introduction -- Preparing to enter law school -- The American legal system -- What do lawyers do? -- The study of law -- First-year curriculum -- Finding your way around the law library -- Preparing for class -- Classroom experience -- Learning after class -- Study aids -- Exams -- Other activities during the first year -- Beyond the first year -- Sample exam questions and answers.

3) How to succeed in law school / Gary A. Munneke
Law Library Reserve Collection KF283 M86 2001 (copy 1)
Law Library KF283 M86 2001 (copy 2)

Contents:  What is success -- Choosing a law school -- Understanding the law school experience -- Studying the law -- Taking exams -- Managing technology in law school -- Avoiding the pitfalls of law school -- Diverse students -- After the first year -- Conclusions: what is success?

4) Law school for dummies / by Rebecca Greene
Law Library Reserve Collection KF283 G74 2003

Contents:  Considering law school -- Getting what you came for : the law school experience -- Studying law : secret techniques that really work -- You’re halfway there (2Ls and 3Ls) -- Preparing for your future -- Wrapping up your law school career -- The parts of ten.

5) What every law student really needs to know : an introduction to the study of law / Tracey E. George, Suzanna Sherry
Law Library Reserve Collection KF283 G46 2009

Contents:  What to expect in law school -- Government and law -- The structure of the American legal system -- The legal toolbox: basic techniques -- The legal toolbox: concepts -- The legal toolbox: strategies.

6) A woman’s guide to law school / Linda Hirshman
Law Library Reserve Collection KF283 H57 1999

Contents:  Why a woman's guide to law school? -- What law schools where women succeed are like -- You go girl: a winning application -- How to pick a compatible law school -- The femscore: how to pick a law school where women succeed -- The dreaded first year -- Studying for class and taking exams -- Making law review -- Compared to law school, life is easy: how to succeed at firm job interviews -- You can succeed in law school.

7) How to do your best on law school exams / by John Delaney ; drawings by Anne Burgess
Law Library Reserve Collection KF283 D44 2001

Contents:  Six exam tasks, six grading criteria -- Mastery learning of law for exams and practice -- Spotting issues on law essay exams -- Outlining your courses -- Outlining and writing lawyerly answers -- Sample exam problems -- Sample exam answers -- Avoiding pitfalls -- Questions and answers about exam problems -- A checklist for exam self-evaluation.
8) Getting to maybe : how to excel on law school exams / Richard Michael Fischl and Jeremy Paul
Law Library Reserve Collection KF283 F57 1999

Contents:  You're not in Kansas anymore -- Issues as "forks in the road" -- Forks in the law : rule vs. counter-rule issues -- Forks in the law : competing interpretations of statutes -- Forks in the law : competing interpretations of caselaw -- Forks in the facts -- Taking it to the next level : "Twin forks" -- Taking exams seriously : a world full of wicked "whiches" -- How to spot issues, and what to do once you spot them -- Czars of the Universe (otherwise known as "policy wizards") -- Preparing for the exam -- Writing exam answers -- Mistakes to avoid -- Putting maybe to work : sample questions and answers.


9) Law school labyrinth : a guide to making the most of your legal education / Steven R. Sedberry
Law Library KF283 S43 2009

Contents:  Lesson from the labyrinth, or how I learned to stop worrying and start booking classes -- The money minotaur: keeping law school costs at bay -- How to hit the ground running your first day as a 1L -- Your law school study approach -- How to prepare for final exams -- Summer clerkships -- Your second and third years -- The bar exam and beyond.

10) The law school rules : 115 survival strategies to make the challenges of law school seem like "small stuff" / Marion T.D. Lewis
Law Library KF283 L49 1999

Contents:  It all begins in your mind -- First-year basics -- Study tips for everybody! -- Professors -- Do’s and Don’ts -- Health and coping -- Money tips -- Networking, suits, and jobs -- Simple pleasures.

11) Planet law school II : what you need to know (before you go) --but didn’t know to ask ... and no one else will tell you / Atticus Falcon
Law Library KF283 F35 2003

Contents:  Opening statement: Law school "lite" v. doing it right -- Pt. I: From mystery to mastery -- Pt. II: The view from the ivory tower -- Pt. III: Tips... and (more) traps for the unwary -- Pt. IV: Dissent & response -- Pt. V: Coda to Parts I-IV -- Pt. VI: One down, two to go -- Pt. VII: Countdown to lift-off for the real world of the law -- Pt. VIII: Deeper games -- Pt. IX: Rethinking "thinking like a lawyer" -- Closing argument: Into the maelstrom -- A dissenting opinion.

12) Bridging the gap between college and law school : strategies for success / Ruta K. Stropus & Charlotte D. Taylor
Law Library KF283 S77 2001           

Contents:  The law school experience -- Learning to read and brief law school cases -- Effective notetaking in law school -- Putting it together, part one: synthesis -- Putting it together, part two: the role of the law school outline -- Putting it together, part three: flowcharting -- Law school examinations -- Tips on exam preparation -- Time management skills -- Additional strategies for success -- Last words of advice.

13) The international student’s survival guide to law school in the United States : everything you need to succeed / Rachel Gader-Shafran
Law Library KF283 G33 2003

Contents:  Your life in the US -- You law school -- The legal system -- Your classes -- Your papers -- Your oral arguments and presentations --Your exams --Your glossaries.

14) Expert learning for law students / Michael Hunter Schwartz
Law Library KF283 S39 2008 (2nd ed.)
Law Library KF283 S39 2005

Contents:   Introduction to expert learning -- Introduction to law school instruction -- How humans learn -- The self-regulated learning (SRL) cycle -- The forethought phase of the SRL cycle -- Know thyself : personality types and learning styles -- The performance phase of the SRL cycle -- The reflection phase of the SRL cycle -- Strategies for reading and briefing court opinions -- Strategies for learning in the law school classroom -- Strategies for obtaining assistance -- Organizational strategies -- Memorization strategies -- Strategies for excelling in legal research and writing classes -- Strategies for learning legal analysis -- Strategies for preparing for and taking law school examinations -- A chapter for the family and friends of law students.

15) Law school exams : preparing and writing to win / Charles R. Calleros
Law Library KF283 C35 2007

Contents:  Overview: a recipe for success in law school -- Overview: types of examinations -- Getting ready for law school -- Class preparation and participation -- Reviewing class notes and synthesizing cases -- Outlining course material -- Know your audience -- Getting primed for the task -- Techniques common to all essay questions -- Fact-based essay questions with uncertain answers -- Essay questions of a different kind -- Objective questions.

16) A practical guide to writing law school essay exams / John C. Dernbach
Law Library KF283 D47 2001

Contents:  Knowing your reader -- Preparing to write -- Writing your essay -- Explaining your analysis -- Organization, signposting, and writing style -- Appendix: sample essays and troubleshooting.

17) Making law review : the expert’s guide to mastering the write-on competition / Wes Henricksen
Law Library KF250 H46 2008

Contents:  What is the law review? -- Should you be on law review? -- Methods of getting onto the law review -- An overview of the write-on competition -- Preparing for the write-on competition -- Writing your submission paper : 12 steps to success -- The editing exercise -- The personal statement.

Submitted by Eric Taylor on October 30, 2009

This article appears in the categories: Law Library

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