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Law School Study and Exam Tips
Employee Benefits Law
Hornbooks are one volume treatises written primarily for law students on subjects typically covered by law school courses. Unlike casebooks, which are collections of cases (or parts of cases) chosen to help illustrate and stimulate discussion about legal issues, hornbooks attempt to summarize and explain the law in a specific area. Perhaps the best-known hornbooks are those published by West in "West's Hornbook Series," which are easily identifiable by their distinctive green bindings and include titles such as Civil Procedure by Professors Friedenthal, Kane and Miller, and Uniform Commercial Code by Professors White and Summers.
Study supplements such as West's Nutshell Series and Black Letter Series, and Aspen Publisher's Examples and Explanations Series, also try to explain the law in a much more straightforward manner than casebooks. Study supplements, though, are written in a less scholarly manner than hornbooks and tend to focus on the basic issues without providing detailed analysis. For example, hornbooks are often heavily footnoted, whereas many supplements do not contain any footnotes at all.
Neither hornbooks nor supplements are intended to serve as substitutes for casebooks, but many students find these resources helpful in learning the fundamentals, which, in turn, makes it easier to understand the more complex questions discussed in class and presented on law school exams. Whether to consult a hornbook or a study supplement and, if so, which one, will depend on the individual's particular needs, tastes, and circumstances. No title is perfect for every situation. You will probably want to experiment with a variety of hornbooks and supplements in order to find the ones that work best for you.
Set forth above and arranged by subject are some hornbooks and study supplements that you may find useful in your studies. All of these books are located in the D'Angelo Law Library Reserve Room, and earlier editions of some titles may be available in the stacks under the same call number.