This guide contains useful information for all your first year courses. Each tab lists treatises, study aids, CALI lessons and blog posts in the subject areas covered by your classes. Treatises are secondary sources that describe an area of law, and can be great for developing a better understanding of a point of law. CALI lessons are online modules that will present information and quiz you on a legal matter.
Other Useful Information
The Professional Center Library has created several sources of information that are useful or interesting to incoming law students, aside from this guy.
- Last Updated Aug 15, 2017
A quick guide to tons of study aids available via the Professional Center Library
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- Last Updated Jul 27, 2012
From policies to research tips and techniques, we hope you will find everything you need here to help get you started on you journey through law school as well as blossoming a wonderful relationship with the PCL!
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Our Top 10 Terms to Know on Day 1
1. Tort - A first year class that discusses "civil wrongs" - that is, you've done something wrong, but it's not a criminal matter.
2. Civ Pro - Short for Civil Procedure; another first year class that covers how cases are conducted in the court system. Basically, this is the "how to" part of law.
3. Hornbook - A type of study aid on Reserve in the library. These are one form of treatise, and provide detailed & lengthy explanations of legal matters.
4. § -This symbol represents the section of a statute. You will learn more about statutes in your second semester of LAWR. You can make it by drawing two Ss on top of each other, or use Option-6 on a Mac, or insert symbol on a PC.
5. Π & Δ - These two symbols are the pi symbol (Π) and the delta symbol (Δ). Often you will see students and professors use these symbols to represent the plaintiff (Π) and the defendant (Δ) instead of spelling each of them out long-hand.
6. Cite (not sight and not site) - Attribution to a case or statute - vitally important to show support for your legal arguments.
7. Common law (or precedent)- Cases that have gone before the current case, and provide the groundwork for modern judicial decisions
8. Holding - What a court actually says about a case it is deciding.
9. Procedural Posture - Is this case on appeal from a lower court? Has a higher court reversed it? The procedural posture tells you what has happened in this case already, and determines the kind of treatment it will get at the next stage.
10. TWEN ("The West Education Network") & Sakai - These are online resources where most of your professors will post syllabi, handouts, and even have you turn in assignments. TWEN is attached to Westlaw, an online research platform and used exclusively in law schools, while Sakai is independent of other online systems and used in other educational settings.
Welcome to Law School
Law school may be unlike any other academic endeavor you have ever undertaken. The Professional Center Library has several different types resources to help you do your best as you start on this adventure. Below are some books to help you settle in to the academic work you are beginning.
Just as law classes are different from your undergraduate classes, law exams are notoriously different from other exams you have taken. Here are some guides that will help you attack law exams confidently.
Where do you work in the library?
I work in the Reference Department, which means it's my job to help students, faculty, staff and the public with research questions.