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New Student Resource Guide

Class Preparation Materials

Cracking the Case Method, Legal Analysis for Law School Success (Paul B. Bergman et al., 2018)
This book guides law students through all aspects of a semester's study. It includes the basics of why judges write legal opinions and why students read them to "think like a lawyer." It also provides advice on briefing cases, engaging in classroom discussions, outlining, and exam prep.

Critical Reading for Success in Law School and Beyond (Jane Bloom Grise, 2017)
This book helps you break the spell of passively highlighting during your class prep, explaining the role of court opinions in the legal process and the purpose of reading cases to help you identify what is important, and it provides strategies for identifying key facts, rules, and reasoning. It also provides templates and advice for efficiently crafting case briefs.

How to Brief a Case - CALI Lesson
This CALI lesson is designed to introduce first-year law students to the basic elements of a case "brief" and to teach the general methodology for writing a brief.  It contains two sample case briefs.

How to Read a Legal Opinion: A Guide for New Law Students (Orin S. Kerr, 2007)
This essay is designed to help new law students prepare for the first few weeks of class. It explains what judicial opinions are, how they are structured, and what law students should look for when reading them.

How to Succeed in Law School (John S. Dzienkowski, 2004)
This audio resources on West Academic is the perfect crash course on setting yourself up for law school success is accessible during your commute in the car or light rail. This audio resource provides sound advice on topics such as preparing for class, effective class  participation, and study groups, as well as insights into professors' grading processes.

Learning to Read and Brief a Law School Case (in Bridging the Gap Between College and Law School, Ruta K. Stropus and Charlotte D. Taylor, 2009)
Chapter 3 in Bridging the Gap Between College and Law School: Strategies for Success.

Exam Preparation Materials

Below is a short list of law school/exam success guides available in the Law Library.  Other titles can be found in the library catalog under the subject headings Law ExaminationsLaw-Study and Teaching, and Law Students.

Getting to Maybe:  How to Excel on Law School Exams (Richard Michael Fischl & Jeremy R. Paul, 2023)
A guide to law school exams. It covers how to approach the "issue spotter" exam question, as well as policy questions and multiple choice questions. It also provides sample exam questions and model answers, and the Appendix contains tips and answers to frequently asked questions. 

Law School Exams: Preparing and Writing to Win (Charles Calleros, 2021)
This guide from a longtime Arizona State law professor walks readers through effective course outlining, and it instructs readers on effective methods for tackling issue spotters and multiple choice questions on exam day.

Law School Exams: A Guide to Better Grades (Alex Schimel, 2018)
This slim volume includes advice for preparing for exams, with a view toward students cramming in the final days as well as students planning months ahead. It guides readers through study methods and exam answer writing and also provides advice on keeping up with class discussions.

Open Book: Succeeding on Exams from the First Day of Law School (Barry Friedman, 2011)
This book explains not only how to maximize success on law school exams, but how law school exams connect to good practices for lawyers. It delves into what professors look for when they're grading exam answers.

Writing Essay Exams to Succeed in Law School (Not Just to Survive) (John C. Dernbach, 2010)
This short volume includes practical advice and visual aids to help students reach further toward the front of the curve with their essay answers, with an emphasis on writing toward what the instructor is testing and working under tight time constraints.

The Zen of Law School Success (Chad Noreuil, 2011)
This guide from an ASU law professor helps law students look within, addressing personal growth and building a mind equipped to handle the pressures and stresses of law school in addition to advice on outlining, exam prep, and exam writing. 

The following resources include practice questions to prepare for essay or multiple choice questions:

Emanuel Crunchtime (Aspen Learning Library)
Includes multiple choice, short answer, and essay practice questions and answers, as well as flowcharts for major legal questions in a variety of subjects.

Exam Pro (West Academic)
Includes volumes offering objective, multiple choice practice questions and volumes offering essay practice questions for major legal subjects.

Friedman's Practice Series (Aspen Learning Library)
Includes practice essay and multiple choice questions about individual legal subjects with commentary from professors and students.

A Weekly Guide to Being a Model Law Student (West Academic)
Provides open ended questions of various lengths testing knowledge of the following first year courses: civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, property, and torts.

You may access Law School Past Exams from the Law Library's web site. Some faculty members make their past exams available to students as a teaching aid. In an effort to provide students with the broadest possible access to past exams, the Law Library has placed them online. Some exams contain answers.

Mindfulness in Law School

Mindfulness and Mental Wellness in Law School
This Ross-Blakley Law Library guide provides information on mindfulness, meditation, and mental wellness in law school and in the legal profession. It is primarily focused on resources available to Arizona State University and Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law students. The guide includes instructions for meditation practice, contact information for mental wellness resources, and scholarly research resources.